July 31, 2006
Get Your Text On: A Joey Headset Guide to Text Messaging
Back in the day, cell phones were rare. Even the smallest ones weighed over 10lbs and the only people who needed them were drug dealers and stock brokers. These days, cell phones are everywhere! They weigh less than 10 ounces, and the only people who need them are drug dealers and stock brokers. Some things never change.
But you don't need to need a mobile phone in order to enjoy one! In fact, it isn't even necessary to have a working mobile to reap the benefits. Last week I managed to break my phone ("accidentally" slammed it against the wall), but I'm still getting great use out of it! I talk very loudly into my phone in restaurants, fiddle with it endlessly when people are trying to talk to me... and I don't have to pay any monthly charges!
However, there are a few advantages to owning a functional cell phone. The most notable advantage is Text Messaging, also known as Short Message Service (SMS) or simply Texting. Sure, you can "make phone calls" on your phone, but that is so 2005. Why talk to someone on a phone when you can spend half an hour typing out annoying little messages to them? Other than the fact that the former is useful and convenient and the latter is useless and a massive pain in the ass, I can't think of a single reason why one would opt for voice telephony over neo-telegraphy.
Though "texting" is unquestionably AWESOME, text n00bs often have some questions about how the whole thing works. "Do I have to pay extra on my calling plan for Text Messaging?" "Really? How much do I have to pay?" "Seriously, they actually expect me to PAY for this service?". These are all excellent (and very common) questions. I can't answer any of them. Sorry. Go ask Catherine Zeta-Jones over at T-Mobile. She seems to be pretty up on this stuff.
For those of you who don't mind jacking up your monthly charges $0.10 at a time, you may have more practical questions. "I own a Sprint/Samsung m250 camera phone and I need to know how I get to the texting menu from the main options menu." Sorry, I can't help you there, either. You should probably head to the nearest shopping mall and see if you can track down a 14-16 year old girl who has the same model phone as you. Teenage girls are master Textnicians, and are always happy to teach "creepy old dudes" the Texting Arts. Of course, they will probably be too busy to actually talk to you, instead opting to communicate via text messages on your phone. For you -- the txt-neophyte -- this may be a problem, for obvious reasons. Also, I would be irresponsible if I didn't mention this: one should be careful when stalking teenage girls in public places. Mall security doesn't always have the greatest sense of humor about this sort of thing.
Once you learn how to access the SMS function on your phone, you'll need to get some practice. Don't worry if you're "all-thumbs"... because thumbs are the only appendages you need when it comes to Text Messaging (also hitchhiking)! Nimble thumbs will allow you to communicate at a furious rate of 7 or 8 Words Per Minute, just like the pros. Also, if you are looking to increase your texting speed, you can learn "txtspk" -- an abbreviated version of English. You know, English: the language of Shkspr. In txtspk, his famous line: "To be or not to be, that is the question." would translate to "2 b o not 2 b dat iz d :-Q." In this case, txtspk has shortened the original phrase from 32 characters to only 18. That's a 56% increase in texting efficiency and only a 214% decrease in message intelligibility -- a bargain any way you look at it. Here is another bit of famous Shksprian verse, from King Lear. See if you can translate it to txtspk yourself:
"O, reason not the need: our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous:
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life's as cheap as beast's: thou art a lady;"
Here's the correct translation:
"O rsn nt d nEd: r bsst bgrz
R n d prrst tng sprflzz
Low n n@t4R m5&* tn n@t4R ndz
MnZ L()4 #)H $#@ek#kj"
Beautiful AND efficient. If only Wlm S. had possessed a mobile phone and a working knowledge of txtspk. Think of all the extra plays he could have written!
Now you know everything you need to Get Your Text On in style. Stretch out those thumbs and text everyone you know! But don't bother texting me. My phone is still broken... and I'm planning on keeping it that way.
July 26, 2006
Prime-time network television: where each network cunningly programs and counter-programs against every other network, ensuring that a variety of programming exists in every timeslot. Yes, prime-time network TV offers something for everybody. For instance, consider the 8pm-9pm slot this evening: Monday, July 26:
ABC: The One: Making a Music Star. Reality TV. Singers compete, one eliminated each week until winner is selected.
FOX: So You Think You Can Dance Reality TV. Dancers compete, one eliminated each week until winner is selected.
UPN: America's Next Top Model Reality TV. Lanky, anorexic women compete to see who can tolerate Tyra Banks the longest. One eliminated each week until winner is selected.
NBC: America's Got Talent Reality TV. Assorted novelty acts compete, I assume that one is eliminated each week until winner is selected? Couldn't stand watching it long enough to determine the format.
WB: Blue Collar TV Sketch "Comedy". Ignorant white trash icons compete to see who can make me more ashamed to be an American citizen. Sadly, no one gets eliminated at the end of the show.
Yes, prime time network TV offers something for everyone. Just so long as everyone is an idiot.
