1966

It was cherry.

No, it was more than cherry.

It was a 1966 Toronado, bright red, brand new, and all Spike's - soon as he tossed the body of the sales rep for some big peanut butter manufacturer out of the driver's seat and onto the road.

Car.

Of.

The.

Year.

Oh yeah.

Cherry?

Cherry times ten plus a prime virgin tossed in for just showing up! And the engine? 425 in3 (7.0 L) OHV V at 385 hp, at 4800 rpm, with torque at 475 ftlbf, 3-speed automatic transmission, with a drive ratio at 3.21:1, and a 119.0" wheelbase!

And this blockbuster, this cherry big time, had fallen into Spike's lap; the same lap that sported wood just from reading the sales brochure, which Spike kept in the hip pocket of his torn jeans, better'n a dirty magazine any night or day... bloody hell, can you dig it?

The seats were leather; anointed with spunk and blood just the way Dru liked it – right away-pronto-fast whambamthankyouma'm, and black, damn, damn… damn!!!

Cherry Bomb roared to menacing life with an easy turn of the key; Dru cooed as the miles rolled out behind them like so many dirty carpets into the night, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh God, yeah!

So what do you do with such a virgin, man? What do you do with such a lady of quality?

You pop her, man.

You pop her right in every way - starting with "A".

"A" was easy.

All it took was a sharp jog to the south and to the west, sample jars of crunchy peanut butter rattling against each other in the train station-sized back seat, also anointed with blood and spunk.

Five miles over a certain oversized state's state line, and splat-crunch.

"Armadillo." How's that for a cherry poppin', eh pet? "Ar-ma-soddin'-dillo!"

Drusilla licked her lips and unzipped Spike's fly… which brings us to "B"

What about "B", daddy-o? What about it?

A sharp turn to the north, due north meant thrusting up through a hot Midwestern American night, neon signs and titty bars, long dark stretches of nothing but moonlit corn, Maryjane, and gas tanks siphoned, cops eviscerated, and then "Bang!"

"Beaver."

Drusilla laughed even harder over "C" – "Cat", "D" was the "Dog" chasing it across the highway which now decorated the snarling chrome grill that guarded her beloved's Cherry Bomb's precious roaring engine as sample jars of crunchy peanut butter clattered in the back seat, rolling against each other in the dark of the night, somewhere in America.

"E" was harder; "E" was a challenge, ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, but when you have forever and the wind in your teeth, who gives a damn?

So they drove, they drove, engine roaring, more siphoned gas, and a little smack, until somewhere in the dawn in the swamps of the South an "Egret" flew across the road, now crucified against the massive glass windshield of the ravenous red beast, with "F" for "Frog" redly slime-trailed along the white-walled tires… "H" for "Heron" followed, adding feathers which blew in through the open windows to that of "I" for "Ibis" in a billowing cloud, now sticking in Drusilla's hair like the aftermath of a desecrated pillow.

"J."

"J."

"J."

Oh "J", oh "J", where oh where the bleedin' hell is bloody "J"?

All is lost- no, all is not lost because of a post-card in the pocket of breakfast showed the marvel of the "Jackalope" – hybrid beastie, antlered hare – so after the sun in the shadow of the mountains they roared – a nightmare whirl of midnight hotels, neon signs, semi-trucks, gas-station prostitutes, desert stars in a haze of laughter and blood – in search of the elusive "Jackalope".

Which was a lie baby, a lie!

Drusilla detests lies, right Miss Edith? Unless they be her own, and so was inconsolable until they made do with a "Jackrabbit" – hapless hare pancake-mashed from beneath the Tornado's tires, to land spinning flatly in the broken glass-filled ditch of an Indian reservation at sunrise.

Hot long days under a blanket, feeding on the highway cops that stopped in the desert to explore their giant red fun-machine, Jack and smack, their beloved blood-stained Toronado, making love in the high, dry, hot silence among the sample jars of crunchy peanut butter beneath a stifling hot blanket, hiding from the killing sun, all in search of the burning question, "What is K?"

"Kinkajou?"

"Koala?"

"Kangaroo?"

"Kowalski" would have to do along with his good buddy "L" for "Lawson" – two hitchhiking soldiers who bounced off the hood, their didy bags spilling open like the ripped open bellies of pregnant women close to term: green socks and clean underpants fluttering and flapping across the desert in a trail of delicious destruction, leading to another sharp turn north in search of a "M" for "Moose"...

...which wouldn't play the game – causing them to chase it down the highway before it submitted, legs shattered, lying in the ditch, tongue out, eyes blind to the midnight sky of the Pacific Northwest, already forgotten in the search for "N".

"N" being difficult – brilliant as the Toronado was, they couldn't very well go hunting "Narwhales", but "Nutria" was but a short cut across the continent on the diagonal, back to the southern swamps and reeks with blotter acid so that "N" for "Nutria" happened in the Cajun swamps, hot and alligator filled, immediately followed by "O" for "Opossum", which went under the tires, complete with babies clinging to her back, with a disappointing thump so Spike had to drive around flattening marsupial morons until Drusilla said he could stop – which was somewhere around sunrise as sample jars of crunchy peanut butter clattered in the back seat, rolling against each other in the dark of morning, somewhere in America.

