It happens every year about this time. I’m driving with the top down and all of a sudden, I’m hit with a rush of cool, damp air. This time it was as we were passing through some swampland, so it was especially intense. Imagine how it feels a lot like when you wade through a cold spot in the ocean only in a car driving through a dense forest.
To many, it would signal the end of summer and the onset of fall, but to me, it means North Carolina is finally a convertible-friendly state, if only for a few weeks.
Between humid summers that leave sweaty messes on my white leather seats and biting cold winters when I blast the heat to fulfill my need to ride topless, early spring and late fall provides the only median temperature that makes it even remotely sane to own a convertible. Think of how Dwight said it was silly for Michael Scott to drive a convertible Sebring in Pennsylvania. Some climates just don’t allow for a lot of top-down cruises.
But the coming of fall also reminds me of how many convertible chances I have let slip away. An entire summer is gone with only a handful of convertible beach trips to show for it. I haven’t even made my annual pilgrimage to Camden Yards yet and the Orioles’ October hopes were dashed in June. (This has been rectified).
And so begins my convertible bliss blitz. Top down on the way to school. Top down on the way to the grocery store. Top down anytime I have a chance because driving, to me, is a hobby.
I know how it looks when a guy is riding alone in a convertible, trust me. You can’t ride solo with your entire profile on display and not look like a douchebag unless you’re a girl. Even with flowing blonde locks whipping in the wind, it only fools drivers for a moment, if that. The girls all snub you. The guys all look like they want to run you over. There was one time when an older Latin woman blew a kiss at me in Kinston, but that doesn’t happen often.
What I’m saying is that it’s hard to be comfortable driving with the top down when I’m alone, though I do it a lot. I know I’m a punk and I know I look like a douchebag, but feeling the wind is worth 400 miles of scowls, so I just put up with it.
But now that it’s convertible season again, there’s no amount of discouraging words, faces or angry truck drivers to make me join the ranks of the coupes.
If you haven’t ridden in a convertible before, trust me it’s not as awesome as I’m making it out to be, but it’s still something you need to try. Ask nicely. Convertible owners like to show off the fact that if they flip their car the only thing protecting their brain is a skull and some canvas, so take advantage.
And if you’re in my area, just flag me down when I pass you.