On Cars and Auntie Mame but Mostly Cars

Two few things you might not’ve known about me.

– I have this ongoing dream (nightmare? No, dream. I think) that I wake up one morning and I’m Auntie Mame. It’s like Kafka but with a kimono and affected accent. I try to be upset about this but I can’t because HELLO? Auntie Mame is awesome. Give us a kiss.

I wonder if this is a side effect of having for close friends two gay men nearly twice my age. Does Margaret Cho have this problem?

– I am sort of crazy-obsessed with Top Gear. You know, the BBC show about cars? My friend Adam loves it and while I was staying with him and darling Lizzie last year  after I moved to Chicago, he got me hooked. Hooked enough to make sure I got BBC America with my all-too-expensive-but-worth-it cable package (ok, so the show “Robin Hood” had something to do with that decision as well. Until they killed Marian in the second season finale and now the show is dead to me. DEAD TO ME. I’m clearly still upset about it as I’ve brought it up here already once before and it’s been over a year now.)

Anyway, back to Top Gear. It’s starting a new season tonight on BBCA (although Adam thinks this might be a trick like last time and it’ll be a bunch of episodes he’s already seen) and I have to say, I was a little put out by the mention in Entertainment Weekly’s Must Watch of The Day: Top Gear
The team road tests the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the BMW M6, and the Porsche 911 Carrera S. I’m going to TiVo and watch it the day I’m reincarnated as a millionaire who gives a hoot about cars.

Let me just say this- I know next to nothing about cars. I could really actually care less about cars. In fact, if the choice came down to me selecting the car of my choice or being chauffeured around in a Lincoln Town Car like, say, Auntie Mame, I’d be hanging my cigarette holder out the window faster than you can say “Take me to the milliner’s, driver! And step on it!” And yet… and yet this show is amazing.

If you know nothing about the show, let me try to whittle it down to a nutshell- Jeremy, Richard and James are the hosts and basically talk about cars. They drool over cars, they race them, they harangue the poorly made ones, they share car news for car nuts and they put them through sometimes-ridiculous trials to test them out in very unlikely circumstances. Like, say, how do the cars fare playing a game of soccer. Soccer with cars and a giant inflatable ball. Hard to imagine. But you don’t have to imagine because you can watch them do it.

If you like dry British humor and watching grown men gleefully discussing their favorite subject, sometimes with cutting, competitive banter (Jeremy to the petite Richard after he’s been teasing him “You know I just read an report on short men. Turns out they’re rubbish in bed and useless at work.”), and racing each other and mocking each other and, yes, learning about cars, you should check it out. But mostly because these guys are aces at mocking each other. For instance, while trying to send an old Mini Cooper down an Olympic ski jump.

Just hands off Richard Hammond. He’s mine. I mean it.


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