“Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s take our old cars and drive up and down the street!” – An Idiot
“Yeah! We’ll all bring ours too! Let’s do this!” – Thousands of Other Idiots
I wasn’t around when the Woodward Dream Cruise started, but I imagine the conversation to get it started went a lot like that. A lot of people say that if they had a time machine, they’d go back and kill Hitler. I wouldn’t. I would go back, get Hitler, bring him back here, and put him behind the wheel of a car while he’s stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for hours and hours.
Then I’m pretty sure Hitler would kill himself.
For those of you who are mercifully unaware of what the Woodward Dream Cruise is, I’ll enlighten you. It’s an annual celebration of classic hot rods and American muscle cars; a weekend where people from all over the country descend upon a small stretch of highway in southeastern Michigan to rev their engines and waste thousands of gallons of one of the most valuable fuel sources available to mankind. It’s like one big NASCAR event, if there was a NASCAR event that involved cars maxing out at 10 MPH; one where nobody wins, but almost everybody loses.
The Dream Cruise brings a lot of money to the area, and I suppose for that I should be thankful. Except the businesses that tend to receive the money; motels, fast food restaurants, etc.; usually attract society’s lower rung. For instance, one of the motels that rely heavily on the Dream Cruise weekend to stay afloat was the site of a murder last year. But any press is good press, right?
Generally speaking, there are 4 types of people that attend the Woodward Dream Cruise.
- The Back Woods Families.
They love the Dream Cruise because, well, it’s free. These peoples’ idea of entertainment is setting up a lawn chair, downing a few Budweisers, and watching old folks listen to Bruce Springsteen. These are the people who have Dale Earnhardt-themed birthday cakes, even though he died 15 years ago (RIP, Intimidator). The people who have Truck Nutz swinging from their ’89 Dodge Ram. The people who eat regularly at Fuddruckers. They often attend Monster Truck events.
- The Young Guns.
These guys are different. They don’t care about the “Classic” cars, and they could give a shit about you and your family. They drive something like a Ford Probe or Dodge Neon with tinted windows and a super loud muffler, usually blaring an “underground” white rapper (probably their cousin) who uses far too many curse words. They use this weekend to try to forget that they dropped out of high school, and they’ll fight you if you look at their car wrong, or look too educated. They’ll probably be wearing FUBU jerseys and smoking Menthol cigarettes.
- The White Trash.
The classic Dream Cruiser. A cross between Back Woods and Young Gun, these people are here to get drunk and see how many people they can offend at once. Taking a break from their trailers and guns, you’ll usually find male White Trashers with either camo shirts, Oakley Gas Can sunglasses, and sagging jean shorts; many times, all at once. Like the Young Guns, they’re drawn to loud music, and tend to identify with the shittier cars on display. They won’t take off their sunglasses if they’re inside, unless it’s to put them on the back of their head. Females tend to sport lower back tattoos, multiple body piercings, and clothes that show far too much skin for a family event.
- The New Hot Shot.
This is the guy from out of town who heard about “a place to show off your car” and decided to drive up his brand new Corvette. He’s under the impression that women will flock to his ride, and he’s usually wearing far too much cologne. He gets pissed at little kids when they touch his car, and has little to no people skills. In short, he’s a douche, one who’s way out of his element.
The Dream Cruise brings together these societal outsiders and gives them a place to thrive. It also means that for three days, it’s impossible to find a parking spot in front of my own house. My 10 minute drive to work turns into 45. People throw trash on my lawn, fight each other, and occasionally, key my car. Wohoo! Dream Cruise! REV YOUR ENGINE LOUDER, DO IT LOUDER, PEEL OUT, YES YES YES YES!!! CRUISIN’ WOODWARD!!!
The thing is, I honestly don’t have a problem with any of the people I listed above; as long as they don’t make my life a living hell. Live your life how you want, enjoy what you want to enjoy. If you want to spend your free time watching other people in traffic, go ahead. If you want to buy your clinically obese 9 year old multiple elephant ears, you should do that! Do what you want! Just don’t do it so damn close to my house.