"P" was disputed, in re. "Opossums" and "'Possums". Were they the same animal or two different similar suicidal animals – a hitchikin' cracker speedily devoured settled things and they drove off in hopes of finding "P" for "Pigs".

"Pigs" were difficult.

"Pigs" on the road were in short supply unless you counted fuddy-duddy drivers who wouldn't get over and had to be run off the road in the name of speed and Benzedrine.

"Pigs" took two days and one night, hiding in the back seat, beneath the blanket once more, making loud love in the swelter with smack as sample jars of crunchy peanut butter clattered in the back seat, rolling against each other in the heat of the day, somewhere in America.

Drusilla was getting bored, no "P", no "Pigs", what was the point?

A bored Drusilla was not a fun Drusilla, so Spike drove his bloody merry Oldsmobile in search of smack and bloody fun – the two of them squabbling in the dented Toronado, the paint now scratched, the fenders crumpled and stained with dried blood, with a pair of skivvies fluttering from the rear bumper, desperation a stench palpable in the hot summer night until a semi loaded with yearling hogs tipped over in front of them.

"P" for "Pigs" was a joyful fest, the cracked windshield now running with blood, the deafening squeals urging Drusilla faster and faster as she straddled Spike as hog-bodies bounced under their tires, to be followed by a luckless of covey of "Quail" ("Q"), followed by "Rabbit" ("R"), and "Snake" ("S") – devoured by the tires of the dark red, no longer cherry, Toronado.

"T" was another challenge until a tortoise in search of love wandered out onto the steaming pavement somewhere in pre-dawn Missouri, a popping resistance as the shell flattened beneath the scarred tires of the red Toronado already in search of "U" and Maryjane.

"U."

"U."

"U" was disappointing, as was "V" – "U" was a sign that said "Welcome to Utah", and "V" was a "Vole" – a little rodent that looked like a big-eyed rat, barely felt under-tire.

Drusilla was getting bored, they didn't get a "Wolverine", it wouldn't come out of it's burrow, and the "Wolf" turned out to be a German Shepard that had slipped its leash, so they had to settle for a "Weasel" which hardly even registered as sample jars of crunchy peanut butter clattered in the back seat, rolling against each other in the heat of the day, somewhere in America.

"X" was pitiful, being a child's "Xylophone" left out in some Midwestern front yard in the rain – Drusilla was disappointed because the child was nowhere in sight.

She began to get really bored around "Y", which was "Yucca" – the spiky plant didn't even have the sportsmanship to even try to get out of the way when Spike gunned the now wheezing motor and charged at it, white blossoms flying out in all directions. The only thing that saved him from Drusilla leaving him right there was the nest of "Yellow-Jackets" that was hidden in the clump – they buzzed up in a golden cloud of insect rage against the blood-spattered headlights, filling the car with stinging agony sweet as heroin – for this, Drusilla forgave Spike with her mouth as sample jars of crunchy peanut butter clattered in the back seat, rolling against each other in the heat of the day, somewhere in America.

Bloody hell, "Z". Where was "Z"? "Zipper" wasn't good enough, and the suggestion that they flatten someone with a "Zippo" lighter in their pocket was met with a flat out shriek of denial as Maryjane abandoned them.

It took a week of driving and stealing gas, robbing travelers, and tearing out throats as Drusilla flirted with strangers, leaving Spike in his no-longer cherry fun-mobile desperate, sucking reefer while changing stations on the radio, static brewing between them until the news, the bloody sweet news came that a circus truck had collided with an elderly man driving a tractor somewhere outside of…

Spike revved the now faltering engine and headed northeast at top speed, fun-mobile smoking, Drusilla sulking because "Z" wasn't coming fast enough…

Lo and behold a miracle happened, they arrived just in time as a State Trooper was trying to round up a "Zebra".

"Zebra" began with "Z."

The Toronado made one last final, valiant run, taking the animal broadside while clipping the trooper, whose last name was "Zeno". Drusilla squealed with delight as stripes filled the remains of the windshield and the trooper went flying while sample jars of crunchy peanut butter clattered in the back seat, rolling against each other in the heat of the coming day, somewhere in America.

The engine fell out of the Toronado with a rattling cough.

Their game at an end, Drusilla pouted even as she drained what was left of the State Trooper while Spike thoughtfully lit up a reefer and picked the remains of the windshield out of his forehead.

When Drusilla pouts, death is no fun.

And no fun is, simply put, no fun.

Still, there was the State Trooper's shiny new State Police car parked on the side of the highway, midnight semis thundering past…

Somewhere in America, engine racing, sirens blaring, a State Police car shot out onto the pavement while a girl in a blood stained dress on the passenger side hurled sample jars of crunchy peanut butter into the face of oncoming traffic...

...somewhere in America.