are many idiotic sports in this world. Bungee
nose picking, for instance. Or 'Olympic speed
walking', which might as well be renamed 'Olympic
duck impersonating'. But in the imbecilic stakes,
they all fall into the shadow of one thing:
1, Grand Prix, whatever you want to call it, it's
immensely pointless and immensely dull. Do I have
reasons for this outburst, you ask? I do. Four
It's just a load of cars,
2. It's on TV all the time,
3. It's repetitive,
4. It's repetitive.
I should expand on some of these, particularly
the first one. I know saying 'it's just a load of
cars' is like denouncing boat racing because
'it's just a load of boats' or football because
'it's just a load of men and a ball' or bungee
nose picking because 'it's just a load of men,
elastic and nosebleeds'. Allow me to elaborate.
I'm saying is that there isn't enough of the
human element in motor racing. At least Olympic
waddling has that. A fantastically muscled man in
tight-fitting running gear mincing down the road
may look like a complete prat, but you can still
cheer him on for his magnificent audacity. With
motor racing, you can't do that. You're just
seeing a load of cars. If they were all painted
the same colour, you wouldn't be able to tell who
you're cheering on. Oh sure, they're fast
machines, extremely impressive vehicles of their
kind, but everyone watching thinks 'Huh, I could
do that'. People who run Olympic footraces are
supremely athletic types with arms and legs like
industrial pistons. You can get excited about
them when you see them racing against each other.
With motor racing, you're just watching a load of
skinny blokes sitting in what amount to very fast
more, all these cars go at pretty much exactly
the same speed, so you have twenty-odd machines
going around and around a track patiently waiting
for the one in front to make a cock up. Maybe it
would be interesting if drivers made a cock up
more often, slamming into walls with really
impressive explosions and bits of twisted metal
flying everywhere. But no, they train the gits
too well. They should have every car being driven
by a chimpanzee. I'd watch that. Fuck, I'd
don't see why they should put it on television.
You switch on, marvel at the fast cars for a
second, then a little box appears in the corner
of the screen saying "67 laps to go!"
so you wince and switch back over to the women's
gymnastics. No-one can find a queue of cars going
round a track for 70 laps interesting. No-one
you'd want to be trapped in a conversation with
at a cocktail party, anyway.
a commentator for motor racing must be fun.
they're off! Smith pulls into the lead with
Llewellyn and Peters in second and third. They've
gone round Dead Man's Corner and Llewellyn has
made a bold attempt to cut in front which seems
to have backfired-"
they've gone round Dead Man's corner again.
Llewellyn almost got into the lead there, I
notice. I was at the shops with Llewellyn's mum
the other day. We went to Waterstones. Have you
ever been to Waterstone's, Brian?"
looks like they all got around Dead Man's Corner
without crashing. Again." Long pause.
"In fact, I don't think anyone's ever
crashed at Dead Man's Corner." Long pause.
"Sort of makes you wonder why they call it
Dead Man's Corner, really."
here's to you, Mrs Robinson / Jesus loves you
more than you will know / Whoa whoa whoa - come
on, Brian, join in! - whoa whoa whoa / God bless
you please, Mrs Robinson -"
name is legion for we are many."
there is someone out there who finds motor racing
interesting, do get in touch with me so you can
explain exactly why it's preferable to applying
paint to your TV screen and watching it dry.
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