Maggie
questions He heard an approaching engine, turned around—walking backward now—and stuck out his thumb. What he saw was a lovely combination: a dirty old Ford pickemup with a fresh young blonde behind the wheel. Ash blonde, his favorite blonde of all. Barbie offered his most engaging smile. The girl driving the pickemup responded with one of her own, and oh my Lord if she was a ticktock over nineteen, he’d eat his last paycheck from Sweetbriar Rose. Too young for a gentleman of thirty summers, no doubt, but perfectly street-legal, as they’d said back in the days of his cornfed Iowa youth. Question 1: What's the meaning of 'street-legal' here? Question 2: What does 'street-legal' refer to? ( I mean, what is street-legal here? ) Question 3: What's the meaning of 'he’d eat his last paycheck'?
Nov 14, 2017 11:18 PM
Answers · 5
1/2) "Street-legal" is used to refer to cars that you can legally drive on public roads, which typically have to meet certain speed, safety, and emissions requirements. However, the man obviously isn't calling the Blonde a car. Instead, he means that it is legal for him to sleep with her, even though he is 30 and she only 19. In America, you typically have to be 18 or older to sleep with someone else older than 18 (i.e: a 17 year old can't sleep with a 25 year old, but an 18 year old can sleep with anyone from ~18 - 100) 3) This is a play on the phrase "If X, then I'd eat my hat". It is typically used to express that you're super confident X is true (i.e: If this car doesn't cost $100,000, then I'd eat my hat!" or "If that man is any older than 20 years old, I'd eat my hat!". In these two cases, the speaker wants to stress how sure he is that the car is expensive or the man young.). The speaker substitute "eat his last paycheck" for eat his hat but it means the same thing. In this case, it is like saying "I bet my last pay check that she is only just 19 years old". Hope this helps!
November 15, 2017
Hello, interesting text! But let me also say that this isn't the easiest source of English in my opinion. 2. The fact that he is 30 and she is 19 makes her young for him. But it is legal. Or "street legal" as they used to say in Iowa, where the man is from. It is an expression that they used. 3. People usually say "I'll eat my hat if..." It's usually said when something is highly improbable. If this girl was even a minute over 19 years old, he'd eat his paycheck in disbelief. He's so sure that she's just 19 that he'd be ready to eat his paycheck made out of paper if she wasn't. I'm guessing that Sweetbriar is a shop where the hitchhiker used to work. (If this isn't the right interpretation I'd be happy to hear another one)
November 15, 2017
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