Disclaimer: I do not own Phineas and Ferb, any of the songs used, or "My Cousin Vinny". Do not attempt any of the driving described here at home. There is no guarantee it will work the way I wrote it and you'll probably get arrested.
The Boys Of Summer belongs to Don Henley.
The Bandit Express belongs to Lee Greenwood.
The bright blue 1954 Neblington Nymph convertible rolled smoothly through the hills on the outskirts of Danville. The sun was about halfway down the clear sky on the first day of summer vacation. The year was 2014.
The car's four occupants were silent. They were a bit tired after a their busy day and they were just calmly listening to the song playing on the radio.
"Out on the road today, I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said 'Don't look back, you can never look back.' I thought I knew what love waaas, what did I know? Those days are gone forever. I should just let 'em go but…
I can seeee you. Your brown skin shinnin' in the sun. You got the top pulled down and your…radio on baby."
Candace Flynn swung the car to the right at a normally deserted intersection that today was clogged with cars and motorcycles. The traffic on the two-lane country road was moving at snail's pace, but that was to be expected when half the vehicles in the Tri-State Area, Quad-State Area and Kentucky were all trying to get to the same place. That place was the Danville fairgrounds, a one hundred-twenty-three and five sixteenth acre flat grassland nestled between rolling hills on three sides and US Interstate 57 bordering the other.
The fairgrounds were almost completely flat and devoid of tall vegetation, making it a favorite spot for model airplane enthusiasts and perfect for holding large gatherings too big for Danville Park. There was also a huge, paved parking lot in one corner, the construction of which greatly affected the Tri-State watershed. The runoff created by this asphalt surface had eroded a little brook behind it that flowed into Danville Creek and eventually to the Metropolitan Oval Aquatic Trench. This parking lot, however, was the perfect place to hold the fourth-largest annual classic car show in the United States. And it was here that so many motor vehicles were flocking on this warm summer evening.
The occupant of the passenger seat leaned forward slightly to tune the radio station back in, which was becoming laced with static. When he and his brother had restored the car, they had included a myriad of hi-tech attachments, but all the gadgets could retract to make the car appear exactly as it had in 1954. Therefore, in an effort to keep the classic feel of the car, the radio was analog and not digital, which meant that the radio had to be manually tuned and was difficult to keep free of static.
Having restored the end of the Don Henley song to clarity, Ferb Fletcher, Candace's step brother, leaned back into the comfortable leather seat. He was very proud of the hand he had played in restoring the English Neblington, and he enjoyed seeing how his sister glowed when she was complemented on her car.
Now that the car had become stuck in the slow moving traffic, which occasionally stopped completely for brief moments, the cool breeze that had taken the hot edge off the sun was gone, and the ultra-violet rays began to pound on the car's passengers. Ferb began to sweat and he ran a hand through his messy green hair. He glanced in the rearview mirror on the windshield and examined the interactions between the two people in the back seat.
Isabella Garcia-Shapiro was resting one arm on the fin that extended from the body of the pristine car. Ferb had often thought that this car's design was a bit strange. The front end, which included everything from the front bumper, the firewall, and the engine compartment in-between was about half the length of the car, making room for the V-12 engine. (Ferb also thought 12 cylinders in this car was rather pointless, too, since the huge, heavy engine only would have made about 130 horsepower when it rolled off the assembly line, which was just poor engineering. It also got terrible fuel mileage before he had modified it, making him question the need for such a huge engine in a production car.) The front seat was actually behind the center of the body, meaning that there were only two doors and if someone wanted to sit in the back, they had to step on the back bumper and climb over the back of the rear seat, and no one could sit there when the convertible top was up. This had eliminated all cargo space. (Gee, thought Ferb, If we hadn't supped this car up, it would be really stupid.)
Isabella had her head turned to the right to have the best view of the backseat's other occupant, Phineas Flynn, her best friend who she secretly had a huge crush on. From this angle, the sun was behind Phineas's triangular head, and rays of light danced around his cranium, making it look like he was literally glowing in the soft gold light of the late summer afternoon.
