“Fan”, I believe, is short for “fanatic”. Which is to say that it’s not a compliment. Or, at least, it rarely is, what with extremism in the defense of virtue being no vice and all that. The problem, of course, is that one man’s virtue is another man’s vice.
Well, I’m a fan, in the good and bad sense, of the San Francisco clothing firm known as “Betabrand”. Just not today.
I’m a storyteller. I believe in the power of the story, as I’ve stated at length in the past. The story is all that really matters. Some stories satisfy, some do not.
If you have ten thousand dollars, I have a hell of a story to tell you.
I got an email from a racing supply store today telling me that the Safety Solutions R3 might be discontinued.
My first thought was, “Good”.
The central trope of my life is this: I never really get away with anything. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about my sixth-grade attempt to show off to my kleptomatic Catholic-school friends by stealing a box of candy (chased at high speed through a mall by a psychotic teenager with remarkable sprint speed; dropped candy near the Chess King) or various romantic misadventures afterwards (unexpected text from decorated combat veteran husband who has multiple confirmed kills at 400 yards or something like that). I never get away with it.
So, it comes as no surprise that after I get done telling all of you that a tree is just a symbol, I’m given a chance to put my money, quite a bit of it, where my mouth is.
So. Last week’s Ducati 900 stalled out at a reserve-not-met $3,200. Now, we have another one, and this one has a story.
My occasional guitar teacher, Alex, is finishing up a tour in support of Sevendust with his band, Crash Midnight. This is their lead single. At the age of forty-two, I find it charming when younger guys kind of reach for that classic Gn’R sound. As some of you know, Appetite For Destruction has been very important to me.
And I also think of what John Mayer said a while ago: when you work at sounding like your heroes and don’t quite get there, that’s when you start to sound like yourself.
I don’t know what Tony Stewart was thinking. I don’t have any time behind the wheel of a sprint car so I have no idea how they react under power or off the throttle or when the tires are cold or whatever. All of that is beyond my knowledge and understanding so I have nothing to say about it.
I do, however, want to say this:
I bought the issue of Collectible Automotible that you see about off eBay because I was alerted to the fact that it contained a piece on the 1971-1976 Cadillac full-sizers. Those cars are near and dear to my heart because, as all my MOST DEVOTED fans know, I once drove a ’76 Fleetwood Talisman across the country. (If you’re just getting here, the review of the car itself is here and the story of the trip is on two parts, Carless In Nashville and Fried Chicken At The Crossroads.)
Collectible Automobile is probably the highest-quality auto rag out there. They do the research, the writing is almost always of a consistent, workmanlike quality, and the photography/art is in service of that writing, not the tyrannical master of it. But if you read it nowadays, you’ll sense a growing desperation between the lines — and their problem will eventually affect the rest of us.
What price Hunter S. Thompson?
Busy weekend for me. Sunday morning I arrived at VIR for a failed attempt at a Guiness Book Record that still saw us finish 33rd of the 94 cars despite being the only biodiesel-fueled car on the track. The “Smoke Ewe” Golf was a joy to drive and I managed to move us up the standings a dozen or places during my stint.
Four hours before stepping into the Golf, however, I was playing some music in Charlotte.