A couple of years back, as I sat at my desk having another existential episode with one of Murilee’s Finds loaded up on my monitor.
Junkyards have been something that have always fascinated me from an archaeological standpoint, even as a young lad. Many are more than just discarded automobiles. Often, you’re looking at the story of somebody’s life frozen in time, a bug in the amber.
I gazed at that mundane ’77 Plymouth, and then tossed out an intentionally absurd, yet profound, comment into cyberspace — sort of an internet version of “Hold my beer, and watch this.” Nobody really noticed, so I subsequently polished my
sickness “craft” until people did.
This satirical drivel became an amusing device for laughs for me, but alas, the sunset has come to my column here.
I wonder how many of the Best and Brightest have been watching, waiting for this column to descend once again upon a subject automobile that has had a truly mystical device bestowed upon it by its creator. I’m talking about the equipment that blew the expression right off your neighbor’s face when showing off your new purchase in the driveway. A true novelty lost to time. Something that probably should be capitalized on currently by automakers in an updated form in this age of “let’s fill this humorless pod full of unusable gadgetry so it doesn’t look like a rolling flip-phone.”
I’m talking, of course, about a little thing called voice warning.
You see kids, something magical happens when that speaker chimes in to apprise you of things you probably already knew about. And while we’re on the subject of cars so equipped, why not focus on something with … soul?
Twenty-fifteen is all done and junk.
We had a lot of change around here, didn’t we? Everywhere that I’ve ever worked in my entire life, somebody has taken me aside and said something to the effect of, “If you don’t like change, this isn’t the place for you.” In fact, there’s so much change in the world nowadays that there are actually people who make six-figure salaries as “Change Management Specialists.” They do things like give you safe spaces to discuss your grief and then send you large bills to fund their vacations.
The only thing that any of us can really count on in 2016 is more change. In order to maintain relevance in this space, TTAC has to continue to evolve. There are people who’d like TTAC to be timewarped back to 2005, to the time when our austere founder and his band of merry men took on the giants of the industry — and won. I’d like to think that spirit still exists here. I, personally, do the very best I can to bring you my unfiltered opinion on this business, and I trust the others who share the responsibility of putting their names below the masthead of TTAC to do the same.
That being said, there is often a difference between The Facts and The Truth.
With the holidays upon us, it seems fitting to share this cornucopia … from minivan hell.
He wasn’t supposed to be there, this wasn’t supposed to happen. Miller wasn’t exactly his home track, hell; it wasn’t even his home state. Crafton and Buscher took each other out, Paludo hit the wall, Blaney didn’t qualify and Wallace Jr. was breathing down his neck for the last 3 laps, but couldn’t get past. The others just weren’t up to the road course. Burton may have taken the win by a half lap, but everyone else followed him past the checker.
He was 2nd. It was big news because he was just a hired gun. A club level road-racer brought in for a back-marker team when their primary driver broke his leg. They needed to finish the race for the contingencies. It was the first time the Camping World Truck Series had run the course, they needed someone and fast. A friend of a friend knew him; skilled and calculating, calm and experienced, he had run over a dozen club events at Miller Motorsports Park, instructed there and even done a motorcycle track day. Naturally there were doubts, but when he qualified 8th, they were silenced. He could drive the truck.
The dream is always the same.
The day is ending. Cool evening breezes riffle across the sun-scorched furze and set dried leaves a-rustling in the trees, their sibilant hiss like the restless fluttering of a thousand small birds. Long and dappled shadows stretch flickering fingers across the hot tarmac of the final corner.
There is a crowd and they are silent, expectant and indistinct: faces like the smudged soft-focus colours of an impressionist oil-painting amongst the flapping flags. Insects hop and buzz in the long grasses; gradually, slowly, their hum is blended, enhanced, and finally supplanted by a rising crescendo.
The pack is coming, and Kaida is leading them. (Read More…)