Ferb could see the loving look in Isabella's eyes even in the reflection of the rearview mirror. He smirked slightly. He watched with interest as Phineas, who had been staring out off the passenger side of the car, watching the scenery, turned slowly to face Isabella. Isabella's expression did not change. It was almost as if she hadn't seen Phineas turn.
"Why're you looking at me like that?" Phineas asked.
Isabella jumped and sat up, the love struck expression vanishing from her face.
"Huh? What? I wasn't staring at you," she lied.
"Oh, okay." He turned back.
Isabella sighed dejectedly. She was embarrassed that Phineas had caught her staring at him, but she sort of wished that Phineas would just realize she was lying, that she was staring at him, and that there was a reason for it.
Ferb sighed too. These sort of encounters had been going on between the two for years. He tapped Candace on the shoulder. The car was currently stopped again, so she looked at him. Ferb stuck his left thumb over his shoulder, indicating that her focus should be on Phineas and Isabella, not him.
Candace turned her head further around. Isabella was staring at Phineas again, but this time with a sort of sorrowful look plastered on her pretty face. Phineas had wet his index finger and was rubbing at a spot on the fin that he hoped was a streak and not a scratch, completely unaware of the loving eyes fixed on him.
"After all these years…" Candace whispered to Ferb, turning back around. "He's still completely clueless."
They were finally approaching the car show entrance. The two distinct areas of the fairgrounds, the fields and the parking lot, were both being used for parking, but the parking lot was reserved for the classic cars being entered in the competition. All other cars had to park on the short wild grass of the field.
Several men and women in fluorescent green vests were directing the traffic, trying to park the spectators' cars as quickly and efficiently as possible and directing the contestants' cars further down the road to the paved parking lot. One such vested volunteer waved Candace on as she approached and the Nymph actually gained some speed as Candace followed a 1973 Dodge Charger down the now thinned out road to another left turn a quarter mile further down.
Candace was forced to stop in a line once again, but this one was slightly more orderly. A man sporting a white cowboy hat at the parking lot entrance stopped each car, briefly spoke to each driver, wrote something on a clip board, and handed them something before they were granted entry. Finally, after 10 more agonizing minutes in the heat, it was Candace's turn.
"How you doin'?" asked the middle aged man, who had a slight southern drawl.
"Fine, thanks," Candace responded with a smile.
"Good," he said. "Contestant's name?"
She told him. He wrote these things on the clip board as she said them.
"Okay, now I need the year, make, and model of the vehicle you're enterin'."
"It's a 1954 Neblington Nymph convertible," Candace said proudly.
It took the man a moment to write that down. When he was done, he said, "Okay, now I just need the license plate number…" he stepped forward so he could see the car's front bumper, copied down the jumble of letters and numbers on the license plate, and then stepped back up next to Candace's door.
"Okay," he said with a smile. "You are officially registered as a contestant. Here's your tag." He handed her a bright yellow piece of paper with a perfect hole cut out of the top. There was a slit on one side of the hole so it could be slipped over the rearview mirror bracket. It bore the number 437. "Hang it from the rearview so it can be seen by voters and follow the signs to the correct section to park. Good luck!"
"Thanks!" called Candace, as she lifted her foot off the brake pedal and let the transmission, which was in drive, carry her slowly into the parking lot without having to touch the gas.
Two signs pointed to the left and right. The sign on the left read "1900-1959" and the one on the right "1960-1980." Candace turned left.
More signs labeled each row of parking spaces, dividing the cars up by decade. Candace turned right at the first row they passed, which was "1950-1959". As soon as she did, she was met with another sign, which read "Domestic." A bit further than halfway down the row was the sign that distinguished "Foreign" cars. Each car was given an allotted spot larger than an individual parking space so that spectators could easily walk around each car to view them completely. Thus, another volunteer directed Candace to back into her space, which was on the white line painted between two parking spaces.
