Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The auto show gods smile upon me

One of the happiest days of my 2010 occurred when I opened my auto show schedule for the 2011 season. Guess who's NOT going to Detroit, bitches? ME. I could only be more thrilled if I were being sent on a tantric yoga retreat with Mike Rowe.

I freaking HATE the Detroit Auto Show. As in, I would rather dig out my own eyeballs with a rusty spoon and eat them than do the Detroit Auto Show. I don't feel safe for a single second I'm in that city. It's depressing, it's crime-ridden, and frankly the show itself has turned into a joke.

Manufacturers are doing more reveals every year at LA, Chicago and New York because the foreign press hates coming to Detroit - they know they'll get jumped outside of Slow's by some thug with a gun. (True story, happened to some of the show tech guys last year.)

We're running out of hotels to stay at because they aren't safe. One girl fought off a rapist in what was supposed to be a secured hallway in the hotel at the Ren Cen a few years ago. Hotel management refused to up security for us. Last year another girl was drugged in the hotel lounge of our new, supposedly safer hotel and was rescued by her team mates.

I've traveled extensively, and I've been to some damned dangerous places across the world in my lifetime. In only one of those places have I felt my safety was compromised as much as I feel it is in Detroit - and the other was a third world country with one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world.

I hate that half of Cobo Hall literally smells like sh!t because they use manure on the plants in the eco-section. It's a ten day show. You don't have to fertilize the plants. A little water now and then will do just fine.

I hate having to deal with walking through multiple layers of usually smoking union members pissed off at the entirely wrong entity, making my clothes stink and littering the entire show - even the wrong displays - with their propaganda-filled literature. (Newsflash: It isn't the fault of Germany or Japan that  Detroit factories are closing down. I suggest Googling "NAFTA" and "corporate greed.")

I hate that it's in the middle of winter on a freaking river across from Canada, which everyone knows is where Eskimos and polar bears live, and that means it's stupid cold.

And I really hate feeling this way, because some of my most favorite people, including many of my coworkers, are from Michigan - but they hate doing this show, too. Really the only bright spot of the whole show is defying death to sneak down to Greektown. And the bomb-sniffing dogs. They're nice.

So I'll be working my sweet little self through a different show instead. Please show the proper respect to my less fortunate Booth Babes who have to be there. Tonight I'll be sending a little prayer of thanks to the auto show gods, i.e. the lady that creates my season schedule and basically controls my life for almost half the year.


  1. I've been following your blog since just about the beginning.

    I'm from the Detroit area. I'm disappointed. The reason that I'm disappointed is that your negative reaction of the place I call home is rooted in your past experiences that I am unable to dispute. Those things happened and can't be changed.

    I do want to let you know that there are some great people here in this city that are desperately and fervently trying to get this place turned around, but I'm sad to say that it won't happen overnight. It will take a lot of time, and it will take a lot of work.

    I hope you enjoy your little "vacation" away from our city, but I do hope that one day that you will eventually look forward to returning here.

  2. Thanks for your candor and understanding, Greg. I visit the area around Detroit with some frequency and it's so pretty - and that makes what has happened to that city even more sad. I have loved ones who have lost their livelihoods and homes because of the mess the automakers made of Detroit. It's sickening. I don't know a lot about the politics of the city, but it seems there must be something more that could be done to save it. Look at New York - it went from being a war zone in the 70's to a practically gentrified Disneyland. Maybe you need Rudy Giuliani to step in. He'll get it done, just don't ask any questions about how. ; )

  3. Easy on the Canada-bashing. I was in Ottawa last week and, instead of the usual 12 feet of snow, it was a balmy 3 degrees below zero (centigrade) and there was barely any snow.

    The polar bears live far (-ish) to the north and are, as I write this, turning in their heavy coats for something lighter.

  4. I'm going to the Detroit Auto Show for the first time as an automotive "journalist" and I'm not sure what to expect from the show itself.

    I do know Detroit is in a sad shape, and that's not going to change over night. But there ARE people, especially young people, working to change Detroit for the better. There's a lot of work to be done, but after seeing what some people have done, I've given serious consideration to trying to put down some roots in Detroit.

    It's easy to jump on the "Detroit is a dump" bandwagon. It's a lot harder to try and actually fix it.

  5. I am so sad I won't get to see you and enjoy your lovely personality while I am there for media days next week. I will be sure to say hello to all of your sisters-in-arms, though!

  6. I'm a truck driver, I'm there days before you get there with the carpet and displays. Sometimes a car or two in the 53' box. I agree Detroit is a rough place anymore. Try working with the union thugs at the loading docks! I'm like you, I just refuse to go, one because its not a safe place, but there is no freight coming out of Detroit anymore. Come on down to GATS in Dallas in Aug, LOL bigger and better in TX (Great American Truck Show)

  7. I just about spit out my coffee when I saw that you dropped that vid in this post. That's comedy gold.


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