July 6, 2011
Buffery: A great race car driver, I'm not
By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - My boss Bill Pierce was in one of his moods this week, actually ordering me to cover something, talk to somebody, do some @#$%^&* thing.
He then suggested I write about car racing, what with the Honda Indy Toronto happening this weekend.
I told him that I don’t know anything about auto racing.
“I’m perfectly aware of your limitations, Beezer,” he said. “But are you not an expert in smash-ups, spin-outs and all that?”
Yeah, he’s right. I’ve been involved in 11 or 12 accidents, though I can’t recall the exact number. Not all were my fault, though my buddy Ed Zawadzki refutes that.
“Remember that time we were driving and you hit that deer?” he said.
“What deer?” I replied.
“The one in the zoo,” he said.
Ed appears at Cackles on Tuesday nights.
I don’t believe I’m a poor driver. To me, it’s all the other saps on the road causing problems, with their constant looking around and signalling. Hell, we all know that you’ve got to drive with a bit of pizzazz in this city if you want to get anywhere. Am I right?
I actually think I could have been a great race car driver. Then again, I also think I could have been a great drummer and a wonderful husband, but, hey, the reality sometimes doesn’t fit the fantasy.
I actually stopped driving for about five years some time back after I was rear-ended for the second time on the Gardiner Expressway.
The first time, the other guy got charged. The second time, the other guy got charged. Both times my insurance went up. How does that work?
Bubba, for one, gets really uptight when I drive. (Then again, Bubba gets uptight when I speak or move).
One of her friends told her some time ago that her dad “drives like a maniac.” Frankly, I always drive slow and conservatively when I have other people in the car. At least, that’s what I thought.
When I’m hanging out with my pals Zawadzki and (Young) Mike Koreen, I’m flabbergasted at just how slow they drive. It’s pathetic. I always tell them that they “drive like a woman”, but I won’t repeat that here because that’s politically incorrect and likely offensive.
Ed said the secret of his safe driving is “watching an idiot like you and doing the exact opposite.”
But Ed’s a good friend. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him. And there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for me. For 35 years, we’ve been doing nothing for each other. (An oldie, but a goodie).
You know, if I’m an IndyCar or NASCAR scout, I’d set up an office in Toronto. There are so many fast and fearless drivers in this town that they’d have a field day recruiting talent.
I once drove around with the Sun’s Dean of Speed, Dean McNulty.
Let’s just say, I understand why he’s such a great race car writer.
And there’s a million drivers in this town like that.
You’ve been on the 401 or Gardiner, pre-rush hour. It’s like the last lap at the Indy 500 with 65,000 entrants racing for the checkered flag.
I just thought of a great idea. It’s a new kind of roadside assistance company. Except, unlike those other Bozos who take forever to get to your car and even longer to fix something, set it up so you’re ready to pounce at a moment’s notice, like the fire department, and when you get to the broken-down car, you act like those racing crews, you change the tires, or get the car towed out of there, in seconds. I think that would go over like gang busters. And it would be a lot of fun to watch.
Yeah, auto racing’s great. And I do enjoy watching the Honda Indy.
The only thing is, we get auto racing 365 days a year in this bloody town.