Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on April 13th, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 5 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 11, Issue 5

They're gonna put me in the movies

Rob gets his 15 minutes


The car behind the chin
Rob Krider has a face for print, but that didn’t stop him from agreeing to go on TV and race for Ford’s honor
The Internet is a wonderful thing. I can e-mail long-lost friends (if I had any), sell stuff I don’t want anymore on eBay (if there was anything I was willing to part with), and, my favorite thing to do, check and see how big my high school ex-girlfriend’s butt got on Facebook (HUGE—I dodged a bullet on that one). When I’m not doing those productive things, I spend hours and hours trolling through automotive forums, arguing with 13-year-old kids about what car has the most horsepower or handles the best. “Dear TommyTheWonderBoy52, I actually have a driver’s license, which is why I have an opinion about this issue. Please refrain from bragging about the prowess of the Hyundai Genesis and posting videos of how fast your car is in an Xbox video game!”

All this trash talk on the Internet finally caught up with me. After posting what I considered to be a very poignant opinion on the dominance of the Ford Mustang in motorsports, I was contacted by a producer from a show called The Forum Wars. He was putting together a program that would pit two drivers and cars from two different automotive forums against each other and have them do battle on a race course: “Talk Smack then Hit the Track.” He asked me if I was willing to go to a racetrack and put my money where my mouth was, or in this case, my money where my fingers on the keyboard were. It was like a wish come true.

Careful what you wish for.

There were some minor details to be worked out before the show could air. One, I needed a Mustang. That was going to be a problem. Even though I still bragged online at Stangnet.com about how awesome Pony cars were on the racetrack, I actually sold my Mustang a couple of years prior, shamefully to buy a family car for my wife, whom I love. Without a Mustang, it was going to be difficult to race on the show, unless I used TommyTheWonderBoy52’s method and taped footage of myself racing a Mustang on the video game Gran Turismo.

Luckily for me, I have a very good friend named Steve who owns a beautiful Mustang Shelby GT. I was also lucky that he was just insane enough to actually let me drive it on a racetrack (FOOL!). Once the minor detail of the car was handled, the question of my competition was still an issue. The producers of the show wanted to put me against a foreign car and a younger “hip” driver, which I deduced meant I would be playing the role of the older “unhip” driver. Uh oh.

I was starting to see the reality TV aspect of the show rear its ugly head. I’ve watched enough reality TV to know somebody has to play the heel. The editors will spend hours manipulating footage to make somebody look like an idiot. Was I going to be that idiot? As it turns out, no editing was required to make that happen.

Prior to taping the show, I convinced Hoosier Tires, Carbotech Brake Pads, I/O Port Racing Supplies, and Piloti Driving shoes that I was going to be a big star on the Speed Channel and that they should send me piles and piles of product to use on the show. The crazy part was they actually did.

When the day finally came to tape the show, Steve and I towed his immaculate—and did I mention rare—Shelby down to Irwindale Speedway in Southern California. Immediately, I had a microphone stuck to my shirt and a camera thrust into my face. The smack talking began: “The other driver says he’s going smoke you. What do you think about that?”

“He’s smoking something, but it ain’t gonna be me.”

I saw the other driver in front of the camera, the “hip” one. He was talking all sorts of trash: about me, about the Mustang. I wasn’t going to stand for it. I pulled the microphone off my shirt, jumped in the car, and I went out on the track and absolutely crushed him and his little foreign car. Victory: Mustang. It was an all out ass whupping. I may not have known much about being in front of a camera, but I’ve been driving cars on the racetrack my whole life. And the best part? Steve’s Shelby didn’t get a scratch.

I felt good about the way the show was taped. I thought it would come out looking okay—I even ventured to say cool. Six months later, when the episode was released, I learned that there’s a reason I’m a writer and not on television. I have the face of a columnist. Actually, I have the face of two columnists. I got fat! My ex-girlfriend in high school is probably looking at my Facebook page and saying she dodged a bullet—or maybe a train. Ford could use the show to make a new marketing ploy for the Mustang: “This car not only has great trunk space, but look at the size of the chin you can get into this passenger compartment!” My face is ridiculously huge. Apparently, I got fat surfing all these automotive forums.

I watched the show and thought that I shouldn’t eat … ever again. Maybe I should take up racing bicycles. Did I mention that right now I’m really hungry? m

Check out Rob (and his chin) as they race for glory in episode one at forumwars.tv.

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