Saturday, May 29, 2010

A narcissist's manifesto

I'm often accused here of being completely self-involved, vain, shallow and full of myself. (I am never accused of this offline, by the way. Not to my face, at least.) I have wondered more than once - pretty much every day, actually - if I would be accused of the same sins were I a male product specialist writing the exact same observations, replacing the male pervs with female.

I don't think I would. In fact, I think the male readers who currently bemoan my attitude would be sending me internet high-fives.

Justine Musk (soon-to-be ex-wife of Tesla head Elon Musk) offered the following observation on her own blog, Moschus:

"The attitude seems to be that personal, confessional blogging ('female' blogging) is narcissistic, and authority blogging ('male' blogging) is not.

Personal blogging takes the blogger's own life and turns it into narrative. Stories.

Authority blogging establishes the blogger as an 'authority' in some particular niche, and relates information that (theoretically) solves a problem the reader might have or teaches something that the reader wants to know. An authority blogger usually has a product or service to sell you."

The designation of 'female' blogging and 'male' blogging is more one of attitude than actual gender.

This blog has always been meant to be both confessional and authoritative. I'm writing my personal experiences from the standpoint of an expert in the field - someone who has never done my job could never write about it, just as I could never pen a blog about nonexistent experiences working in an ER. Is it self-indulgent? I don't see how. I don't get any real-life attention from this since I must remain anonymous. I don't post photos of myself posed enticingly next to vehicles, fishing for compliments.

So I'm not sure where a lot of the vitriol comes from. Is it because I take the occasional shot that bruises the fragile male ego? Is it because a certain type of male can't reconcile the idea of an attractive female who has no sexual interest in him actually being intelligent? Is it because they recognize themselves in the types of creeps I call out here?

Probably a combination, and more. The human psyche is so terribly complicated.

Anyway, I'm not going to apologize for what I write. There are a lot of a$$holes at auto shows. I write about them. The end. If you recognize a piece of yourself in anything I've ever written, my advice to you is that instead of trying to tear me down, you spend that time and energy: A) applying multiple layers of deodorant, B) learning how to talk to a woman respectfully while looking her in the EYES, and C) putting in some quality time on the treadmill.

While you're doing that, I'll be writing. Cheers!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

There are no stupid questions...

...just stupid people.

The amount of incredibly stupid things I heard people say at the auto show this year was truly mind-boggling. I don't think people actually got stupider this year; maybe I was just paying more attention because I was looking for blog material.

But really, we got some stupid, stupid questions. Not just me, but all of us at every manufacturer from every country and in every vehicle type. Stupid, stupid questions.

This year, Detroit took the prize for idiocy. In fact, the stupid question of the year award goes to a Detroit show visitor who, while driving a car in the ride and drive in the green car section in the BASEMENT of Cobo Hall, asked:

"Does this car run on solar power?"

Really, people. Come on, now. Do you know your own name? How to get back to your house? Tie your shoes? Not stab yourself in the eye when eating with a fork?

Let's think about this for a minute. Is there sun in the basement? Does the sun have magical rays that pierce through layers of concrete to power the vehicle you are currently driving and obviously must have some source of power? No?

Then no, this car is not solar powered. Jesus.

PS - Check out this week's column over at!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


“Smile!” you say, leering at me, usually with a camera in hand. “It can’t be that bad!”

No, despite your rank breath it is not that bad - you just happened to catch me at the one millisecond of my day that I thought maybe someone wasn’t staring at me, waiting for me to be less than perfect so they could call me out on it. It is my job to smile, to “spin and grin” as we call it, and I do it gladly. I like my job, as I’ve said before; it isn’t brain surgery, it pays well and I like cars so I’m interested in the material.

What I am not interested in is smiling on cue because you told me to. Despite being a spokesmodel, I am not, in fact, a dancing monkey. No really, look it up - the two are not actually the same thing. I smile because it is my job, true, but just because you happened to catch me taking a whopping five seconds of my day trying to rest my face (fake smiling hurts after a while) does not mean you can be boring. And telling me to smile like that is one of the most boring things I hear all day.

