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Vocabulary of the day, courtesy Bob - A Shout Out to My Pepys [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The American Caliban

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Vocabulary of the day, courtesy Bob [Nov. 6th, 2009|05:30 pm]
The American Caliban
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Whiskey Car (n). A car which has been operated by a heavy drinker for some time. A particular damage pattern identifies a Whiskey Car. There will be parking lot dents, small ones with a bit of paint from another car or a pole. A distinctive pattern of impacts will be seen on the top of the fenders or bumpers due to angry car-whacking, for example with a pool cue or a hand tool. The inside of the car will smell vaguely bad, similar to the tobacco and old alcohol aroma of its owner at the end of the evening. Any keyhole will be scratched from impaired attempts to get the key in.

The whiskey car is immediately identifiable by observant people who've spent time in bars.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: springheel_jack
2009-11-07 01:42 am (UTC)
Cool. That is just like Sherlock Holmes' drunkard's watch:
I began by stating that your brother was careless. When you observe the lower part of that watch-case you notice that it is not only dented in two places but it is cut and marked all over from the habit of keeping other hard objects, such as coins or keys, in the same pocket. Surely it is no great feat to assume that a man who treats a fifty-guinea watch so cavalierly must be a careless man. Neither is it a very far-fetched inference that a man who inherits one article of such value is pretty well provided for in other respects."

I nodded to show that I followed his reasoning.

"It is very customary for pawnbrokers in England, when they take a watch, to scratch the numbers of the ticket with a pin-point upon the inside of the case. It is more handy than a label as there is no risk of the number being lost or transposed. There are no less than four such numbers visible to my lens on the inside of this case. Inference--that your brother was often at low water.

Secondary inference--that he had occasional bursts of prosperity, or he could not have redeemed the pledge. Finally, I ask you to look at the inner plate, which contains the keyhole. Look at the thousands of scratches all round the hole--marks where the key has slipped. What sober man's key could have scored those grooves? But you will never see a drunkard's watch without them. He winds it at night, and he leaves these traces of his unsteady hand. Where is the mystery in all this?"
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2009-11-07 02:02 am (UTC)
Yes! That was my reaction exactly to the bit about the key. I love that bit of Holmes.
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[User Picture]From: kasheri
2009-11-09 05:47 pm (UTC)
My father in law had a whiskey car. It was scraped all down the sides, where you could see that he'd driven home via braille. Chilling.
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