New York Press Music Column #57
By George Tabb
The theme from "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly" ran through my mind as I gunned the engine of the 1977 gold Cadillac.
"Fucking major media cock-suckers", I mumbled to myself as dust from the California desert flew up my nose and in my mouth.
I looked over to my right, past the gutted interior of my newly purchased car, to the guy in the Oldsmoble next to me. Painted on the front left side of his vehicle was the word "Details". In huge black letters. On the back left side it said "Maxim Sux".
To my left was another car. With the word "Cnet" painted on it.
When I looked behind me, through the non-existent rear windshield, I saw six other cars. With the names of other magazines, newspapers, or media companies.
We were all here together. In the desert. On some Indian Reservation, for the same reason. To fuck each other up.
As the airhorn counted down from five, I felt my heart race. Here I was, with two tons of car and eight cylinders of power, ready to go after other publications like nobody else at The New York Press had done before.
Sure others had written, and continue to write, insults about other publications. How Tina Brown of "Talk" box- lunches Hillary Clinton, or how Cynthia Cotts of "The Village Voice" should be taken behind the barn and shot. But this was different. While my fellow New York Press writers use their pen as their sword, I had a 1977 two ton gold Caddy with a V-8 engine.
So what if the lettering for "New York Press" was spray-painted by my hand in almost illegible letters on the side of the car. So what if the words "Eat Me" and "Suck My Dick" were painted on the back trunk. Like the evil Homecoming Cake in "Animal House".
So what if my car had the word "Pussy" in huge green letters on the hood, accompanied by an upside down cross.
So what if I had just signed a contract that in part read "signee hereby acknowledges that the activities of the event are very dangerous and involve the risk of serious injury and/or death."
It was over 105 degrees outside, and the sun shined so brightly I had to squint my eyes to see. See that it was as good a day as any. For death.
"Take the bridge to the BQE to the Van Wyck," I told the driver from Allstate, as he departed my apartment in the City Hall District, and headed for JFK, where I was to catch a plane to San Diego, and then head to La Jolla for a Sony PlayStation and 989 Studios "Gamers' Day". A sort of press junket. That Sony was paying for.
"Excuse me?" he replied with a very broken English accent.
"The BQE. Take the BQE," I told him.
"I take the midtown tunnel, okay?" was his reply.
"No, take the bridge, it's closer, and free," I explained.
"Which bridge?" was his next question.
"The Williamsburg," I told him, because I knew how to get to the BQE from there from spending so much time in Evan's father's car. Evan is the ex-bass player of Furious George.
The driver nodded like he understood, so I let my eyes rest. It was 6 in the fucking morning, and my flight was at 7:30 a.m.
The next thing I knew we had crossed the Manhattan Bridge and the driver was looking around like crazy for the airport.
"Where do we go now, sir?" he asked me as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes.
I quickly looked around and realized we had gone the wrong way.
"I dunno," I said, "I never go this way."
"Where is airport?" asked the driver.
"Not in this neighborhood," I told him.
"I told you I should have taken Midtown Tunnel" was his answer.
I explained to the driver that we should look for signs to the airport. After we saw a couple, followed them, and got lost, I explained that we should go back over the Manhattan Bridge, and try for the Williamsburg.
"We should have taken Midtown Tunnel, we should have taken Midtown Tunnel" he just repeated over and over. With panic in his voice.
Eventually we make our way back to Manhattan, where I explain to him how to get to the Williamsburg Bridge. He follows my directions, telling me that "The Midtown Tunnel" would be better. I tell him to just drive.
Once again in Brooklyn, I explain to him how to find the airport. To just follow the signs. He nods like he understands, and drives.
This time, I don't close my eyes. I play Zelda DX for the color Gameboy instead. Of course, I should have paid attention to where we were going.
The next thing I know we are driving down some regular street past some apartments and stores.
"Did you follow the signs?" I ask the guy.
"What sign? I don't see any sign," he replies.
"The ones with the little airplanes on them," I tell him.
"Those are for airport?" he asks.
"Fuck, I'm gonna miss my flight," I said back.
"I should have taken Midtown Tunnel, I should have taken Midtown Tunnel!" he screams.
I make the flight with a whole five minutes to spare. Of course I had to cut in front of some people at the airport, who call me names like "asshole", "fuck-face" and "moron". Didn't they know they call me "Pussy"?
