“John Flowinghair” by Tom Mahony

originally appeared in Eskimo Pie (2009)

He drove a small white convertible of a certain vintage prevalent in the 1980s. Other than him, we’d never seen a man drive that type of car. It was common knowledge that 90 percent of the drivers of that particular model were beautiful women. The other 9.9 percent were decent-looking women.

And then along came this guy.

He had long flowing blond hair, and as such we called him John Flowinghair. When he’d pull into the parking lot, we’d catch a glimpse of that flowing blond hair, and we’d stop what we were doing, expecting to see a beautiful woman emerge from the car. We’d say, okay, here comes some eye candy.

But then out would pop John Flowinghair.

He was a big man, straight as they came, and loved the ladies and draped himself in manly pursuits: football, baseball, guns. And he was a dick, a bully, quick with a fist. Yet he drove that car, of which a more emasculating mode of transportation had not been manufactured in recorded human history.

We had no beef with anyone or how they lived their life. We accepted people for who they were. But we demanded logic and order, and the situation was illogical. The man’s behavior was impossible to reconcile with that car. It just didn’t fit. Put him in a pickup truck and everything dovetailed nicely. But that car…

We never understood that guy.

Profile: Tom Mahony