Monday, April 19, 2010

How-To Guide: The Offending People Edition

Ferrari 250 GTO

Because I love you, dear readers, I want to help you avoid the pitfalls into which I regularly fall. One of the most serious issues I have on a somewhat regular basis is, well...

opening my big FAT mouth.


Let me just give you a for instance, okay?

On Saturday, we went to Reston, Virginia for the Mid-Atlantic Ferrari Club's Annual Spring Thaw. That link is actually for last year's event, which we also attended - because my family are not just car-crazy, but specifically Ferrari-car-crazy.

Anyway - we're wandering around, looking at the cars, listening to the boys rattle off what specific model of Ferrari we see, and whether or not they have one (or more) in their Hot Wheels Ferrari collection. I'm always amazed that they can retain that information - down to what COLOR Hot Wheel they may have in each model...

...but math facts? ppffft.

But, I digress.

I have been known to have an opinion, on occasion. I've been known to express said opinion out loud, unthinkingly, because I've been known to lack a filter between my brain and my mouth. Smart ass comments rise up from my cerebral cortex, travel around my head and jump out of my ginormous mouth before I even realize they were released from the gray matter.

At least one of my sons has inherited this amazing ability. Please forgive me, future wife of Joshua.

So. We're walking down the row of Ferraris, when I spy this one...

Ferrari 330 2+2

It's a 1964 Ferrari 330 2+2, the only year they actually manufactured this particular model with the quad headlights.

Thank goodness.

My father-in-law used to have a Ferrari 330 GTC, which was a gorgeous car and looked like this one:

Ferrari 330 GTC

only, in Ferrari red.

Much better...

As we sauntered past the 2+2, I said that it looked like a Buick. (No offense intended to Buick owners -but really...can you get any farther from a Ferrari?)

No sooner had the words flown out of my gaping maw than a very polite, sweetly British-accented voice said, "Excuse me?"

I turned, face flushing red and quickly said, "Oh, nothing!" I flashed a smile and started tugging on Dr. SmartyPants' arm. He was of no help at all - giggling like a school girl.

"Did you just say that this car looks like a Buick?"

Head hanging..."Yes. Yes I did. And it does. It looks like a Buick with those silly quad headlights. I'm sorry. It just does."

He walks over and proceeds to inform me how exceedingly rare the car is, how it was designed specifically for the American market, etc., etc., etc... He also explains that he still owns the magazine (that came out when he was 19 years old) that debuted the car to the public.

Because he is, of course, the owner of the Buick Ferrari. The owner THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN WALKING AROUND LOOKING AT THE BEAUTIFUL FERRARIS LIKE A NORMAL PERSON. But was instead standing around his own car, listening to disparaging comments by uncouth Americans like me.

He called his lovely wife over and explained to her what I thought of his precious automobile and they stood and talked to us for a while in their lovely British accents while I stumbled and stuttered and tried to make it all better and then just decided to tell them I respected their opinion, but my own was vastly different.

I tried to make it better by explaining that there were other cars that I didn't like at the show, too. Like the Dino 308.

They agreed. They said they didn't like the Testarossa. They were incredibly nice and genteel and I could have listened to their accents all day long, even if they were haranguing me for my deplorable lack of taste.

Wow. This is really getting long. I'm sorry. Not only do I blurt out inappropriate comments, but I ramble on and on about ridiculous things.

Wrapping up - IF you are going to say rude things about someone's car, PLEASE make sure the car belongs to a sweet British couple who will ridicule you while at the same time make you feel all spiffy and important because they are talking to you.  (Why yes, I am a bit of an anglophile, why do you ask?)

Just make sure you don't go to a pickup truck show and claim that someone's jacked up 1957 Chevrolet 1/2 ton reminds you of a Volga on stilts, because I don't think Bubba will take it quite so well.