(from pages 377-378)
I stepped out into a glorious October day, temperature climbing above seventy. The grinding, rolling sound coming at me from behind... two boys on skateboards. If they’d graduated from high school it had to be class of 2001. A touristy man and woman about my age were part way in the street enjoying an oblique rear view of Bass. I pulled the keys from my pocket.
"Sir, what is that?" asked one of the boys. In sync they dismounted near me, stepped on the rear of their boards, and picked them up by the rising front, both doing a good job of ignoring my bulls-eye. I hadn’t been called sir for so long it felt crusty and swollen; later I realized that had more to do with the times Joseph had been called sir.
"A Flamenco, electric. And I added some special features."
Same boy: "That one o’ them zero-to-sixty-in-three-seconds babies?"
"So you’ve heard of Flamencos."
"They’re killer," said the other boy.
"Never knew they were so narrow," said the first boy. "Looks kinda top-heavy."
"Not with half a ton of batteries riding six inches off the ground."
Boards under their arms, the boys engaged in a slow orbit of Bass, craning their necks to peer through glass as if getting too close might not be cool. The man and woman were closing. "Why did you make it look..." the man asked, "...it’s incredible, looks exactly like a largemouth bass?"
Suspecting he was a bass fisherman, I dug for some idiom to buzz him. "Lotsa fine folks dream of catching big ol’ bucketmouths, so I made it look like the bucketmouth from Trophy Shallows, to catch their attention. Flamencos are the future, here today. More people need to know. Once mass production begins, they’ll even be remarkably cost-effective." Bells on the store’s front door jingled.
"What kind of range do they have?" the man asked as Cheryl walked up beside me.
"Eighty miles easy, if you don’t hot-rod." I opened the door, moved the front seat so Cheryl could take the back, and gave her a minor assist with the harness.
The man asked, "Do they really do zero-to-sixty in three seconds?"
"More like four, and made right in Spokane." I whipped out my wallet, gave the man a Flamenco Motors business card. "If you’re in town, stop by and see some fine people on a great mission."
"We live in Spokane."
"Well, there you go—"
"I saw their sign," blurted his wife, apparently weirded-out by my bruise. Her husband acted like it wasn’t there.
"They’ll be less expensive than dinosaur cars in every way, and lots more fun."
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