The Cadillac Clock Hustler.

The grown-ups were in the front seat smoking a small clump of dirt in tin foil.  I rolled my eyes and went back to my Barbies.  I figured they’d finally lost their minds and we’d be eating curtains for dinner.  Then the cloud of smoke made its way to the back seat and I started feeling uncharacteristically tolerant.  This is totally typical when the dirt is actually hash.

Before you go judging, they weren’t passing it to me – I was only 10 and there were rules in our family.  We  had to be 12.  I’m joking.  Kids were never allowed to do drugs because we needed to be lucid to roll joints and operate the stereo for the adults.  Two very useful party tricks.  We could also open beers and safely use lighters.  It was basically an apprenticeship for drug-pushing bar tending DJs.

The smoke in our Cadillac cast a mystical spell over the adults.  It resulted in a legendary battle of wits that began when the dashboard digital clock struck 4:44pm.  The driver, who I’ll call Captain Dickhead because it’s shorter than sea-faring drug-smuggling asshole, called out the time with an air of victory and purpose.  He declared himself the clock champion and a genius of sorts for having spotted this remarkable sequence of numbers before anyone else in the car took notice.  He sort of bellowed it – the way you’d expect a town crier to proclaim something of vital importance to a community during a time of war, or famine.  Let’s note here he was the only person in the car aware that such a competition was under way.

Random outbursts like these were so commonplace I folded myself right into the crazy without blinking.  I formally put him on notice that I would be the reigning clock champion of 5:55pm.  The challenge was loudly accepted and the clock watching commenced.

A full minute later the lady passenger slowly articulated that she would be the winner first. Here’s why I wasn’t concerned about her late entry:  I wasn’t the one holding burning tin foil up to my face while plotting against the current titleholder.

I became the undisputable champion of 5:55pm.  This caused Princess Stonerpants to clamor and recommit herself to the cause.  She WOULD BE the champion of 6:66pm.

Captain Dickhead and I stared at her blankly.  This naturally occurs when someone says something incredibly stupid with their mouth and you can’t tell if they’re kidding.  It’s a subconscious pause to give them a chance to revise or retract their statement so you can stay in the relationship.  It’s a courtesy really, as well as an obvious demonstration of your commitment.

When it became clear the lady passenger actually believed the clock would strike 6:66pm, and that she would be the first to witness it, we laughed until we almost peed our pants.  This amplified her determination considerably.  She glared at both of us, and then the following words came out of her very serious face:   I’ll bet you $100.

Captain Dickhead stopped laughing and asked if she was sure that bet was a good idea.  Her glare hardened.  Wounded by his lack of faith in her time-telling abilities, she told him he better take the bet before she doubled or tripled it.

He accepted her wager, and I quietly judged him for leaving $200 on the table.

From 6:55pm to 6:59pm the great clock challenger bragged about how she was going to spend her $100.  She barely paused long enough to take breaths.  I wedged myself between the two front seats DYING to watch her feeble notions of time unravel.

The clock flashed 7:00pm.  Her proud and expectant expression morphed into one of concern, then confusion, and finally horror.  Captain Dickhead collapsed into grade school knee-slapping hysteria.  “You owe me $100 – hand it over!”  The UNchampion berated herself for being so dumb and sank into her seat wilted by defeat.

A solemn hush fell over her but I knew the show wasn’t over.

Two miles later she turned to Captain Dickhead and self-righteously announced, “we never shook on it.”


  1. The classic we never shook on it! That welshing bitch!

    I loved this post, Molly. I felt like I was in the backseat with you. Add Busch Beer to this ride and I’d have been reliving an old memory of my own! Lol.

    • I know right? Horrible. But funny. Thanks for always chiming in Don. You’re the best! And Busch beer? Ew. Took me right back to tailgating at USC. And peeing outside when I shouldn’t have been. Sigh.

  2. “It was basically an apprenticeship for drug-pushing bar tending DJs.” It’s good to know you have something to fall back on if all this using your brain to make a living malarkey doesn’t work out. I have to admit that hash always made me uncharacteristically tolerant as well. That alone was enough reason to stop doing it. You always make me laugh woman.

    • That apprenticeship inspired me to get a real B.S. degree (pun not intended but so applicable) in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration. Which is why I work in finance now. No, thanks…I’ve never seen hash in my adult life and I’m glad. It makes you believe 6:66pm exists.

  3. This is why I follow you. HILARIOUS. I’m doing the grade school knee-slapping thing as we speak. Or rather type, I suppose.

  4. You had me roped in by the second sentence. I could definitely see 10 year old Molly in the backseat of that car.

    This line: “Random outbursts like these were so commonplace I folded myself right into the crazy without blinking.” – Perfection.

  5. Please tell me the car was parked. It wasn’t, was it? It was in motion. That’s worse than texting behind the wheel, and that’s saying something. Stoners are a combination of wild entertainment and pathetic cluelessness. Hash tastes funny.

    • Hahaha – it was totally in motion, of course. And you’re so right about stoners. Oy vey. I’m so glad I’m not one!

      • I *was* one and I look back on those years, not with fondness, but with deep regret. All the wasted time. I had no ambition to do anything at all. I often wonder what I could have become if I hadn’t spent several years anesthetized by weed. What might have I accomplished? *sigh*

  6. Well that story totally smoked my toke.

  7. Your storytelling gets better and better. THis is a true gem.

  8. You should have tried to get her to double it for 7:77.

  9. Was she a blonde? (I’m allowed to ask, because I am) Oh dear…

  10. Hahaha! The best part is that even at 10 you knew to “quietly judge him for leaving $200 on the table.” You and the Barbies definitely gave him a serious side-eyed look.

    • I mean, right? Not bright, which may explain why his dumb ass went to jail shortly thereafter haha. I shouldn’t laugh at that. Except I can’t help myself.

  11. Dang, that is a crazy story– I like how you made the clock and the daft woman the subject when in reality we should all be going OH MY GOD WHY IS THERE A CHILD IN THE CAR WHY. Great writing 🙂

    • What are you talking about – my mother wasn’t daft : ) Thanks Aussa – coolest name ever. And love love love your blog! Thanks for chiming in – great to see your name pop up.

  12. Ah! I’m sorry, I don’t think I realized SHE was your Mom. No hatin’ on people’s Moms…

  13. OMG! You either laugh or you cry 😉

  14. Your writing is amazing 🙂 glad I found your blog

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