I’d like to see you smile for 10 hours straight while wearing 5-inch heels on a spinning platform while dirty old (and young) men try to snap pictures up your skirt. I dream of smiling while kicking your camera out of your hand. That’s when I smile.

Seriously, give me five seconds to roll my eyes and pick my nose in peace. (Shut up, you know you do it too.)

I do wish some manufacturer would decide that the pissed off punk demographic is where it's at so I could stand on a platform snarling and giving people the finger. Wouldn't that be a fun job? Especially to those jackoffs who change their kids diapers right in front of me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Where my mothafathers at?

Dear Toyota Auto Show Performance Team,
Drop the rest of your act. Drop the Sultry Sienna song, Let Your Unnecessary Truck Grow or whatever the hell you're singing, screw the Avalon Lounge act.

If the rest of your auto show brethren must listen to you singing the same songs at high volume over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over for days and weeks at a time for months on end, then next season make it this incredibly awesome one.

Be thankful the client isn't having you do it on top of the flaming spiral of death. Yet. You know it is being considered at some saki-fueled happy hour.

The Booth Babe

PS I'll give you 20 bucks. Doooooooo eeeeeeeeeeeet.
PPS You sound great as-is. But THIS. Do it.
PPPS Sorry for two Toyota commercials in a row, but it had to happen.
PPPPS Check out this week's column at Punch buggy black and blue

Friday, May 7, 2010

If booth babes ran NASCAR...

...there would be kittens for everybody!

I've asked a few guys I know who race in various series (not NASCAR) what, if anything, would be their limit on sponsorships... I always found it hilarious that the oldest guy in NASCAR drove the Viagra car. Would a big tough race car driver drive a sparkly pink Barbie car? The Tampax car? The Valtrex car? Do they really give a sh!t what's written on the hood when they're making money hand-over-fist?

Actors deal with this too. A national commercial can pull in $40-$50,000. I'll pretend I have herpes all day long on television for a $50K paycheck and 3 days work. At the auto show I'm fortunate to represent a brand for which I have a great deal of respect and admiration, but that just happened to be the luck of the draw and my brand could change at any time. I still need a paycheck.

Anyway, with the drivers, the general consensus was the same as with actors: a sponsorship is a sponsorship. They are few and far between, and when you get one you're so damn lucky to have it that you don't care if you're driving the KY Liquibeads Hello Kitty Pocket Vibe cup car, because you're driving a cup car.

But I, for one, would love to see the Talladega Tampax 500.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Interrupt this

Do you have one of those jobs involving long, pointless meetings? I used to and I hated it, so I got myself a cool job instead. Anyway, in one of those meetings, let's say you were in the middle of a presentation, really getting into the meat of your big new idea that's going to save the company millions and earn you a big promotion, when all of a sudden - in the middle of a sentence - some jackass busts in and starts shouting questions at you.

Welcome to every day of my life.

Seriously dude. I am in the middle of my presentation. I am on a spinning platform, trying very hard not to fall on my ass on the incredibly slippery surface, telling you everything there is to know about this car. If you could wait thirty seconds and, oh, I don't know, maybe actually listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth then you'd have the answer to your question. If I don't answer your question during my presentation, I will be more than happy to do so afterwards.

I guarantee during my presentation I will cover horsepower, torque, 0-60, new features for this model year, safety features, any big bells and whistles. I will not make competitor comparisons on the mic, at least not by naming names, and I probably will not say the price on the mic - I find that to be distasteful - but am happy to tell you all about every single trim level there is and line item competitive comparisons when I'm done. STOP YELLING AT ME.

If you had any sense of the definition of polite, you would realize how rude it is to start shouting questions at someone who is clearly in the middle of a presentation. You don't think you're out of line for doing this? Try it at your next work meeting and see what happens. Then let me know how long that unemployment line is.