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Why Car Shows Are Weird

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LA Auto Show, 2013
Last month when Car Talk asked if I'd like to send tweets from the Los Angeles Car Show, I said sure. I figured if they weren't worried that I'd be exposed as an impostor and tweet a batch of blurry pics of me being roughed up by security, I wasn't either.  

I most definitely am a car guy, but to me, a car indoors is like a monkey wearing lederhosen, the longer you look at it, the wronger it seems. That, along with my theory that the Angel of Death's breath has that new car smell, dampens my enthusiasm for an event devoted to hundreds of new cars lolling about in a convention hall, many of them slowly rotating on 30-foot diameter Lazy-Susans. Lederhosen monkey is doing a parade wave.

This guy is just one beauty pageant sash away from an auto show. (Flickr photo by the-thorbecks)I did find myself impressed and entertained by the ability of the spokes models to feign interest. I consider myself fairly skilled at maintaining eye-contact and nodding in the right places when someone with his face pointed at mine is blathering on about price versus cost analysis or bathroom wall colors, but damn, this town has some talent. The attractive young lady had us all believing in the superior pulling power of a RAM truck until the moment she lost her place, became red-faced, tore up a sweaty 3x5 index card that read "REMEMBER: Torque is pronounced TORK" and stormed from the stage screaming "Why did I have to be too tall to be a lighting stand-in for Sandra Bullock!!!!!" Some of that I might've imagined.

I've never been to a food show, but I assume it involves eating. The car show? No driving. The "Test Drives" were cancelled due to… drumroll… Traffic.

No big loss. Car show test drives pretty much amount to standing in line to drive a rental around the block. Whee. It's not like the Jaguar rep's there tossing F-Type keys out like a Shriner throwing candy. A Chevy exec wouldn't be fist-bumping broke-ass gearheads, stuffing them in Stingrays and saying "Okie-dokie Lightfoot, don't be stingy with the revs!" Think the Porsche contingent is a jocular bunch of backslappers? Nope, pretty tight bunch. I have it on excellent authority that they flew their own guys in from Germany to do the drywall for their display panels. The DRYWALL. I'm guessing my uneven goatee and out of plumb collarbone would've offended their sense of order, and put the nix on a hot lap in a 918 Spyder. No matter, I didn't look at one Porsche while I was in their wing, I was too busy inspecting the drywall for screw heads and seams. Nicht einer.  

Porsche is sporting some smoooooth lookin' drywall, ist es nicht? (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images)So hey, LA Car Show organizers, how about it? Leave the LA Convention Center to the comic book sellers, porn stars and German drywallers. Throw a car show for drivers! Hold it from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. every night for a week. Cordon off a nice little Grand Prix style circuit and let us run what ya brung. Oh, you might want to put a towel on the passenger seat, our monkey will be naked.
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LA Auto Show, 2013

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