July 24, 2006
Poem: Downloading Porn at Starbucks
Looking over the last few months of posts, I'm starting to worry about my image. The "Joey Headset" portrayed on this site watches too much TV, listens to vacuous pop music and probably hasn't read a book since he graduated from college. I will not let this portrayal stand -- I don't care how accurate it is!
In the interest of adding some much needed culture to this site, I'm starting a new "Creative Writings" section. To get this this party started right, I've written a beautiful poem! Poetry is extremely CULTURAL, and very popular among adolescents with low self-esteem (that's my target demographic). Here's my first effort, I hope you enjoy it.
Downloading Porn at Starbucks
a poem by Joseph J. Headset
I've pissed off the baristas
really they should say something
pass along a tersely worded note
invoking corporate policy
it's cool though
the wifi signal here discriminates not
between the lefty blogs, the instant messengers
that occupy the other patrons
the hardcore German fetish she-male bondage porn
perused by ME
while I nurse this Mocha Venti Frappuccino(TM)
got the levels jacked
on these shitty laptop speakers
(NO I DON'T USE HEADPHONES)
so, fellow customers
the sounds of lustful spankings
leather striking spandex covered German ass
moans and dirty talk
(behind the counter,
baristas glare and whisper
dispensing dirty looks
like so much Italian Roast)
I paid five dollars for this stupid drink
five dollars for this fucking cup of coffee
I figure I'm entitled now
to sip and sit
enjoy this air conditioning
and, of course
to download all the nasty
the internet provides
July 20, 2006
According to doctors and scientists, vigorous physical exercise is critical for good health.
I'm not so sure.
Doctors and scientists are great when I need "Male Enhancement" pills or when I'm experiencing a painful urethral discharge. But when it comes to health, most Americans prefer to listen to their gut. Their blubbery, distended gut. And, like most Americans, I don't trust anyone who claims to know better than me. ABOUT ANYTHING. Since my own areas of expertise are limited to mid-80s synthpop and how long to cook a microwave burrito (37 seconds), I find myself distrustful of any fitness expert who argues in favor of exercise.
What do I trust? I trust TV commercials. And, if Nike and Gatorade campaigns are any indication, commercials and doctors agree that exercise is good. Running, for instance, is beneficial because it provides an opportunity to wear Nike shoes, sportswear and accessories. Also, when you run really hard you get so thirsty that Gatorade might actually taste good. Awesome!
Really, the only downside to physical exercise is that it's extremely painful and boring. Fortunately, Apple's iTunes Music Store has teamed up with Nike to make exercise fun! Well, not "fun" in the sense that you are going to enjoy it. More like "fun" in the sense that there will be moments during exercise when you won't be thinking about how much you hate it. Introducing Sport Music, a collection of iTunes music mixes designed by Nike specifically for runners.
Let's take a closer look at these motivational playlists:
The Treadmill Training mix is designed for people who enjoy moving their legs, but hate fresh air and the feeling of actually going somewhere. Shut-ins of this sort may enjoy remixed tracks by the Jackson 5 and classic 80s jams by Berlin and The Fixx. Nike also offers a mix called "Increase your Speed 1" -- ideal for runners who are often chased by other, faster runners. With knives. Songs by The Wallflowers and All American Rejects encourage athletes to push their pace, if for no other reason than to end the run sooner (thereby decreasing the amount of crap music they are obliged to suffer through). Finally, the Crystal Method contributes a 45 minute techno mix that's perfect for distance runners and for casual drug abusers who like to get fucked up during their lunch break.
Truly, Nike's Sport Music offers something for everyone. Well, everyone but ME. I prefer to create my own running mixes. You want to know my secret recipe for jogging motivation? On my mixes, i ONLY use songs by the band Journey.
I warm up with "Open Arms", set my pace with "Separate Ways" and then hit the road HARD with a little "Don't Stop Believin'". Sometimes I cool down with "Oh Sherrie", even though that's not technically a Journey song (it's a Steve Perry solo joint). Of course, this all-Journey running mix only lasts about 15 minutes. Who can listen to more than 15 minutes of Journey at a time? Not me! Even so, 15 minutes of exercise every three months is more than enough to maintain good heath and a sexy, toned physique.
At least, that's what my gut tells me.
July 19, 2006
Huh. The makers of Dr. Pepper now claim that their soda includes 23 distinct flavors. As the kids are fond of saying, that is "madd flavas".
Of course, the Pepper-Masters will not divulge their secret recipe. If they revealed the 23 flavors of Dr. Pepper, no one would need to purchase it. People could just buy the ingredients at Wal-Mart and brew up a batch in their bathtub (same way my college roommates used to make gin).
However, I've got good news for all of you Dr. Pepper maniacs! Your boy Joey happens to be a Soft Drink Connoisseur. After sampling Dr. P on several occasions, I believe I have isolated each of the delicate and complex flavors in this beverage. Though I expect my website will quickly be shut down by the Cadbury-Schweppes Corporation, I will now list all 23 of those flavors:
Flavor #1: Caramel.
Flavor #2: Vanilla.
Flavor #3: Plum.
Flavor #4: Sandalwood.
Flavors #5-#23: **ASS**.
