These commercials were ubiquitous in the 1970’s. If you were a small child, you could rattle off the trademark slogan without even understanding what it meant, and adults would find it extremely funny. (The ad actually isn’t terribly funny by itself. The 1980’s had a plenty of inspired commercials. but the few I can remember from the 70’s were generally lame.)
Anyway, fast-forward about 12 years to when I was a senior in high school … a buddy of mine actually handed me a can of V8 and dared me to pound it in one gulp. (For those not in the know, the product is a phenomenally awful beverage concocted from vegetable juices.) I took the dare. And I wound up projectile vomiting like a god damned fire hose — all over the rear bumper of that 1972 Plymouth Duster that I loved so much.
I suppose that I could try to blame my lifelong abhorrence for vegetables on that experience, but I hated greens even when I was a kid. (I was endlessly sneaking them to the dog at the dinner table; I wrote a story about it in the second grade that my parents nevertheless found amusing when I brought it home.)
The V8 vegetable drink is still around; the company is owned by Campbell’s. Somebody should find out where it’s canned, break into the place at night and just machine-gun all the cans in the same manner as Ripley shooting all the alien eggs at the climax of “Aliens” (1986). It would be a public service.
I had one. Did you?
No … I was not driving in 1972. I was given the car by a kindly aunt when I was a senior at Longwood High School in 1989. It had an 8-cylinder V8 engine instead of the less powerful Slant-6, and it kicked ass. I loved that V8 engine far more than I loved the “V8” vegetable “drink,” which I once drank on a dare in high school and threw up all over the street in front of my house. Really flooring that Duster on Sunrise Highway (on a weekday night, when there was no beach country weekend traffic) was an experience I’ll never forget.
Only weird guys named their cars, despite what Holllywood tells us; those that did gave them the names of girls. But I was a really, REALLY weird guy, so I named mine “Bucephalus,” after the war horse of Alexander the Great.
I loved being able to drive my friends Keith Nagel, Carrie Harbach, Ahmad Butt and Julianne Whitehead to school. They rather appreciated it too, I think. But if they were sitting in the back seat, they had to remember to be careful where they put their feet.
You see, a car manufactured in 1972 actually was already a bit old by the time 1989 rolled around, and my mighty war horse had a rust problem. It existed primarily in the car’s floor. Portions were eaten away entirely, making my Bucephalus a hell of a lot like the Flintstones’ car. You could watch Route 25 and Longwood Road just speed and blur along beneath you if you rode with me. It was fun! Or not, I dunno — I was in the driver’s seat where the floor was intact.