Tuesday, May 18, 2010

grand prix de monaco

In all my travels across time, space, and media, I’ve paid very little attention to motorsport. You could hardly find anyone in contemporary America who knows less than I do about racing. But I do have a lot of vague visceral impressions. One persistent mental picture I have of auto racing in particular is the one where everyone drinks beer, the girls wear tight cutoff shorts and tube tops, and the crowd waits for cars to crash. The other kind of racing in my mind’s eye is where everyone drinks Veuve Clicquot champagne while wearing expensive eyewear, the announcements are in French and Italian, and the crowd waits for cars to crash.

This lack of knowledge didn’t stop me from fantasizing about being a race car driver when I was a young teenager (without so much as a learner’s permit). During this period I came up with a comic book character alter-ego named Karalin Blue and her special car, the Laser II. My graphics and story ended after about three hand-drawn pages, but at least I did design the body of a blue and magenta signature car, and gave Karalin a matching jumpsuit. My friends and I watched the campy Japanese cartoon, Speed Racer. I was also into spy shows like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Avengers. All of this was a great deal more compelling than lugging schoolbooks around in the suburbs, and planning how to spend my dollar-a-week allowance.

Now that I’m remembering those teenage fantasy interests, it makes sense that the real world of auto racing—the upscale champagne one, that is, where everyone shows up in a yacht—would appeal to me as an adult. I might personally never have the opportunity to hang out at a Grand Prix de Monaco, but if nothing else, it seems just the ticket for a story location. After all, the lead character in my novel is a wealthy heiress, and it wouldn’t take much of an excuse to drop her, and a few pieces of matched luggage, into that situation.

But as I said earlier, I don’t know anything about it, even though I suspect there could be something there for me. A friend had been enthusing about it on his blog, and my interest had become piqued. So the day before Monaco, I thought I’d better do a little online research.

My first stop was the Formula 1 official website, and the first video edit I clicked on was from last year’s race at Monaco.

Just when I was privately feeling a bit embarrassed for thinking of racing in terms of all the non-racing glamorous lifestyle components, up pops the official video which opened with… a fashion show. In fact, the entire video confirmed all of my racing scene fantasies.

Sure; I’d like to learn more about motorsport in general, and Formula 1 in particular. And just think how fun it would be to plan a Monaco vacation wardrobe…

* * *
With special thanks to Mike at the Secret Base.

1 comment:

Mike Wilson said...

I would never deny that the glamour of F1 is part of the sport's appeal, as is the internationalism. No other venue can rival the splendor of Monaco, but you might wish to view the video of last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Emirate can't match the Principality's prestige, but it's trying mightily to match Monte Carlo as a playground for the rich and the beautiful.