Monday, April 24, 2006

Things I hate #465: "Car Guys"

I know what you're thinking. "But Ryan, don't YOU like cars?" Sure I do. I like driving, I like reading about cars, and I love watching videos about cars. But I hate car guys. Because most of the time when people are talking about "car guys" they are talking about morons who don't know anything about cars, but say they like cars because it's a really manly thing to do. Lemme give you an example.

I was sitting at lunch with some of my "friends" (I eat lunch with them, and that's pretty much the bond that ties us) when one casually asked if the Porsche Boxster is a good car.

OK, so here's the problem. I think it relates to the fact that I generally make a ridiculously complicated situation out of a very simple question. I've trained myself never to respond quickly or truthfully whenever someone asks me a car question and/or comment.

"What's the best car?" [Internal Monologue: Don't answer Ryan, don't asnwer Ryan, don't . . . ]
"Well, it's tough to say any car is the BEST car, because some cars are the best in their class and . . ."

I then usually go one for the next 136 hours talking about steering and drivetrain and God knows what else. It has cost me a lot of formerly enjoyable lunch conversations or bus rides or relaxing afternoons. So I've learned to shut my mouth.

But I find a new problem with the Boxster question, and one that applies to a lot of similar car gauntlets thrown my way: I give a different answer to the Boxster question depending on the person with whom I am speaking. I generally rank the person I am talking to, in terms of car knowledge (and consequently, as a complete guide to their absolute worth as a human being) in roughly three tiers.

Tier 3 is the general bipod who knows that cars (mostly) have four wheels and a metal block thingee that pushes it forward. I generally love people in Tier 3 because they just plain aren't interested in cars that much, so their questions are for the purposes of general knowledge."Is that car nice?" or "Is that car not nice?" questions generally abound in Tier 3.

Unfortunately, at the very tip of Tier 3, we have those who are doing their best to push into Tier 2, and they can be most easily spotted when they assign cars as status symbols. The typical Tier 3-er attempting Tier 2 upward mobility will usually spout refuse along the lines of "Whoa, that guy drives a Porsche - he must be rich!" My response to such morons is usually one that pains me to say, especially because I don't believe it. I do end up saying it, however, to stop that stupid practice of assigning worth to cars based on price (in that sense, I'm kind of like a superhero . . . with the WORST SUPERPOWER EVER): "If he was really rich he would've sprung for a 996 or a 997. He ain't a baller."

Tier 2 is a bit tougher to define. I'm sure most of you are aware of the TV network called "Spike TV," which is touted as "The Network for Men" (with a guy with a chainsaw cutting through the slogan). This network is very manly, and makes sure to include big-breasted women or cars in most segments, because, you aren't a man if you don't like big-breasted cars. All men who watch Spike TV regularly are in Tier 2. People in Tier 2 are kind of like ironing, because I hate both of them. Most especially what I hate about Tier 2 is that these guys (apologies to the 3 females who actually watch this stupid shitty network) know basic knowledge about cars (rough hosepower and 0-60 figures), but believe they know EVERYTHING about cars, because they've watched "Gone in 60 Seconds" and tune in to the Garage section of "Cribs" on MTV. They usually don't ask me the Boxster question straight up, but frame it in a typically poopy manner:

"The Boxster is such a girl's car. It's a 911 with panties" (which is an actual quote from Sopranos, the definitive source for all true automotive knowledge).

To the Tier 2-ers, I begin a prepared speech on the incredible balance of the Boxster that has led to its absolute domination of its class for 8 years. By the time I'm done they've already started talking about Anna Kournikova or roofies or something.

And finally, there is Tier 1, the actual car enthusiasts. One thing that is apparent about Tier 1 is that once you get to this level, you realize that everyone knows about cars, so it just boils down to opinion, plain and simple, which is how it should be. When Tier 1-ers throw the Boxster gauntlet my way, I usually give a deserved nod to the capabilities and dynamics of the 986, but go on to point out that for the money, I'd go something else, even if the car is in a different class (in terms of performance or target audience). This usually generates good discussions, although I should just say "discussion," since it only happened once.

But at this moment, I'm sitting at a table with two Tier 3s, one Tier 3 trying to break into Tier 2, three Tier 2ers, and not one Tier 1 in sight. "So, is the Boxster a good car?" asks a Tier 3er. I stuff my face with my sandwich, because I have no idea how to respond. Instead I imagine the sandwich I am biting is the head of a Tier 2-er. I can't believe this moron is staying still while I bite into his ham-head. What an idiot.


Anonymous JP said...

Don't badmouth ironing.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats too much reading, I'm confused. Should I get a Boxster? WIll you buy me a Boxster? Just level with me nigga.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Ill STILL piss on your M3

10:41 PM  
Anonymous aimee said...

so do you think I should get a car with a self parallel parking system?

See you wednesday runt.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

How is it that sean used all monosyllabic words, and still managed to have the most meaningful comment? Too bad he wants to upgrade to my car.

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha ha that's some funny crap. On Friday during the sox game I was also watching many videos of cars crashing blowing up, or drag bikes losing their pistons and blowing the driver left hand off. Now I think that puts me down into tier 3 trying to get into tier 2. On a another note, explaining the boxster is like setting up a guy on a blind date with a 6' tanned long blond with your required 38dds,-the guys drooling, but not understanding that if she needs to be set up on a blind date her knees are worn and face busted. You want Elanor, the cars gus car-per 60 sec, go get a brain, then maybe buy the last gen awd rx7, single turbo upgrade, lose some weight-mostly off your fat ass, and you'll have a beautiful and underapreciated nowadays, rocket. The perfect stunning girl next door.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous sea... err... steve said...

What tier am i in? I think guy-who-rode-shotgun-in-freak-M3-accident deserves his own tier. I'd like to refer to it as tier S. Its a tier dedicated to those who have gone through the aforementioned traumatic experience; like gran turismo 4 only because he is able to push opposing cars into pit lane; and plays the "dont-let-the-car-come-to-a-complete-stop-for-an-entire-ride" game.

Bonus points for those in tier S who have spilled 128 ounces of pepsi on their floor mat but still driven to cape cod (en route to MV) sans stopping to dry off.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, forget about cars. It is all about the bullet-trains.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

While it is very true that Tier S includes those who have the strength and tenacity to drive ankle deep in ice cold Pepsi Cola, it also includes those who throw up all over guests at Montoya boat parties.


11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if I've told you this story. A buddy of mine had the 4d e36 m3, driving back from partying in Maine for a long weekend, quite hungover doing 90+ the whole way back, well nature started screaming, so shotgun passenger handed him an empty 2L soda bottle, which the driver filled while still doing 90+ (don't ask I don't know how and will never get to ask him) so he started to panick because he knew he was going to overfolw the 2L, so then he had to switch to a snapple bottle, and just filled that. story done. Maybe its funnier in reality.

10:25 AM  

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