With the possible exception of Jews (mostly because of that whole ‘Bar Mitzvah’ thing), many cultures believed that a boy became a man the first time they climbed under the hood of a car, set foot on a Dodge dealership, attended a car show or demolition derby, or participated in a drag race. And sure, those cultures tend to consist primarily of hillbillies, many of which are my cousins. But no matter how similar prevalent philosophies are throughout the world, as 2019 comes to a close, there’s simply no point in debating the fact that times have changed. A large segment of our population seems unsure of what it takes to ‘be’ (let alone ‘become’) a man…and complicating things further, we’re not even sure if we’re allowed to talk about it.
While some publications might be inclined to preach ‘woke’ philosophies, or lob insensitivities at a misunderstood minority, we at The Lemon prefer to take the high-ground of non-committal journalistic mediocrity and ask the questions that no-one seems to be asking (mostly because all the good questions have either been asked already, or because society prohibits us from asking them). So, with that in mind, we invite you to join us as we explore both Dodge’s celebrated lineup of performance vehicles and its complicated relationship with the transgender community (at least, as it exists in the minds of my hillbilly relatives).
My lifelong love of all things Mopar was partially inspired by the yellow racing ’71 Dodge Demon 340 that my Uncle Dubby (whose actual name was Vernon) drove around for most of my childhood. That car was the envy of the family, with my Uncle Fuddy (actual name: Gerry) and cousins Punky (actual name: Ray Jr.), Jabba (actual name: Harry Jr.), and Skippy (actual name: Homer Jr) being just as prominent fans of it as I was. For a time, I had hoped to buy the Demon from my Uncle once I got my driver’s license, but he was forced to sell it during his divorce from his full-blooded Mexican wife. Why am I sharing this? Well, it’s important in establishing two facts: first, that my hillbilly family loves performance vehicles. Second, that they use terms like ‘full-blooded Mexican.’ And with the latter point in mind…
“Challengers and Chargers, and what-not, aint fer girls,” explains a relative of mine who has requested anonymity. “If a girl wants horsepower, she got two choices. She can hop in the passengers’ seat, or learn how to ride a damn pony. So jot that down.” A direction which I followed, as he went looking for a ‘spit cup.’
“Because there’s only three things that’ll put hair on your [plural slang for hanging male accouterment]…” He paused and nodded, looking up at me like some sort of backwoods serial killer. “You know what they are?” I had my suspicions but braced myself for the coming onslaught of wisdom. “Fast cars and fast women.”
“And another thing,” he added emphatically, a dribble of Skoal running down his chin as I found myself wondering if realized he had only listed two things which, incidentally, he didn’t. “God aint made no chicks with [plural slang for male genitalia]. God made Mopar. God made dudes. And God made Mopar for dudes and dudes alone. It’s part of his plan. Cuz both fast cars and fast women are baby-making machines, you know. And who am I to argue with God’s plan? That’s why the only tranny’s I’m cool with is a six-speed manual, or a four-speed Hurst.”
And while I take immense issue with giving God (rather than Chrysler) credit for Mopar, I have to admit that I take greater issue with the fact that I share DNA with such a damn moron. So, with that in mind, I’d like to welcome any and all good people into the Dodge family. If you love the superior driving experience offered by performance offerings, I don’t really care who you are. Just please…name your kids better than my family did.