‘American Graffiti’ (John): “I never got a chance to race old Earl”

JOHN: That’s Freddy Benson’s Vette… he got his head on with some drunk. Never had a chance. Damn good driver, too. What a waste when somebody gets it and it ain’t even their fault. That Vette over there. Walt Hawkins, a real ding-a-ling. Wrapped it around a fig tree out on Mesa Vista with five kids in it. Draggin’ with five kids in the car, how dumb can you get? All the ding-a-lings get it sooner or later. Maybe that’s why they invented cars. To get rid of the ding-a-lings. Tough when they take someone with them. I’ve never been beaten — lot of punks have tried. See that ’41 Ford there? Used to be the fastest wheels in the valley. I never got a chance to race old Earl. He got his in ’55 in the hairiest crash ever happened around here. He was racing a ’54 Chevy, bored and loaded, out on the old Oakdale Highway and every damn kid in town was out there. The Chevy lost its front wheel doing about 85. The idiot had torched the spindles to lower the front end and it snapped right off. He slammed bam into the Ford and then they both of them crashed into a row of cars and all those kids watchin! Jesus, eight kids killed including both drivers, looked like a battlefield. Board of Education was so impressed they filmed it. Show it now in Drivers Education, maybe you’ll see it. Anyway, since then street racing’s gone underground. No spectators, I mean. Too bad.

More Monologues from ‘American Graffiti’

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