Candace turned the key to the off position and removed it. "All right, we're here!" Candace and Ferb opened their doors and stepped out while Phineas and Isabella climbed carefully over the backs of their seats.
"Yipe-!" Isabella yelped as her foot missed the back bumper and she fell backwards onto the ground.
Phineas hopped down next to her. "Are you okay, Isabella?"
He took her hand and pulled her to her feet.
"No problem." Phineas took a step to walk away and stopped. "Can I please have my hand back?" Isabella looked at her hand. She still had a hold of Phineas's. She blushed and let go. "Sorry…"
Phineas didn't hear her. He was reaching back into the car, under the back seat.
"Just getting out the super cool sign we made for Candace," Phineas replied, pulling something long and metal out from under the seat, the car's only storage area.
The sign was about four feet long, sixteen inches tall and four inches thick. One side was black instead of metal grey. Otherwise it was blank.
"That's a sign?" Isabella asked with a tone of disbelief.
"Yeah, watch." Phineas flicked a micro toggle switch on the side of the sign.
Bright, multicolor letters suddenly appeared on the black side, which Isabella deduced was a screen. The sign read:
Neblington Nymph Convertible
471 hp 5 liter V-12 (gasoline, diesel, electric, solar)
Auto color changing solar panel skin, Aux. Rocket Boosters, Passenger Make-up vanity, Trophy Shelf, Escape Pod w/ parachute (rear seat), Can Opener, Self-steering Mechanism, Power Convertible Top.
"Oh, I see. That's cool!" commented Isabella.
"That's not all," Phineas said, raising a finger. He held the sign at arms length and then slowly let go. The sign simply floated right where Phineas had held it.
"Ooh, even cooler! Anti-gravity device?"
"Yup." And that was were Phineas ended the conversation. "Hey sis, where do you want this?" he called to Candace, who was in the process of wiping dead bugs and flecks of dirt off the front of the car with a rag.
"You told me this morning it could be suspended anywhere, right?" she responded.
"Float it over the hood, just higher than the windshield," Candace said, rubbing the left headlight.
Phineas did just that, climbing into the front seat and pushing the bottom of the sign higher with his finger tips.
"Want the hood up?" he asked before climbing out.
"Sure," was his sister's only response.
He reached under the dash and pulled the lever that released the hood latch. When Candace was satisfied that the nose of the car was spotless, she reached under the slightly open hood, pushed back the latch with two fingers and lifted the huge hood, revealing the massive engine beneath. There was a modern air pressure cylinder that held the hood in place once it was fully raised.
The three siblings and their friend took a step backward to admire the immaculate automobile before them. The late afternoon sun glistened on the spotless blue paint that wasn't really paint.
"Well, we're gonna go look around at the other cars," said Phineas said, speaking for himself and Ferb.
"Okay. I'll be here with my baby," Candace said affectionately of her car, grinning as she did so.
"We'll be back. Wanna come with us, Isabella?"
Well, duh, Isabella thought. I don't care about cars, I just came to spend time with you!…Hmm, I should actually say that. See what kind of reaction it gets. I think I will. Yeah, I'm gonna say "Duh, I'm coming, I'm only here because you are!" Yeah, I'm gonna say that. Loudly, too. Really loud, and clear, so he can't misunderstand. Here I go! I'm gonna say it! I'm actually gonna do this! Here we go! No holding back! I'm just gonna say it. Right now! Right N-
"Huh?" The brothers were in the process of walking away and Phineas had turned when he realized Isabella wasn't following.
Isabella panicked. "What? I didn't say anything!"
Phineas looked confused. "I asked if you were coming to look at the cars with me and Ferb. You didn't respond."
Here I go! I'm gonna say it!
"Yeah, sure, why not? I'll come."
RRRRGH! Why did I say that? Isabella hung her head, disgusted with herself, as she followed her two best friends down the isle, which was crowded with people and was nearing its car holding capacity.