Editor's Note: DRO’s resident Gonzo
Chris Martin is taking a small sabbatical from the drudgery
of writing his monthly column. I received a collect call from
him supposedly from a resort in Baja, Mexico. All I could
hear in the background was men shouting what seemed sounded
like military orders. Anyway, Martin asked that we wire him
a three-month cash advance to the luxury hotel front desk
in care of the firm of Eie, Bailem and Fixum. He told me he
should be back in business in about 90 days, or just in time
for the Pro Stock Super bowl at Las Vegas or the IHRA opener
in Texas. In the meantime we are going to run a few of what
I think were his best chronicles that have appeared here over
the last seven years. We’ll start with the first Martin
Chronicle from Volume 1, No. 1. Enjoy!
Originally ran 10/1999
DO realize that DROs "Drag racing from a different
perspective" statement was not flack fluff, dont
you? Sure ya do. We were as serious about our role as a wolverine
stumbling upon a downed deer. No games, James. We reserved
the right to serve refuse to you, to comment occasionally
on things off-track, as it were.
To the point: Recently, I stumbled onto the Fox Television
Network affiliate in L.A., and as you know, the Foxies appeal
only to the PhDs in the crowd (or so we smartasses think).
I hit upon something called the "Worlds Worse Drivers
and Stupidest Suspects," a show that appeared to have
all the depth of a Saturday morning cartoon, but proved to
be in very miniature form uniquely American. By the way, those
last two words were ones heard in a promo for this crazy show.
Personally, I detest using terms like "uniquely American."
I mean, what then is uniquely Ethiopian or uniquely Mongolian?
I guess here it means that Americans like watching their less
fortunate neighbors being chased down by half the state militia
for having a copy of "101 Ways to Use Hemp" in plain
sight. Experiencing the unbridled pleasure of watching some
poor slob in a stone cold, full-blown panic and acting out
of his or her gourd.
couldnt believe my eyes and ears while I watched this.
It was so awful, it was wonderful. The show actually put itself
forward as a documentary, which came off like Jerry Springer
trying to pass for Mike Wallace. As I watched an endless series
of car chases, crashes, and crackpot commentary, I thought
this would be something DRO readers might want to check out.
After all, the cars (and the screenwriter) are the stars here,
a slogan that dovetails nicely with what Wally Parks has always
maintained about drag racing.
The show presents one hour of hot pursuit car chases, a form
of escape revitalized in southern California about ten years
ago. (The car chases, not television.) Everything from gangbangers,
frightened drunks, and road ragers are filmed from police
helicopters and dash cams as they highwire it through freeway
traffic, slam into snowbanks, drive on the sidewalk, drive
the wrong way on a one-way, and in general, go completely
nuts behind the wheel.
Every one of these poor unfortunates gets photographed with
the "Wild Willie" Borsch in their psyches spilling
all over the viewing public.
As entertaining as the footage is, the commentary makes "Everyone
Loves Raymond," look like the Princess Di funeral. It
is unbelievably funny, as in corny.