Once on my way to San Diego, I pop another Clonazepam, yawn, and stretch out on the three seats I have to myself. I play a bit of Zelda DX, but quickly fall asleep. The next thing I know we are landing on the left coast.
As I pull my suitcase down, I look at the guy in the empty three seats next to me. I'd noticed him earlier, and now had begun to wonder if he too was going on this Sony adventure. He was wearing Khakis, dessert boots, a yellow tucked in shirt, and wire-rim glasses. I think the tucked in shirt and wire-rim glasses gave him away, because the next thing I knew, we were both in a limo together, paid for by Sony, on our way to our hotel, paid for by Sony, in La Jolla.
"What's La Jolla like?" I asked the limo driver, pronouncing La Jolla like "La Joel-la".
"It's pronounced La Jolla," he said, "La-hoy-a".
"Whatever, are there good strip bars where we can see boobs and pussy?" I asked him. He looked cool. What with his slicked back gray hair, bitchen suit, and mean smile.
"Well there is a place called Dancers that's in San Diego. Also Sexy Lexi's, and The Raven," he answered.
"Which one can we see pussy at?" I asked, as the guy in the yellow tucked in shirt and wire-rim glasses looked at me in shock.
"Excuse me?" said the driver.
"Poontang. Bush. Gash. Slit. Vagina!" I yelled.
"Oh, well I like The Raven," he explained, "there is full nudity there. But you can't drink. But I guess you don't need to with that in your face."
I told him I agreed and then leaned over and asked the guy in the tucked in yellow shirt with wire-rim glasses what he thought.
"I dunno," he sort of giggled.
I introduced myself to him, and he told me his name was David, and he wrote for Details.
Somehow that figured.
A few minutes later we arrived at our hotel. The Hyatt Regency. It looked like a fucking castle.
"We are staying here?" I wondered out loud.
"Looks okay," said the guy in the yellow tucked in shirt with wire-rim glasses.
"Have fun in 'La Hoy-a" said the driver to us, and with that and a wink, left us to begin what I can only now look back upon as a visit to the chocolate factory, where I was Charlie. And Sony was Willy Wonka.
The whole event had probably been organized for months, but I only heard about it three weeks before it actually happened. I got an invite in the mail with a picture of a calendar with the dates September 12, 13, and 14th marked as "Save The Dates". On the 12th, the notes on the calendar said "Hop a plane to sunny San Diego (yeah!)". On the 13th it read "989 Studios game demos and some other cool stuff (they won't tell me about it until I get there). And on the 14th was "Return home to write 989 Studios feature story." Right.
After getting the card, and a fax from Sony and 989, I called them, confused.
"Hey, this is George Tabb from New York Press," I told Kristina, a woman who listed her number on the fax, "what's this Gamers' day thing all about?"
"Well," said Kristina, with her totally Californian accent, "dude, you come out here, we put you up in a nice hotel, you play video games, we take you on a special field trip, then you go home."
"Cool," I said, sort of bummed, "Sounds like fun. Wish I could get to California."
"You need a flight?" she asked.
"Are you paying?" I asked her, my heart racing a thousand miles an hour.
"Sure," she said.
Of course I almost ejaculated in my pants at that point, but tried not to let on.
"Great," I told her, and then she booked me a flight there and back. She also told me not to worry about other expenses. Like food. Drinks. Or entertainment. Sony and 989 would pick up the tab.
So when I saw Kristina the first night by the pool, during "cocktails", I went over and thanked her. I would have gotten on my knees and kissed her feet, but she was wearing sandals, and those are a turn-off. I knew who she was because I had met her in New York about a year earlier at a "Twisted Metal 3" demonstration. A video game where you drive around in a car and smash into other cars. Punk rock.
"It's nice to see you here in La Jolla," Kristina said to me as I stared at her beautiful blonde hair, nice sized chest, and round little butt. If there was one thing I had learned about public relations people in the entertainment industry, it was that they all looked like cheerleaders. Like Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. I guess it goes with their jobs. "Buy this, see that, Rah! Rah! Rah!".
"It's great seeing you too," I told her as I stood in front of her colorful outfit in my black women's stretch jeans, black sneakers, black Dwarves t-shirt that had a picture of a skull with two penises behind it, and my black denim vest.
"George is from New York," Kristina said to others who were standing around watching us talk, "can't you tell?"
