|1972 BMW 3.0 CSi|
I try to keep my mouth shut for as long as possible. Flashing your Car Guy knowledge right off the bat is a bad move, since it polarizes the conversation and you’ll spend the rest of the evening either shunned from less polarizing conversation (like politics or religion) or talking in a corner with the one other petrol head. This must be what getting old feels like.
No matter what the topic or intensity of discussion, the mere mention of cars perks up my ears. I can't help it, really. Instead of jumping up from my seat like an excited terrier, though, I show more restraint these days. My head sometimes contorts like Scooby-Doo's when he senses a problem, but I don't hijack the conversation right away. The strategy is to slowly wade into the discussion, quietly revealing automotive knowledge without overwhelming others. It's like wearing a muzzle and having it slowly removed. Perhaps then it's best they don't find out I watch Mat Watson's video reviews in my spare time as if they're Emmy-winning. (What can I say? They're detailed, amusing and "30 Rock" isn't back until the new year.)There are bars for people really into sports. They get excited shouty over Bud Light and bar food while they talk about referee calls, plays, fouls and other terms (by now, I'm sure it's apparent I'm not the biggest sports buff). Where are you going to talk about cars? A used car lot? An auto auction? The local repair shop? What kind of food do they serve at these places? I'm not a car salesman and I'm hopeless around tools. That should be fine, because I didn't get interested in cars because I want to sell or fix them. I appreciate the engineering and love driving.
For now, events like Cars and Coffee must suffice. I'm sure in the not-do-distant future I'll be sitting at a table with people I vaguely know when someone brings up cars. I won't be able to resist chiming in and the rest will be history. There's still time to learn all about hockey before the season's out, right?