By Dr. Bud E. Bryan
Austin. So I'm lying in bed hungover and dehydrated like a sumbitch (that word sounded best when Jackie Gleason said it), watching the "live" broadcast of Sprint Cup practice from Daytona. Why? Not really sure. Football season is over, it's kind of a shitty, overcast day and well, it's about all I have the energy for. I shouldn't be hungover, actually, because since my heart episode I've been pretty good at sticking to my two drink maximum, as my doctor prescribed. Yeah, I might have abused the size of those drinks a time or three, but I really haven't taken it any further than that. Until last night.
It was one of those nights, one of those "crazy, crazy nights" as the Eagles once said so eloquently, and one thing led to another, which led to another, which led to, aw hell, I just went off a cliff, basically. (By the way do yourself a favor and watch the new documentary about the Eagles that's just being run on Showtime and some other outlets. It's worth every minute of your attention.) But before I get it in to that what-led-me-to-go-off-a-cliff stuff, I should weigh-in on some things that have happened over the past few months.
First of all, many of you have trashed me for not attending the F1 race last November, but my absence couldn't be helped. Nadine's mom had a health issue and even though I was all set to go it would have been monumentally bad form - even for me - to disappear at that point in time. Just couldn't do it. But I can tell you that I've been out to the Circuit of The Americas since then and the track is incredible. A very special place even. As a matter of fact I still can't believe it's sitting out there only about 25 minutes from my house. And it's about that $400 million they spent on the facility. You can see every last dollar spent, but I have no idea why they think they'll even get a fourth of their investment back anytime soon. It's a money pit. But one damn glorious money pit if I do say so my own self.
And about that car show up north, the North American... oh, never mind, as Peter says, it's the Detroit Auto Show and always will be the Detroit Auto Show. I thought Peter was full of shit on the look of the new Corvette, because it looks fine to me. Evolutionary, not revolutionary, but then again that's okay. But I do agree with Peter on one thing, they should have left the Stingray name off of the car and in the history books where it belongs. There will never be another Stingray, because you can't recreate a fleeting moment in time, whether it's with cars, or relationships. Trust me on that one.
The Super Bowl happened, and yes I like the idea of making the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. I mean, why not? I didn't really care who won the game, but the San Francisco play calling was ridiculous on that last series. They have a runnin' and gunnin' quarterback and they don't call at least one roll out on the goal line? Crazy. And the ads? I don't get all wrapped-up in that shit like Peter does, but then again he spent 22+ years in that business so he has a right to get exercised.
Me? I liked the Budweiser Clydesdale spot and the Farmers spot and that's about it. It's nice that Dodge Ram is gifting the Future Farmers of America with some dough, but will it sell a pickup truck? Sure it will, at least a few, anyway. But then again as Peter says it's all about image wrangling and making an impression, so I guess they succeeded.
Have I driven any cool cars of late? Well it depends on how you define a cool car. I drove a Ferrari 458 Italia and it was cool and fun and blistering fast and all but, really? Would you really want one if you had the money? I wouldn't. Driving a pseudo racer on the street doesn't appeal to me. Well, let me modify that a little. If I had a 50s era sports racer with a tiny windscreen - like an old Lister Corvette for instance - the kind where you actually have to wear eye protection if you're driving over 30 mph, then yeah, I would like one of those. But only for short speed runs, especially at sunset or at dawn.
Now I could see if you lived in Nice and wanted to run over to Cannes or Monte Carlo in your 458 Italia because you didn't want to take the 911 and the Bentley Continental GT V8 was being detailed and the Rolls-Royce Ghost was, well, I don't know, then it might just be the perfect machine for that mission. But around here? I don't know. All of those cars, the 458, the Lamborghini Gallardo, the McLaren, the new Porsche 918 seem silly to me. Unless folding yourself into one to make an appearance at your local "cars and coffee" floats your boat, of course. It doesn't do it for me.
I keep thinking back to that Camaro ZL1. You can hammer it and thrash it all you want and it just keeps coming back for more. You don't have to worry about resale as much, or the insurance, or all of the other stuff associated with owning one of those super cars on the street. It's just more authentic, with a brutish, fuck you attitude to boot. Stone chips? Who cares? Valet parking? No problem, they can't hurt it. It's having a fast car and enjoying the hell out of it, instead of preserving it in order to attain some mythical resale value.
Now back to the hangover. (After listening to the Speed broadcast crew rattle on and on and on about what will happen in the qualifying races tomorrow and in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, my ears froze up. Enough. Run the dang race already. )
It seems that things were going really good last night. The operative word being "were." Nadine was down in San Antonio, and my other entanglements were either working or yoga-ing, or whatever the fuck. So, I thought that going to the Tequila Bar in the W Hotel would be a perfect respite after blowing up my damn book yesterday and starting over. (The book blows by the way, but only because I'm never satisfied with it. And it pisses me off. We'll see what happens next, but at this point I'm starting over.)
Anyway, the Tequila Bar in the W is a place where a man goes for visual diversion and some damn fine tequila. As you might guess, a combination of Pretty Young Things and More Mature Hotter Things just litter the place. Little black dresses, city shorts, come-fuck-me pumps and long, luscious hair and even longer legs - it's all there, and then some.
I was minding my own business and nursing my second snifter of tequila, when I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard a silky, sexy woman's voice say, "Well, well, well, if it isn't Dr. Bud E. Bryan."
(Now, as I've said countless times, being in a bar and having someone tap you on the shoulder is either the worst feeling a man can have or the best feeling a man can have, it all depends. It can be really, really good, or, really really bad. Like I say, it all depends.)
At any rate I knew that voice. And she wasn't a stranger. But maybe I'll save the rest for the next time. All I know is I ended up at some party that was completely off the hook, with all kinds of bad behavior going on.
The last thing I remember - before waking up with Big John's Hammer slamming my forehead - was hearing Kram's "Good Love" so loud on the stereo that it seemed to be rattling the windows.
Yeah, I know, "Bud, you're too old for this shit."
Maybe so, but I think Pete Townshend said it best: "I hope I die before I get old."
And the more you know, the more you just never know.
See y'all next time.
By Dr. Bud E. Bryan