Liam Gibler/The Broadside
November has always been a busy month for Frankie Gordon. The looming threat of snow guarantees an exodus of new and old customers; tire changes and chain purchases become the lifeblood of the auto body. Between the long hours and demanding conditions one can almost forget themselves. But not Frankie. Cause Frankie doesn’t have a job at a repair shop. He actually doesn’t have any job at all. November is a busy time of year because that’s what all his friends say when he wants to hang out with them.
It’s not that he likes cars, though he does quite a lot. It’s not even that he likes talking about cars and showing them off. The reason people don’t like Frankie Gordon is because he sucks.
Some people in this world are just unconversable. You say: “hey how’ve you been?” They rattle on and on about catalytic converters. You say “I need support.” They say “funny enough that’s why I bought those new catalytic converters, they really add support to the whole exhaust system.” Then those same folks turn around and wonder where everyone went, because the mirror just isn’t as good at listening.
Now an observant fellow might’ve realized that they were the worst after a while. If not through a process of introspection, then just from hearing people say it so much. An observant fellow might’ve even turned to the scoop or the bottle to ease their loneliness, accumulating more debt then their therapy could ever cost. But Frankie has never been described as observant. And when he has a problem he solves it the old fashioned way; door to door, face to face.
At first, little was known about his ‘expeditions.’ Neighbors had developed a method of anti-stalking to avoid him, so his day to day often went unnoticed. Until inevitably, some poor sap forgot their car keys and caught a glimpse of the bastard. Rookie mistake. After the ensuing five hour conversation, the neighbor left a note anonymously in our newsroom summing up the ordeal. It reads as follows:
“Before explaining to me what he wanted or what was going on, Frankie insisted on giving me a full rundown of his medical history. Apparently the whole thing dates back to his early childhood, and no amount of ‘mhms’ or ‘yeahs’ would keep him from elaborating. He was adamant that he was treated well by family and peers, with normal opportunities for growth and development. He even went so far as to describe a children’s birthday party he allegedly went to. The colors of the cake, the number of the candles; he lost me when he claimed the kid had ninety three, and then out of the blue he drops a diagnosis. He tells me that’s around when he got diagnosed with CSBT.”
Childsplanatory Behavioral Tendencies, or ‘Childsplaining’ in the common vernacular, was a theory first proposed by the late Dr. Herbert Child in the 1990s. After running double blind testing for thirty two weeks, the results were surprisingly conclusive. Regardless of pairing, setting, or group size; children containing the mutated ‘GAB’ codon would incessantly talk about topics they knew little to nothing about. Biologically unable to pick up on social cues or use their listening ears, these kids would continue until dropping from a state of exhaustion. Something Frankie’s family must’ve known all too well.
When left untreated, ‘childsplaining’ can manifest in adulthood, into one of several common strains in the U.S today. Including, but not limited to:
- The Fascist: Designer brand sneaker head
- The Cinematrix: Tarantino apologist
- And the garden variety Autologist: Prius praymaster, Hyundai worshiper
Very little research has gone into the evolution from ‘child to adult splainer’ and what causes the individual’s lifetime obsession, but immunologist Edi Mcentire has set about to change that. Her theory on autological development, from the condition she calls Oil-Nasalsnifferitis, can be found in her new book: Snuffleupagus. Below is an excerpt from chapter one, detailing Dr. Mcentire’s thoughts and processes.
“People have wondered about car guys forever. So long that there are records in ancient Rome of ‘Currum Vulputate’ or ‘chariot guys.’ But wondering is the right word. Speculating might even be a better one. Because until now, there was never any solid idea of why they might exist. Oil-Nasalsnifferitis solves that problem. It directly accounts for the spectrum of car loving that occurs, and is completely re-testable using the scientific method. It sums up like this:
Oil is in cars. People are sometimes also in cars. People who like cars are in cars more often than people who do not like cars. Such people are then exposed to greater levels of oil, which secretes the love hormone oxytocin. Much like taking care of a newborn baby, or being the host for a parasite, car people develop a symbiotic relationship with their vehicles. And at the rate we’re heading, it’s only going to get worse.”
Between CSBT and Oil-Nasalsnifferitis, our anonymous informant certainly had their hands full of Frankie. Context satisfied, let’s continue the dive into their narrative.
“Frank proceeded to go on various tangents, leaving me no room to get a word in. His brother in law Alister, his sister Beverly, mailman James and postmaster Johnny. It would be nearly two hours before I could muster the ferocity to interrupt, (introverted as I am), and say: ‘Forget about the warehouse, what do you want from me right now? Why are you knocking at all these houses, and what could you possibly hope to gain from this?’
There was a pause before he spoke. It was an unnatural, uneasy sort of thing. Like a sudden ebb in the riptide, or a call from a number outside your area code– actually any phone call really. I found myself hoping for the first time that he would say something, anything, and as he finally took a breath to do just that, I regretted the thought immediately.
‘Brother, I have been given a holy quest. A purpose beyond your wildest understanding. It came to me in a vision, as I sat in my oily car, swaddling spare converters like a babe. I saw a world of broken parts, but we were the broken parts, cause it was a metaphor for humanity. And for cars; which sometimes have broken parts. Then I saw a man who ended all the madness. Who united car lovers and car haters alike. An autological Jesus, a Buddha of more reasonable proportions. I saw in my vision the truth. I am that man, child. I am the man, child.
Like the religious pioneers of old I will spread my message. My gospel of John is that of Delorean. My salvation of Henry fords steams in vitam mortem. Enzo Ferrari; forget the whole damn party, Karl Benz; even his name sends shivers through me. To every door I will bring the word of Toyota, Honda, Tesla, and Bugatti. To every heart the joys of Jeep, Kia, and Maserati. And you anonymous stranger, are coming with me.’”
The note cut off there, as if the writer had suddenly been interrupted. Begging the question; if this was in real time, why did the writer use the past tense? And if they had the time to chronicle all that, couldn’t they have better concluded it? Who knows, life’s a disappointment sometimes. Things don’t always turn out the way you expect them to. I thought I’d finish this article two weeks ago. Dr. Child thought he had developed a perfect cure, until an intern dropped it and the formula was lost forever. There’s levels to this shit.