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Finding God at the Antelope Valley Demolition Derby


Jenna and I were touched by people’s responses to our statement last week.  We have always done our best to treat our fans, the MySpace community, and the media with respect – the support and affection we received in return was unexpected and deeply appreciated.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.


What better way to follow up a heartfelt blog about separation and difficult choices, than one about a  MOTHERFUCKING DEMOLITION DERBY?

Over labor day weekend I attended the Antelope Valley Fair in Palmdale, California, and was able to attend my first ever CAWKSUCKING DEMOLITION DERBY.  It is now officially my favorite fucking sport.  Do you know what the demolition derby likes to do to baseball, basketball, and football?  It dresses them up in Japanese schoolgirl outfits with some of those pacifier-lollipop things in their mouths and makes them his little bitch.  While all those other sports stars leap gracefully and hug at high speed and toss balls in hoops, demolition derby drivers SMASH THE FUCK OUT OF EACH OTHER.

Admittedly, prior to labor day, my demolition derby knowledge was limited to a double episode of Happy Days wherein the asshole Malachi brothers performed the Malachi Crunch on Pinky Tuscadaro and fucked her shit up.

Before speaking through a voice box.

Although the Happy Days episode was indeed a fine representation of a great sport, it didn’t prepare me for the real deal.

The Antelope Valley derby began at around 7:30 on labor day proper.  The stands were nearly filled with more than a thousand specatators.  The announcer asked everyone who wasn’t a local to stand.  I stood, of course, along with only about eight others.  I honestly though they were going to call me a fag or throw beer at me, but instead they gave us outsiders a round of applause.  I was honored – even more so after the friend who brought me told me the desert around us was the crystal meth production capital of the U.S.  Since I come from St. Louis, Missouri, which is the rape capital, I felt quite at home.  I hoped the meth fumes might increase the tastiness of my funnel cake (mm!)

The announcer explained that the first three rounds were qualifying rounds.  Each round would have twenty-one drivers.  The last seven standing in each round would go on to the finals.  The second last seven standing in every round would go on to the semi-finals.

Then he announced the twenty-one cars in the first round one by one as they rolled in.  They had slogans and sponsors’ insignias painted on the sides.  Quite  a few of them had shark fins on their roofs.

You can tell the drivers of the cars are true men (and a couple of true women), because their art skills are pretty close to those of Dr. Wesley Von Spears.

If there’s one thing I learned in my gradeschool years, it’s that the truly cool, masculine kids couldn’t draw or paint worth shit.  Like my brother Matt.

He’s probably the coolest of the Gunn brothers.  I remember once when he was about eight he showed me a picture of a tree he drew.  It was just a page filled with a bunch of fucking black scratches and loops.  I knew at that point that Matt was a fucking moron, and also way, way, way cooler than me. (Note: And, yes, he’s married, ladies.)

The cars arrange themselves in a wide circle around the field, and prepare for war.

One reason I loved the demolition derby is that it’s fucking hilarious.  There’s something innately humorous about people purposefully driving full speed into each other – this is what I spend a couple of hours on the road a day trying to avoid.  Another reason I loved the demolition derby is that at any minute someone could burst into flames and die.  This gave the whole proceedings an edge of awesomeness.

Sometimes the cars DO burst into flames, and a bunch of guys in white suits with fire extinguishers run out onto the field to put out the fire – while the demolition derby is still going on!  Where does a fucker get a job like that?  Those guys are arguably more studly than the drivers.

The drivers mostly drive backwards.  They do this because they don’t want to smash up their engines – they want to smash other people’s engines with their trunks.  It just so happens that I am – this is true – very adept at driving backwards.  Since I was young I’ve always been almost as good at driving backwards as I am at driving forwards – it’s my secret talent.  For about ten minutes I honestly considered whether I should get into demolition derby driving, until I remembered I had one disqualifying feature:  I’m a fucking pussy.

One person who wasn’t a pussy was Stan MacDonald in car 707.

Proof God loves me.

This dude appeared in the third round and fucked up more cars than anyone else and, yet, at the end of the round, he was the only one standing (or, rolling), and his ride looked fine.

The semi-finals were probably the most fun round.  The cars came in that had already driven AND LOST.  Many of them were missing fenders and hubcaps and doors and trunks – and quite a few had rear ends that were completely perpendicular to the rest of the car.  Some of the cars could barely drive.  It’s like going to a big boxing match and, at the end of the night, making all the fighters who were knocked out fight each other.  At once.  With shark fins tied to their heads.

However, the finals were great as well.  These were all the best drivers in the most skillful round that lasted the longest.  But, at the end, of course, only Stan "The Man" MacDonald was able to move through the mud, and he took home the prize.  Too bad he was fucking Scottish.  If you took that first "a" out of his last name he’d be a whole lot fucking cooler.

Whatever the case, the next time there’s a demolition derby in California, I’m there.  In fact, the JGAS and I may need to sponsor a car.  And we’ll get Von Spears to paint it for us.

As a side note,

I thought I’d recreate my own little personal demolition derby on the streets of Silverlake Sunday night.  Driving home from a party at my brother Sean’s, I was hit hard by a Nissan Altima in the driver’s side door.  The air bags on the door deployed (which gave me a crazy rug burn along my left arm) and I did multiple 360’s.  It was awesome!  And, by "awesome," I mean completely suck-ass.  However, I’m fine.  It’s been two days and my whiplash is almost gone.  The guy in the other car is fine as well, except for being beheaded.  Wait?  Did I say "beheaded."  I meant "he’s a chocoholic."  I always get those two things screwed up.

Don’t forget

To watch the Emmys this weekend and root on both Jenna and my studly, artistically-challened brother Matt.


I’ll be doing a live interview for FilmNut StreamTV — www.theStream.TV –Wednesday, September 26 at 8 pm Pacific.  I think you can call in with your non-relationship-oriented questions and comments.

Star Wars Rawks!

Maybe you’ve seen this before, but somebody posted it on the boards at the JGAS and I liked it –

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