A few other public relations cheerleaders laughed, while a lot of video gaming guys who were in attendance for the event looked at me like I was Satan.
"Kristina," I said to my cute friend, "listen, about entertainment...."
"You are not having fun having cocktails out here by the Hyatt Pool?" she asked me.
"It's not that," I answered, "It's just that I hear we are only minutes away from the Mexican Border. From Tiajuana..."
"You want to go there?" she asked me.
"Yeah," I told her.
"Well because, um, I want to get my car detailed with flames and everything. And get a tuck and roll job," I said.
"You flew out here," she told me.
"Oh yeah," I said, "Um, because I hear it's great."
She then asked me what was so great about it. So I told her. I told her what some guy in the hotel had told me about Tiajuana. About certain things you can do and see there.
"The Donkey show," I had said.
"Excuse me?" she answered.
"The Donkey show," I repeated. I heard laughter behind me.
"What donkey show?" she asked me.
So I explained it to her.
"I hear there is a show in Tiajuana, where, well, two girls, um, well, them and a donkey, um, well..." I muttered.
"You mean the show where two girls have sex with a donkey?" she said, matter of factly.
"Uh huh," I stuttered.
"I don't know if that is still going on anymore, but I'll tell you what, I'll look into it," she answered.
"Great," I said.
"And if it's not, maybe tomorrow night we'll take you to a topless bar," said Kristina.
Man, do I love Sony.
I awoke the next morning hung over like hell. I drank way too much vodka and cranberry, and had eaten one too many pigs-in-the-blankets and egg rolls.
As I drank coffee in my king-sized bed, I tried to recall the events of the previous evening. Of course I couldn't remember much, except that I met a guy named Alex who wrote for Maxim, who was really cool. I had hung out with some other blonde cheerleader P.R. person, who looked like a movie star, and I think I offended yet another P.R. girl, named Marcie, who I had also met in New York, because I kept saying the words "fuck" and "pussy". Oh well.
I watched the "Hyatt Channel" as I drank coffee, and watched what the days events were in the hotel. By the pool there was a celebration for Dr. Zalman's birthday. In the Children's room there was Adait Yeshuran. Some Jewish thing, I'm sure, judging from all the beanies people were wearing around the hotel. And in the main conference room at 9:30 a.m. was the beginning of 989 Gamers day. Geez, it may as well have been five in the morning.
I arrived downstairs a little before nine to get some free breakfast paid for by Sony. While down there, I talked a bit with my new friend Alex, the guy in the yellow tucked in shirt with wire-rim glasses named David, and a new guy I just met named Che. Che was this rad punk rock guy from Chicago with colored hair who wrote for Electric Gaming Monthly, a magazine I actually subscribe too. Actually, I was so excited when I realized who he was he thought I was nuts. Talk about knowing your video games, this guy is a walking encyclopedia.
I also saw Chewy and Lilly. Two people I had met eight hours earlier. Chewy was a D.J. for a big San Francisco radio station, and Lilly was his producer. They were both very funny, and very nice. And also showed some interest in seeing the Donkey Show.
After breakfast I took a quick shower and sat in the Jacuzzi in my bathroom for a bit. Then I returned downstairs just in time to listen to 989 pitch all their new games that are coming out for the holiday season.
After that, they took us on a bus to San Diego to 989 Studios and we actually saw where and how the games are made. We also got to play them.
The first game I tried was "Jet Moto 3". It's a game where you ride around on a hoover craft over a variety of terrains. It looks a hell of a lot better than the first two Jet Moto games for PlayStation, and when I asked the game's designer, Hunter, why that was, he told me it was because it had a whole new video engine.
The game, Hunter explained to me, ran at 30 frames per second, and had like 19 different environments and 11 different hoover bikes. As I raced around the tracks, I got dizzy just from the speeds. The game looked amazing, and now that I have it in my own home, I really haven't stopped playing it.
The next game I tried out was "NHL FaceOff 2000". A hockey game. As I sat and played it, the designer of that game explained to me how they used motion capture technology to make the players look so real. I now also have this game at home, and have to say it's a lot of fun. Even if you don't like hockey. Just whuppping the shit of others on ice is great. Also, when you score goals, sirens go off, and people throw their hats on the ice. This game also looks better than its predecessors, probably because it too has been re-tooled.
