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A new neighborhood phenomena

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Wed, Sep 7, 2016

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


(photo by Mirinda Osmer)

By Harold Osmer There is a new automotive phenomena sprouting in my neighborhood. From my slightly elevated household perch above the far western reaches of the Los Angeles city limits, I can hear the creation of what can best be described as “jerk circles.” Deposited late at night on random roadway intersections, jerk circles are the essential remnants of once-good tire rubber laid out in patterns for all to see in daylight hours. Often created with too-little grip rear-wheel-drive cars with loud-assed exhaust systems meant to impress the driver himself, I can hear jerk circles being laid down at roughly 3AM midweek through the summer months. Revealing my old-guy bona fides, I hereby declare that back in my day street-worthy tire marks were of the straight line variety made in broad daylight with much fanfare. Often done mano-a-mano. Capable cars of my day were often hopped up by the driver himself using whatever skills he had attained through careful study of magazine articles, race track visits, and older guys who knew enough to recognize a young guy worthy of being shown a mechanical trick or two. Wussy-boy millenials buy their cars. While an off-the-lot Mustang or BMW of today will easily outrun a souped-up 1960s version, this proves only the power of mama’s trust-fund acumen. Bolting on a new pipe, over inflating your tires, and knowing how to pull the e-brake lever on your Nissan at full throttle does not make you a mechanic. Oh look! He’s has a Go-Pro stuck to his car! Though I do not know my neighborhood jerk circle artist personally, I do know who he is. It’s a young guy. Girls, women, females, and mature males strut their stuff in other ways. I know he doesn’t live in my neighborhood. If he did, the men on my street and I would have heard him driving home and shown him the err of his ways long ago. He is the fourth car making a left turn after the arrow goes red. He doesn’t have a job. If he did, he’d be sleeping instead of peeing on our streets at 3AM. He still lives with his parents and thinks making two Facebook posts per day counts as work. He is the guy on the boulevard who insists on racing me to the next red light, often sharing his heavy beat melody-less music. He is the guy who changes lanes five times between major intersections to no avail. He is the guy who uses the bike lane as a passing lane/launch pad for jumping green lights. He is the guy who turns left in front of cars going straight at a four-way stop. I know he’s not practicing his victory burnout because he’s never been on an actual racetrack. If he bothered to show up at Irwindale Dragstrip, we would all then learn that when he boasts of making 100 in the eighth mile, he was codedly speaking of kilometers per hour. Besides, he lacks the nad to go head-to-head in front of official witnesses. He is the guy whose high school graduation picture we see on the news for all of 30 seconds…propped up by a drink cup and surrounded by flowers and candles at a random roadway intersection. Hopefully his picture is there alone. Got something to say? Add your Facebook comment regarding this article here.

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