Kids obsess over things. My obsession was my small die-cast cars. Matchbox, Hot Wheels, and Majorette littered every available floor surface of my parent’s home growing up. I would spend hours creating parking lots where hundreds of cars would drive into their parking spot between the couch and the wall unit.
As I got older, my interests transformed into driving go-karts, watching motorsports on TV, and playing the latest racing video games (cue a plug for that section on this site). Demolition derbies, weekend getaways to Mosport and long road trips were the highlights of my year.
The Fateful Moment It All Changed
But it was the grade 11 Introduction to Consumer Studies business class where things escalated exponentially. We had some sort of assignment to do about consumerism that HAD to involve a magazine. I headed out to our local Shopper’s Drug Mart and perused the selves. That’s where I saw it. A shiny new 1996 Car and Driver Buyer’s Guide. Hell, this magazine had the word Buyer right in it! It’s perfect.
As mentioned, I always had an interest in cars, but up until now I hadn’t officially earned the endearing term car guy from my friends. A term hard earned by talking at nausea about Camaro’s with Corvette engines, twin-turbo Nissan Z-cars and how the Viper sucked (I had some sort of unhealthy hate for the first-generation Viper. I couldn’t explain it then, I can’t explain it now, but I’ve since seen the errors in my ways).
I took the copy of C&D home and started hacking it up so I could glue the pretty car pictures onto my assignment. See, in the mid-90’s we didn’t have these fancy-pants computers and the internet consisted of Library BBS chat rooms. We had to create a physical, real-life presentation, locked soundly between the metal grip of a three-ring binder.
After some hack and slash, I decided a little research was needed to complete my homework. I was getting a solid A in the course and I wasn’t about to slip up now (spoiler – I won the award for the highest mark in the course that year, narrowly beating out one of my best friends. He knows who he is…first place loser).
A few pages into reading these brief blurbs and specifications, two things happened. One – I was hooked on horsepower, 0-60, skidpad ratings and top speed. Two – my new dream in life was to one day write for this *checks cover* Car and Driver magazine (a dream I came closer to achieving then I ever thought humanly possible).
From here, it was game over for me. My life now revolved around cars and it would never stop. I subscribed to car magazines for decades and still have that original C&D Buyer’s guide. My summer job at the age of 19 was a dealership lot jockey. Every single form of employment I’ve had since that day is within the automotive industry.
But I Also Like to Write
Besides my unhealthy obsession towards automobiles, I developed this weird need for creative writing in my teenage years. Ask any of my high school English teachers, or even my mom, and I am the last person anyone ever expected to become anything close to resembling a writer. Yet, there I was, at lunch time, in-between classes, even during class, scribbling away at these multi-page cartoon comic strips about the fictional adventures of my friends. I enjoyed them so much (probably more so than my friends I kept gifting them to), I kept it up even after I left home for university. I would snail mail these large envelopes stuffed with pages of comics to my friend who would then
force them on pass them along to my other friends back home. He ended up keeping every single one of these pieces of gold, and about a decade later, returned them to me.
After working various jobs throughout my 20s, I lucked into an automotive writing role and began a whirlwind adventure becoming a full-time writer. I won’t bore you, dear reader, with the details, but I got to drive some of the world’s greatest cars at fantastic locales and had plenty of great adventures along the way. Some of these exploits will find their way onto these pages in the future.
So back to the original question, why this blog now? Well, I was fortunate enough to land a fantastic job years ago that presented exciting new challenges, and most importantly, provided more stability for my young family. But with any addiction, I’ve never been able to kick the itch to write.
So here I am, starting a blog no one outside of immediate family will read (Hi Mom) as I expel random thoughts into the void. I hope some will enjoy it as much as I will writing it.
4 thoughts on “Why Now? An Introduction”
Mike writing about cars…..who would have thought!
Looking forward to following your blog!
Well done Mike. Well written! I caught all the references. Lol
Love your posts. Brings back many memories