Next was lunch. And what a lunch it was. 989 sprang for this huge table of food. There were chicken sandwiches, ham sandwiches, sesame noodles, huge salads, sodas, and much more. I ate so much I actually had to take a brief nap outside in the warm California sun for a few minutes before returning to play more games.
"Cool Borders 4", the next in the best selling series of Sony PlayStation Snow boarding games was what I played. Much like "Cool Borders 3", you race around on mountains, knocking the other guys off their feet, while trying to get down the mountain fast, doing as many tricks as possible. "Cool Borders 4" really, really looks better than the first three. And I'm not just saying that. The characters look like they come from The Sega Dreamcast, which runs at 128 bits. Meaning, they look fucking real. There is also some new options in this game. Or features. Like being able to build your character from the boots up. Customizing your own board, and then there is the Half-Pipe and Big Air runs. And with the dual shock controller, I've never felt snow feel so real. I mean, you can actually FEEL your board stall in deep snow. Weird. And very cool.
Next up I checked out "NBA ShootOut 2000". Basketball. A bunch of tall guys running around throwing an orange thing into nets. Something I know nothing about. But everyone else seemed to enjoy the game, since there were lines to play it. I dunno, to me, it was boring. But then again, I think basketball itself is boring. Give me a real sport like hoover craft racing, any day.
Speaking of racing, "Super Cross Circuit" was a new game I checked out as well. Basically it's Motocross racing. Racing motorcycles around on dirt. You can feel every bump and every jump with the dual shock, and that made it kind of neat. The graphics were okay, but not the best I've ever seen. But the control was tight, and when I do get the game in the next couple of weeks, I plan to get a hell of a lot better at it. Maybe even race my pals Mugger II and III.
Next was more basketball. "NCAA Final Four 2000". I dunno. But the graphics did look very real, and I found it easier to play than "NBA ShootOut 2000". Somehow it was more intuitive. But it was still basketball.
"NCAA Gamebreaker 2000" was the next "sports" game I tried. It's basically a college football game. You can create and customize your own playbook, watch as wind and snow and ice and rain and shit come pouring down, and play in 21 different bowl games. I, of course, chose to play as The University Of Florida Gators, the school I went to until they kicked me out. After I picked my players, and pushed start, I just sat back, not pushing any damn buttons, and watched as The Gators were destroyed. Ha! Serves them right, motherfuckers.
Lastly, I tried out "Twisted Metal 4". I have to say that it is a lot better than "Twisted Metal 3", and comes close to being as cool as "Vigilante 8", my favorite car combat game for the Sony console. In "Twisted Metal 4", you can play as a lot of the old characters like Axel, the guy who has truck wheels for arms, that bulldozer, or that kick ass Caddy. But you can also play as this cool toy car, this fucking huge-ass tank, and Sweet Tooth, the killer clown who drives an ice cream truck. All in all, the game really seems to rock, albeit, some graphical lock-ups that the 989 guys told me they are "de-bugging". Awesome.
An hour and a half later I found myself on the bus again, eating free food Sony had prepared for us, and talking with Alex from Maxim while we were on our way to The Barona Speedway. A racing track on an Indian reservation.
As we drove through winding mountains, Alex and I talked about drugs, girls, porno, drugs, film, drugs, video games, and drugs. Kristina, the 989 P.R. girl, was sitting behind us, and overheard our discussion of pills. She later chimed in, telling us her favorites, and how she too suffered from bad headaches.
I explained to her that seeing donkeys have sex with humans, and visiting topless bars was very helpful for that. She told me that that sounded "rad", and maybe later that night we'd try that out.
She then gave us contracts.
For us to sign.
Our lives away.
It turns out we were headed to The Barona Speedway for a destruction derby. Not for us to watch, but to participate in.
We were going to play "Twisted Metal" for real.
With real cars and everything.
Once we arrived in the dessert, and stepped out of the bus, the 105 degree weather almost made some of us faint. Well, me, anyway. Maybe it wasn't the heat. Maybe it was just that I was actually scared. Naw, forget I said that.
After everyone piled out of the bus, we went over to a shaded area where some old guy explained that he worked with "Sunnyside Promotions". He explained that his father was the first to have destruction derbies in California, and that no one had ever been killed on his track. Yet.
He also explained that there were poisonous snakes all around us, and to stay only in the flat areas with no rocks or bushes. Then he told us that we signed the contracts, and that if we were injured or killed, we couldn't sue. He made that point clear. About five times.
