This is the continuation of Father Figures and Ford Mustangs Part 1
The speedometer only went to 85 in those days, and it had been pegged since before the last gear change. Andrew's eyes were fixed firmly on the road, while Kelly and Angie vied for rearview mirror territorial supremacy. Mike nervously glanced from the girls, to the road, to the speedometer, and around again, while his palms filled with sweat that he wiped against the gelled sides of his hair. EAGLE 97 had been playing horrible music all night, and when Mister Mister's Kyrie made its third pass for the evening, Andrew reached his right hand from the wheel, and without so much as a peek at the dash, he quickly pushed the milky gray cassette tape into the deck.
As if it had been pre-cued, the first few notes of George Michael's Father Figure began to pop and hiss as it pushed loudly from the factory sound system. In 1988 anyone who was anyone had a "system". An Alpine head unit, class A amps, Kicker subs, and the ability to rattle windows in a windowless high school, were all prerequisites for having one's car considered "dope." Andrew's Mustang had no aftermarket audio equipment. Unbeknownst to the student body, the car was a lease, and no meddling with factory installed components was allowed.
Had the car belonged to anyone else at the school, they would likely have been labeled a "poser"; however, no one would have had the sack to apply that label to Andrew. While not particularly gifted athletically, he played every sport. A pretty boy in the eyes of even the most cynical and jilted teenagers, he won Homecoming King by a record margin. In a redneck town, where the sale of alcohol was divided along religious boundaries, and the property taxes along racial ones, his popularity knew no borders. The night Mike Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks quicker than boy's first orgasm, every manner of race, creed, and political faction was watching at Andrew's place.
He had the world on his plate, yet Mike always thought Andrew seemed sad underneath his polished exterior. Until this moment at least. As the intro began to Father Figure, Andrew once again moved his right hand from the steering wheel to the dash, where he quickly spun the volume knob up to its max. George Michael's first words were met with an atonal uprising from 3 directions. Andrew and the two girls began belting out the tune as if they had staged the curtain to go up at precisely 125 MPH. Mike was immediately appalled by the dissonant lack of harmony, and then became downright frightened when Andrew removed both hands from the wheel and began to plead with the rushing air, pulling both fists in tight as he wailed to the muggy night air.
"That's all I wanted, just to seeee my baaaaaaby's blue-eyed shine (all making sounds trying to imitate the orchestration...and failing) This time i think that my lover Understands me (all: UNDERSTANDS ME (yelling) If we have faith in each other Then we can be Strong.......
At this point, Andrew turns the actual song down so that he and the girls can hear themselves singing more clearly. They all take in mighty breaths of hot 100 MPH wind, and begin belting out the chorus, while stunned bovine and night owls sought shelter.
"I will be your Father Figure, put your tiny hand in mine, I will be your preacher teacher, anything you had in mind" Then Andrew goes off script and cuts to the end... no hands on the wheel, eyes closed, knees guiding the path. "I will be YOUR...YOUR Teacher....and I'll be your Daddy" suddenly, his hips swayed right and the Mustang veered violently towards the ditch!
Mike, without hesitation, ripped his hands from his wind-blasted coiffure and grabbed for the wheel. His head met a lunging Angie's as they both attempted to steer a new course for these rock n' roll refugees. Andrew calmly came to from his bacchanal, applied the brakes deftly, and just as the right front wheel reached the edge of the pavement, he steered the black Mustang back onto the asphalt.
Kelly spoke up and said, " I need to pee" as Angie and Mike reeled from their collision. Unconsciously, Mike went back to pushing against his slick-downed sideburns. They were less than a mile from town after the near-accident. They eased their way back along Betchnik road pulled into the local convenience store chain, "My Brother's Place" on the outskirts of town.
"I thought we were going to crash Mike exclaimed." "I didn't" said Andrew, with a wry smile and a quick glance in the rearview at the two beautiful girls climbing out to visit the restroom.
"Oh yeah, why is that?" Mike asked indignantly, with far more confidence than this group would typically allow him.
Without a word, Andrew reached down, and with one hand pushed the eject button on the tape player. He caught the projectile with the same hand in a move he must have made a thousand times, and in the same motion, flicked the cassette onto Mike's lap, and said "because we had FAITH son....because we had FAY-THU- FAY-THU Faith!"