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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

Chrismouth.jpg (41832 bytes)You DO realize that DRO’s "Drag racing from a different perspective" statement was not flack fluff, don’t 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 PhD’s in the crowd (or so we smartasses think). I hit upon something called the "World’s 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.

I couldn’t 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.


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