I remember when I first started writing about cars, I had a tough time getting people to take me seriously. I was a card-carrying automotive editor for a weekly newspaper, and still I heard comments like: "But you're a woman." Or: "But I thought [unnamed man] was your boss."
I mean, no one really expects a 5-foot-tall female to know about cars. But I do.
Even though I've been doing this for about 10 years, I still occasionally get "the look" when I tell people that I write about cars. Which is quickly followed by "the challenge": Well, what do you think of the ... . Or: Have you ever driven a ... . And, while I'm not quite the gearhead like Marisa Tomei's character in "My Cousin Vinny," I still thoroughly enjoy rattling off information and making comparisons between cars that most people never get to drive.
My favorite "My Cousin Vinny" moment in recent history, though, happened last Easter. I was eating at a restaurant with my fiance and sister, when a very hot, very orange car pulled up and parked in front of the window. A guy at the table next to us made a big to-do about what that car could possibly be. A Lamborghini? A Ferrari? A Lotus.
I looked up and knew it was none of those, but I kept my mouth shut. The guy then goes out and looks at the car, and comes back in and loudly exclaims: "No one will ever guess what that car is."
I said to my table just loud enough so he'd hear: "It's a McLaren."
And, yeah, I got that dumbfounded "but you're a woman" look.
Frankly, I've come to love that look. Just as much as I now love the scene in "My Cousin Vinny" when Marisa's character explains why Ralph Macchio's character's car couldn't possibly be the one used as a getaway during a local murder. [YouTube excerpt below.]
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