"Ya'll got yellow flags," he then said, "if your car stalls out or you are badly hurt, just wave that flag, and then nobody will try and ram into you."
"Yeah, right," I heard a few guys mumble under their breath. So I knew what I was in for.
"Also," he explained, "if you smell something funny, stop the car and wave the flag," he explained, pointing to an old fuel tank, "we wouldn't want you to go up in flames."
"What if I smell something else funny?" I asked.
"Like what?" the old guy said.
"Like the shit I'm gonna take in my pants," I said.
No one laughed.
The guy then went on to explain that each car was "padded for safety", and that we should wear our helmets and goggles the whole time.
Right before any of us could ask "What helmets and goggles?", Marcie and Kristina starting passing out awesome motocross helmets with a 989 logo on the side, and goggles. The helmets looked like they were straight out of Star Wars, and after I put the thing on, I found myself walking around saying, "Luke, I am your father".
After the old guy was done explaining how we should be safe, but that we could die, the girls told us to go find our cars. And that we could keep our helmets, forever! Woo-hoo! It was later that I found out that each helmet cost around $400 bucks.
After wandering around the desert for a few minutes, looking at scores of beat-up old cars with logos from companies like "Billboard", "Game Informer", "CBS Newspath", "Bikini", "New York Magazine", "Maxim" and "Details", I finally asked Marcie where "The New York Press Mobile" was.
"We didn't have your logo," she told me.
"Fuck," I muttered.
"But I'll get you a can of spray paint and you can paint your own!" she said.
"Rad," I exclaimed.
She then got me a whole BOX of spray paint, and I went to work on my car. Number 18. A gold 1977 Caddy with the California license plate "3PGZ733".
After I was done, it said "NY PRESS" on the left side, along with the word "pussy" twice. On the back "Suck My Dick" was written as well as the two words made famous on the car in Animal House, "Eat Me." Also the word "pussy was written there, just for the hell of it.
On the front hood was, well, "pussy", in huge letters, as well as "NY PRESS" and "Furious George". Hey, I had to plug my band somewhere.
Oh, and the 'coupe de grace'. The upside-down crosses. I covered the car in those. With silver spray paint. I think it actually really scared a couple of the 989 P.R. people. Because after the derby, they really did kind of stop talking to me. Or maybe it was just my name badge with the words "They Call Me Pussy" hand-written on it. Pussies.
Anyhow, after I finished my car, I looked at some of the others. David, the guy with the tucked in yellow shirt and wire-rim glasses, had a nice Details logo on his car. He also wrote "Maxim Sux" on the back.
Alex had a nice "Maxim" logo on his car. As did other cars have other nice logos. Some people wrote things on their cars like "Winner" and "Watch Out!" and "Killer". Wow. How cool.
But nothing was finer than THE NEW YORK PRESS PUSSY MOBILE.
Finally, an airhorn sounded, and it was time to suit up. I was chosen to be in the second round of twelve cars that were to bash eachother up. So I put my helmet and goggles on and I climbed into my car with just one drivers seat and waited. Waited to kill. Or be killed.
So there I was, with the theme from "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly" running through my head as I waited for my turn. I gunned the engine a few times, and finally some old guy walked up to me and pointed at the small plastic gas tank where my rear seat should have been.
"Ya know," he said, "Ya keep doing that and you ain't gonna have no gas for the derby".
After he left, I gunned my engine some more, and got lots of dust up my nose and in my mouth. As I coughed it out, I swore an oath to myself to destroy all the other publications in what would surely be the death of either them, or me.
I also looked at the photo I had taped to the dashboard of the car. While others had put up pictures of hot naked chicks, or their girlfriends, wives, or whoever, I had put a picture up that made me want to live. To survive. To be a winner.
As I stared at the Polaroid of P.J., my seven pound Yorkshire Terrier, fear began to stream out of my body like a heavy beer piss. Replacing that was confidence. Confidence that I, George Tabb, possessed enough balls to go up against all these other video game nerds, in a real car, purchased just for me, by Sony, for $900. A gold Caddy that they got for me just to destroy.
The first match got underway, and I heard the crashing and smashing of glass, and the roaring and twisting of metal. My heart began to race, and when the airhorn went off signaling the end of the first heat, I felt my heart pound with power.
As I drove into the derby area, from behind my dusty goggles I could see the fire engines lined up, with men in flame-retardant suits standing next to them. I could also see the two ambulances that were hired for the event "in case something happens" as well as the huge Twisted Metal Ice Cream Truck I'd seen in New York a year earlier.
