Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Cannonball White stands tall and happy before striding into his auto interior repair shop. Any resemblance to Charlie Daniels is purely coincidental, but he likes it.

Cannonball's on his way to show me he has exactly the right leather to fix the aging, cracked and split driver's seat of my '99 Ford Explorer which has 235,000 miles on it. The seat does too.

I tell him my children and several friends think I should consider getting a new car, but that... I'm. Just. Not. Ready.

"It's not about the money, Cannonball," I tell him, "it's cause I have the finest car in America for me, and why toss it if it ain't broken? And anyway, Cannonball, I've looked and the pansy auto makers no longer make SUVs with a standard transmission, which is a heinous travesty, in my opinion."

"Hells bells, honey," he assures me, "your car's just a teenager. A little upholstery, a new rubber mat on the floor near the accelerator will fix you right up, good as new. And while we're at it, let's build up this squashed down seat and give you a little better back support."

I like this man. He understands me. He "gets" me and my car. I joke that I've had better luck taking care of cars than a husband (except for the Peugeot diesel I blew up in 1980 when I forgot to put oil in it). He laughs uproariously.

A good ole southern boy, Cannonball is rather impressed that a former southern belle like me drives a standard transmission. I assure him that's why the car, and I, have held up fairly well over the years, thank you.

Cannonball owns and operates his own business, Cannonball's Covers, an interior upholstering and "decorating" shop in Nashville, Tennessee for cars and boats and anything else that comes with big motors and needs to be driven by restless, mobile modern man/womankind. He's a big man who has clearly found his place in the world and enjoys what he does immensely. And he knows how to deal with the likes of me.

Cannonball works on boat and car tops, auto upholstery, boat upholstery, boat covers, convertible tops, van conversions, auto and boat detailing, carpet, dash, and door panels , antique restorations, custom interiors and "headliners." (Whatever those are.)

I brought him just a "lil' job"-- a seat that needs a face lift, so to speak. But I'm tough about it. I tell him I don't want to leave the car more than one work day, and that's final.

Cannonball sees that I want out-patient surgery rather than a hospital visit. He agrees he can do the job in one day, once he orders the leather and as long as I get there by 7 in the morning. Piece of cake, I tell him. It's a done deal.

The "Day of Restoration" arrives, the driver's seat and floor undergoes its aforementioned transformation at the day spa for run-down interiors. A friend takes me to pick up my car.

"Go over there and sit in your car," Cannonball instructs me.

I do as I'm told. I feel like Cinderella suddenly sitting in a Lexus. I actually sit up high enough on the newly built seat so that--for the very first time in recorded history---I don't need to sit on an additional pillow to be up high enough. I am thrilled, really thrilled.

"Can you hear that sound?" Cannonball asks me.

"What sound? "

"Can't you hear that sound?"

"What sound, Cannonball?"

"That sound when you sit on your new built seat," then he begins to laugh.


"It's the sound of your butt giggling!"

I am momentarily speechless.

I have to admit, I've never heard of such a butt giggling?

Clearly, a Cannonball original. I realize I've been Cannonballized.

One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, can anything good come from a place named Cannonball's?

All I can say is, if any interior chassis that holds a motor you own, operate or have a long term love relationship with needs a little spiffing up, then walk, crawl or run to Cannonball's and let him put you back in business at his hospital/day spa for tired interiors.

And when you do, tell him Webutante sent you.

Wouldn't it be worth it just to hear the sound of your, er, butt giggling?

You've heard of kicking butt. Now there's giggling butt, thanks to my new best friend Cannonball White.

Thanks, Cannonball, from the bottom of uplifted seat cushion.

Above, Cannonball White in front of his shop.

Below, a Lexus-like seat in a Ford Explorer's body. A two-inch higher seat that helps me relate to my steering wheel better and lumbar support at mid-back, made and positioned just for my back. Priceless.


Gaude said...

"Is that tuck-n-roll upholstery? 'Cause I just loooove tuck-n-roll upholstery"
- American Graffiti

Jungle Mom said...

