Spotter’s Guide To The October 2016 Road&Track


I’ve been out of down doing R&T’s Performance Car Of The Year testing since Monday night — but while I was there somebody handed me the current issue so I could be all self-critical and stuff.

Read about the V-8 engine and its emotional significance on page 62. Then flick to the back of the book and check out page 94, where I discuss a time that I had a woman in the right seat of my Porsche and she wound up screaming and curling up… for all the wrong reasons.

Squid Waits For The UPS Truck


There are times I think back to 1991 and just marvel at the relationship that Jill, my editor at Bicycles Today and I had. I can’t imagine any of my current outlets being willing to publish this kind of thing. To begin with, it’s fiction. And it’s depressing, quasi-modern fiction. And it makes terrible demands of comprehension on its audience… and yet a lot of people seemed to read and enjoy it…

To set the stage — this is a ‘Squid story’. This is the second Squid story; I’ve already published the first one and the third one. There were five Squid stories in all, written by me between the ages of nineteen and twenty-one, the last one being an R-rated novella published in the “Some Prefer Nettles” ‘zine. Anyway, this is set in the year 1987, and regards Squid’s struggles with self-doubt and the UPS schedule – JB

Somewhere, down the street, the muted but insistent basso rumble of what surely must be the UPS truck touches Squid’s ears and brings him up, swimming, from the reverie in which he has been engaged, depositing him none too gently on the blue couch of his family’s living room. Within half a second, Squid’s tentacles are up and weaving gently as he scrambles out of his couch to the window. The nature of his subdivision is such that every truck, heavy machinery being so unfamiliar to the groomed lawns and hopeful starter homes set back upon them, makes a distinct impression on the sonic fabric, and Squid’s ears are better than most, probably as a compensation for his inability to see anything past his nose without contact lenses.

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Spotter’s Guide To The September Issue of Road&Track


“Well, of course you have to lift for that in the R8.” That was what I was told by a very experienced, well-respected driver whose racing resume absolutely dwarfs mine. And I think that any experienced, well-respected auto racer would have agreed.

The problem is that I’m actually a BMX racer who just happens to be racing cars because his knees make audible grinding sounds when he walks. So of course I didn’t lift, and of course the R8 landed sideways at one hundred and twenty-four miles per hour, and of course I want you to read the magazine and see what happened next…

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Let’s Insta-Do This


I’m probably the last person to get on Instagram with my own account. For a few years now, I’ve shared the account @itsjackandjill with my friend Jill Moorhead, but I’ve decided to start one of my own so I can follow all of those, ah, yoga athletes and whatnot.

Some jock-sniffer registered “jackbaruth” a long time ago, so I’m doing what the F1 drivers do and Insta-sharing as JackBaruthOfficial. It’s, like, totally official. Check it out at your own peril.

Spotter’s Guide To The August 2016 Road&Track


For the second month in a row, I have the cover story at R&T. When I consider the fact that I began reading this magazine a full thirty-nine years ago, it’s almost too humbling and upsetting to consider. I hope that I’m giving the five-year-old (and the fifty-five-year-old) car nuts of 2016 something they’ll enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed sitting in my local library and devouring the 1977 issues.

The Ferrari/Miata article isn’t all I have in this issue, however. There’s a truncated-for-print version of my autocross vs. trackday article that appeared on the Web back in May.

If you’re in an airport and you have six bucks burning a hole in your pocket, now’s the time to buy Road&Track, if only for the outstanding photos of Max Prince. What a handsome devil. But not to worry, you discerning ladies who prefer your men with a little more wear and tear on ’em; check out who’s standing in front of the Guggenheim with the Spider in the two-page center spread!

Spotter’s Guide To The June 2016 Road&Track


I’d like to tell you that I had something to do with the Ford GT on this month’s cover, but my contribution to the issue falls into the “agony of defeat” column, not the “thrill of victory” one: Turn to page 104 to read all about helmets and why you should spend real money on a decent on when you hit the track. There are a few neat photos in there as well!

I Met A Traveller From An Antique Land


About an hour ago, while I was playing my lunch gig, a friend of mine emailed me: ” I never knew two poets wrote identical poems in a friendly competition.” The poems, and the competition to which he refers, were inspired by a passage in a Greek history book. The better-known of the two is Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias”, but the competing poem, written by Horace Smith and given the same name, is also not without merit.

With a lazy afternoon ahead of me, I thought I’d give the competition a long-past-due third entry.

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