Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Rupert Murdoch called

“Bernie,” he says expansively, “you don’t seem to me the type of man that wants to stand in the way of progress.”

Oh dear. It’s going to be one of those conversations, eh? “Progress, Rupert? Me standing in the way? Of course not. Which type of progress are you talking about anyway?”

“Why, Bernie, 3D of course. Haven’t you heard of it? Don’t you want to see those splendid F1 motors literally exploding out of TV screens around the world?”

‘Exploding’ doesn’t seem to me the most fortunate choice of words here, but I decide to let that go. “Rupert,” I tell him, “let it be said that Formula One always is, always has been, and always will be at the forefront of technology.” I learned that from Winston Churchill. Always say something three different ways if you can get away with it. “But we’re serious professionals too. So we’ll take something on board when everything’s ready, and not before. We’re giving the UK everything in HD, don’t we? Did it in Singapore last year, by the way. Like I said, we’re at the forefront. We’ll do the same with 3D when it’s ready. But thanks for offering your help. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

“Bernie, if you sell me the broadcasting rights we’ll be ready much sooner than you think. Let me do my work and you won’t be sorry. We’re the best of the best and we’ve got the audience to prove it.”

If I let you do your work, old scoundrel, you won’t rest until you’ve Continue reading

Advertisements

Royal Wedding’ed out? I know I am

In fact, I got the Hell out of Dodge, as the Yanks say. That’s the advantage of having a private jet – you can just pop out at your leisure if it becomes a bit too much.

Believe me, when your senses start being assaulted with things like William-and-Kate-themed bog parafernalia, you realise things are getting out of hand. If anyone ever came up with seriously crappy Wedding merchandise, this must be it.

Fortunately, there was one bit at the very end that made up for a lot. You can say a lot about batty old Charles, but he does have taste in cars.

A Happy Ending after all.

Obama: looking for soft power

My phone rings, and a voice says: is this Bernard Charles Ecclestone, Supremo of Formula One? Please aahdentifaah yerself. Yes, I say, I am he. Who wants to know? But the voice says: hold on for the Prezdint of the Yoownaahded States of ‘Merica. Then nothing. All I hear is a vague buzzing noise, like you hear on board of an aeroplane.

“Hello Mr Ecclestone,” he says “Greetings from Air Force One. Can I call you Bernie?” Well, I say, if you must. Most people call me Mr E, but I guess from one Supremo to the other it should be all right. “Great! And I’m Barry, by the way.”

Pleased to meet you, Barry. How can I help you?

“How difficult is it to drive an F1 car?” he asks. “You see, I ‘ve recently started working on my foreign policy, what with healthcare and the mid term elections out of the way, and I couldn’t help but notice that driving an F1 car is becoming an accepted pastime. How difficult is it?”

Well, I say, people spend years working their way up from kart racing, all the way through the feeder series. Some never make it at all, it’s only for a selected few. May I ask, have you ever driven stick shift?

“No,” he says. ““D” for forward, “R” for backward, is what I always say. What’s a stick shift?”

Continue reading

Stig Farm revealed

Top Gear aren’t only busy suing the old Stig, but frantically searching for a new one as well. Or a creative idea, actually. This video was released as a decoy, to disguise the fact that they’re completely unable to come up with something new.

Very funny, Clarkson.

Fans, don’t be fooled. The new Stig will be a bloke in a white suit. His identity will be a secret. All will be revealed in about three years’ time. Top Gear will sue the newly outed Stig’s pants off. Etcetera, ad nauseam.

Move on, people. Nothing to see here.

Rest in peace, Pontiac

We were about the same age. But while I’m in the spring of my years and in full possession of my faculties, my old friend Pontiac has been battling death for the last two decades. Having GM as the most dysfunctional mother in automotive history didn’t help, of course. And now the end has come.

I said ‘dysfunctional’, but ‘abusive’ would be a better description. GM’s utterly moronic management was responsible for shoving one of history’s worst automobile abominations down Pontiac’s throat: the Aztec. It looked like it had been designed by a bunch of inept idiots who each did different parts of the car and never even spoke to each other. (It was.) Time Magazine described it as “something that dogs bark at and cathedrals employ to ring bells”.

But let’s mercifully forget all that. For my part, I prefer to remember my friend Pontiac as the creator of icons like the 1926 Chief of the Sixes, and the 1958 Bonneville, the official Indianapolis Pace Car for that year. And most of all, from the picture above this post, from the late sixties, when the GTO was born. These were some of the best looking cars ever, 350 horsepower brutes, built with the motto “There ain’t no substitute for cubic inches.”

Pontiac, may you rest in peace. You deserve it.

Paul the Octopus will never predict Alonso’s Championship again…

He died peacefully in his sleep. Paul, that is, not Fernando. My condolences to the Oberhausen Sea Aquarium. No Championship will be the same without Paul’s predictions.

Other than that, I don’t think it will affect anybody chances, so keep watching those Grand Prix. I expect all of you either at the circuit or in front of the telly.

Sarah Palin called. Told me to “man up”

No idea how she got my number, but there she was. Said she’d watched our Tea Party from her house, and that it was really time for us to Man Up. Apparently she couldn’t bear the sight of two dozen manly men, huddling under umbrellas and waiting for the rain to stop in order to go about their business.

Ms Palin, I said, first of all it was not a Tea Party. It was a race. A Formula One Grand Prix at that. And second, it was in Korea. I don’t think you could see it from your house, because Japan is kind of sitting in the way.

“Mr Ecclestone,” she says. (I hate it when people call me that. It’s either Mr E, or Bernie if I know you.) “Mr Ecclestone, don’t try to catch me out like all those socialist media wussies. Many tried and it’s getting old. When I say I can see it from my house that’s proverbially speakin’. And what I do see is what your people say on Twitter. Or actually, my people see that. I try to stay away from it because by gollie, there’s always sumtin’ going wrong when I do it myself.

“And I’ll be gosh darned if I’ll Continue reading