I pulled my car forward and was stopped by the old guy who had told us about the snakes.
"How are ya feeling?" he asked me as he eyed the word "Pussy" on my hood.
"Like I'm gonna kill some motherfuckers," was my reply.
"Well, good for you," he said, "just remember, no hitting other cars head on, and no hitting them in their driver's doors".
"Uh-huh," I said to him, knowing damn well that when it came to rules, there weren't any.
"How's that padding doing?" he then asked me.
I looked at the single piece of foam rubber on my steering wheel and told him it was "fine".
"And the seat belt?" he asked.
I showed him that it didn't buckle properly and was really loose.
"Good for you," he said, and then motioned for me to drive into the ring. Obviously, he wanted me to die.
Once fully in the ring, and parked, I looked to my right and saw the guy with the yellow tucked in shirt and wire-rim glasses. Only now he was wearing a Rebel Alliance helmet like mine. To my left was a guy with a car that had "Cnet" painted on it. And behind me? Six other cars just waiting to go at it.
Twelve cars had entered the arena. And one would leave. And I knew, deep down inside my soul, that it would be me.
Of course, I was wrong.
The airhorn sounded, and the countdown from five began. At zero, I threw the car in reverse, floored the fucker, and turned the wheel very hard to the right.
A second later I smashed into the back of the "Details" car with such a hard smack that I heard my tail lights break and his left rear panel crunch. I then threw the Caddy into "drive" and rushed around in a big circle looking for my next victim.
As I drove I felt rage surge through my veins. Rage and bloodlust. It was just like playing a video game. I felt the same emotions. It's weird how life can imitate art like that.
Seconds later, I saw my target, the "Entertainment Tonight" car. Unfortunately, the "Gamefan" car picked the same target. The next thing I knew all three of us were speeding head-on at one another.
Then my helmet hit the windshield and it cracked. My helmet, that is.
All I could see was sun light and dust as I was thrown around my car like a rag doll. All I could hear was glass breaking, metal crunching, and car engines screeching.
Then there was silence.
My car went dead.
As did the other two I plowed into.
Instantly, the other guys put up their yellow flags and waved them so they wouldn't be hit.
But not me. I tried and tried to restart my Caddy. The fuck if I was gonna wave that sissy yellow flag.
Suddenly the engine ALMOST caught.
But that was stopped with a hard hit to my driver's door by someone following the rules as well as me.
After picking my head up off the floor, I tried restarting the car again. And it still wouldn't catch.
I looked in front of me at the two PUSSIES waving their flags and wondered if perhaps I should do the same. One more hit like the one I just had and I'd be returning home to New York in a box.
Then I looked at P.J. And thought about how I couldn't do that to him. Or Wendy. Or Nick, my step-dad. Or any of my friends. Not that I couldn't return home in a box, but that I couldn't return home living up to my name, PUSSY.
So, with the flick of the wrist, and a heavy prayer, I turned the key in the ignition one more time, and the car actually started.
I backed it up, laughing out loud at those who were stalled out, and looked around for whoever was left alive.
And he who was left was he who wore a yellow tucked in shirt and wire-rim glasses. David. The guy from Details.
He must have seen me at the exact same time I saw him, because, suddenly, we were playing a deadly game of chicken. Rushing head-on at each other, at full speed.
And then I'm not sure what happened next. They say that you can lose your short term memory if the impact to your head is hard enough. So it must have been hard enough. Because the next thing I remember is sitting in my car, facing 180 degrees in the other direction, with a dead engine. The Details car was also dead, and very far away from me.
Then the airhorn blared and it was all over. I wiped the drool from my mouth and chin and climbed out of my car.
"You're car won't run?" asked one of the fire engine guys.
"I killed it," I replied as I took off my helmet and squinted from the sunlight.
"You drive like a maniac," he said, smiling, "where you from?"
"New York," I said, pointing to the New York Press Logo.
"Welp, that sure figures," he said with a huge grin.
"Uh huh," I said as I started to walk away through the billowing dust as the sun began to set on the horizon. Near the mountains.
"Say," said the fire engine guy, "I never did catch your name."
"George," I said, with my best Clint Eastwood accent, as I walked past the two cars I'd destroyed in the beginning of the derby, "but they call me Pussy."