WOW! Looks great! we are selling our 95 Blazer and it feels like losing a child!!

Webutante said...

Yeah, it's amazing how attached you can get to a good old car. I finally broke down and got my first built-in CD player for it recently that says "Hello" and "See You" when I turn it off and on. It's like a R2D2 or something like that....very cute. And now with my new seat, I'm even more attached...

Tom Blogical said...

Cool post. I saw your name over at Jungle Mom's and had to take a look at your blog. Fantastic blog name!

Pam said...

Such a cute post! NO, my butt didn't giggle, but I giggled! I wish I could write like you. I feel as if I know Cannonball!

MizzE said...

What a fine, funny tail you can tell, Miss Southern Belle!

Loved your notion about having better luck taking care of cars than a husband. I can really relate to that. Gobsmacked again by sync-o.o-nicity.

I ask very little of a car, but a lot more of a husband; maybe I should make some adjustments?

My car expectations:

1.) Trustworthy
2.) Fixability, by non-union types, preferably by a Mexican*
3.) Leather seats, cause they facilitate easy butt sliiiiiidin'
4.) Air conditioning must work, cause I can get steamed up

* Lance Armstrong had a team of at least 20 folks who accompanied him on the Tour de France. To name a few - French chef, Swede masseuse and a Mexican mechanic. I've driven a Ford built Volvo throughout Mexico and their mechanics have saved my butt on more than one occ*ass*ion. That car is now 12 years old. The odometer stopped working when it hit 102,000 miles four years ago. I'm not near ready to give up on her.

Webutante said...

Great comment, MizzE. We need to dicuss the value of primary relationships with men verses cars further. I do think a woman needs to know how to groove with a car long-term as at least a training ground for a future relationship with a guy.

Know what I mean, jellybean?

MizzE said...

I do think a woman needs to know how to groove with a car long-term as at least a training ground for a future relationship with a guy.

I know what you mean jellybean.

After driving away from two wrecked marriages, all I can say is you need TO BE your own car and it needs to be in working order.

In other words, primary to having a relationship with a man you need to:

1.) Trust yourself.
2.) Fix yourself.
3.) File your own rough edges so there's less friction with whatever you come into contact with.
4.) Cool yourself down when you get heated up about stuff you have no control over.

All I need to know about relationships I learned from my Car. I use to wrestle with my driver, God, but now that I've turned my life over to The Driver, gotta say I like being chauffered.

Needless to say, the art of knowing how to fill your own tank, how to attractively display underwear on your chassis and how to share a killer Mint Julip don't hurt.

Webutante said...

Very damn funny and true. We need to continue this conversation into the future, but for now let me say, I think there's a book in there somewhere: MizzE and Webutante on "All I needed to know about men, I learned from a long term, committed relationship with my car.

I rather like the sound, don't you. Oh, I wouldn't know how to fix a mint julep if it hit me in the face, but I can pour a wicked glass of Teo Pepe and red wine.

Isn't it disgraceful?!

Jungle Mom said...

Aww. Girls, some guys are great!!
Sorry you both had rough times with guys. LOL!
My very single 41 year old brother always says,
" It's better to want something you don't have, than to have something you don't want."

Did I mention he is single????

Webutante said...

Rita, Let me clarify that I am having fun with this car thing, but by no means think that there are not a lot of decent, good men out there. There certainly are, and I happen to know a good number of them. I married when I was 19 and was far from mature enough to choose as I would today. And he is a decent man too.

Sorry if I gave that impression. I actually love being single again though I still think that marriage is the highest calling, the ultimate in a relationship between a man and a woman. And I would do it again, if I felt God was calling me to. It would be hard for me to though. Most men want a woman to be in the same state with them all the time and my life has been a bit more periphetic these last years. But I have loved it that way. But in the end, you have to best of all worlds and are blessed because of it.

Jungle Mom said...

Webutante: No, I knew it was all in fun. But I do wish everyone could have as much fun in their marriage as I have had!
I was just teasing a little!!;)

Pam said...

Well I must say I'm glad I came back and read the comments! How entertaining! LOL