The Speculator

We’re never ever bored when we’re drivin’ in the Ford,
‘Cause we’ve got a Speculator on the dash.
It doesn’t pay the bills or assist you up the hills,
And it isn’t gonna save you if you crash.

But when you pass a dairy now and then,
And find that you are wondering again
What’s that little shack by the barn around the back,
You can turn the Speculator up to ten.

Maybe it’s a shed where the farmer keeps a bed
For the guy who comes to help him with the cows?
Maybe it’s a shop with a grinder and a strop
For the day they hafta sharpen up the plows.

A shanty for the pluckin’ of the duck,
Or where they turn the cattle into chuck,
Or where they find the mule when it’s time to go to school
And the farmer’s havin’ trouble with the truck,

Well there’s nothin’ really like a jalopy on the pike
With the rattle of the window in the door,
With the whining of the wheels and the radio spiels
And the clatter of the clutter on the floor.

Then we hear a chuckle from the hood.
Somethin’ isn’t workin’ like it should.
We may have to walk, but, judgin’ from the talk,
The Speculator’s workin’ pretty good.

Maybe it’s the link from the pedal on the blink
Comin’ off enough to wiggle and to clunk.
Maybe it’s the choke, Or the heating coil broke,
Or there’s someone entertaining in the trunk.

Maybe it’s a carburetor fire
Burning insulation off a wire
I think a chunk o’ rust could ‘a’ twisted in a gust
And be rubbin’ on the rubber of the tire.

When you’re driving on the plains in the Colorado rains
Or you’re drivin’ to Bemidji in the snow,
When you’re headed north from Chicago on the Fourth
And a Winnebago’s holdin’ up the show,

Conversation God-almighty dull,
Absolutely nothin’ in the skull,
You can drive to the equator if you have a Speculator
And you flip it on whenever there’s a lull.

‘Zat a chip o’ wood in the middle of the hood,
Or a chicken enchilada for an elf?
Maybe it’s a gob from the chin of Uncle Bob
Who is not a man to keep it to himself.

Maybe it’s a serviette for birds,
A glossary of itty-bitty words.
Maybe it’s a tuffet where a hurried little muffet
Lost her whey when she was leavin’ with the curds.

When you’re nearly hit by a yuppie little twit
With his godforsaken noggin on the phone,
Swervin’ in your lane goin’ ninety in the rain,
In a cloud of Amaretto and cologne,

You feel the anger in you go to work.
Maybe now’s the time to go berserk.
Before you pop a vessel, let the Speculator wrestle
With another way of lookin’ at the jerk.

Maybe he’s a shrink with a patient on the brink
And he’s rushing there while tryin’ to talk him down.
Maybe he’s aware there’s a toxin in the air
And he’s off to warn the people of the town.

Someone in the family could be sick.
His daughter hit his mother with a brick.
His dog has got the rabies or his wife is having babies,
Though the odds are in your favour he’s a prick.

© 1992 Lou & Peter Berryman, SESAC