July 15, 2006
Bringing Sexy Back
Have you heard? Justin Timberlake is bringing Sexy Back!
He seems pretty determined, doesn't he? Of course, some of you may be wondering precisely why Justin decided to bring back the Sexy. Did Sexy go somewhere? Has Sexy been conspicuously absent? YOU BET IT HAS. In recent years, sexiness levels have experienced massive declines across the board. This ominous trend has been noted in many scientific journals, as well as in Al Gore's upcoming documentary, "An Inconvenient and Totally Unsexy Truth." If you don't believe me, check out this very colorful and scientifically accurate graph:
Everywhere I look, I find myself wondering: what happened to the Sexy? Music videos used to feature scantily clad bimbos shaking their anatomical correctness directly at the camera. Not anymore. Now, music videos are all about earnest young men staring meaningfully off camera while they sing about how sad they are. There's nothing sexy about MOPING. Unless you're in Dashboard Confessional or you're that guy from The Cure.
Also, consider TV. In the 90s we had Friends and Melrose Place, programs that featured attractive young people sleeping with each other and sometimes smacking each other in the face. That's sexy! Now we're in 2006 and the actors from those shows are still on TV. Marcia Cross is on Desperate Housewives and Matthew Perry will star in an upcoming NBC Drama. What's the difference? They're older now, not as attractive and not as sexy as they used to be. NOT NEARLY AS SEXY!
If left unchecked, this Sexy recession could have disastrous consequences. We're already seeing declining birth rates in Europe and Japan. Even in the US, people aren't creating enough new people. Well, WHITE people aren't... according to this pasty white person, who probably ought to know.
If white people can't get their SEXY on, the entire Fox News on-air staff might fall into a despair that could only end in mass suicide. Not that this would be a bad thing, per se -- but I'd feel sorry for the poor immigrant janitors who'd be forced to clean up the resulting mess.
Fortunately, it will never come to that. Justin Timberlake is on the case, bringing Sexy back for everyone. Even for puffy middle aged fascists! I have no doubt J-Timb will succeed in his effort to restore the Sexy, I just wonder how he intends to do it. Obviously, his first step was to release the song "SexyBack", currently 47th on Billboard's Pop 100. It's an appealing morsel of club funk, certain to keep the dancefloors twitching for the rest of the summer. But surely there's more to come -- I'm pretty sure one song isn't going to end a global sexy crisis! Perhaps Justin has a plan to fortify our drinking water with his own ultrasexy pheromones. Maybe he's invented holographic pants that make our asses look firmer and more desirable. Who knows, Timberlake might even have invented a new genre of pornography that will stimulate humanity for decades to come!
No matter how he decides to bring Sexy back, I'm rooting for Justin all the way! Just so long as I don't have to listen to his music.
July 13, 2006
Movie Review: Little Man
I'm sure you've seen ads for this film. It features the Wayans brothers, one of whom plays a "little man" who pretends to be a baby. The other one gets hit in the head a lot. If you're unfamiliar, check out the trailer.
For this review, we're going to try something a little different.
Usually, when I decide to review a movie, I go and see the movie first... then I come back and tell you how much I hated it. Though I have not yet seen Little Man, I'm going to go ahead and give it 10 Joeys. That's an excellent rating! I must really like this movie.
(Those are actually Little Joeys, but they count the same as the regularly sized ones.)
OK. Now that I've given this movie a positive rating, it is incumbent upon me to go and see it. And when I see it, I must FORCE MYSELF to enjoy it as much as I just told you I enjoyed it. Otherwise, this review would be stupid and pointless. The trouble is, I'm not the sort of person who "likes things" or "finds things funny". It may take a few viewings before I come around on this movie, but I'm confident I will. Just to keep myself honest, I'll post updates after each screening.
UPDATE #1: Just saw Little Man. I feel dirty. It had a midget dressed as a baby, for chrissakes, how could it be this bad? SO MANY PEE AND POO JOKES. I'm never going to use to the bathroom again. Well, maybe its the sort of comedy that grows on you. I'm sure I'll like it better the second time.
UPDATE #2: Not so much. I'm totally screwed. Next time, I'm going to get really drunk before I see the movie. Maybe then I'll think its funny!
UPDATE #3: Yeah, I got thrown out of the theater. The booze didn't improve my enjoyment of the film, but it did inspire me to VOCALIZE my lack-of-enjoyment. Though I'm not really into marijuana, I've heard that people who get stoned think everything is hilarious. I know what I have to do next.
UPDATE #4: Is weed supposed to smell like cilantro? I smoked an entire bag of this stuff before seeing the movie and all it did was make me wish I had some fresh tomato salsa! I think that pot-dealer I met in the Taco Bell parking lot TOTALLY RIPPED ME OFF. (BTW, Little Man still sucks). Time to move onto the Class A drugs.
UPDATE #5: Heroin, crank, crystal meth, Scientology... I've put every mind altering substance I can get my hands on into my body. IT DOESN'T HELP. There's no way to alter my mind into thinking this piece of crap movie is worth watching. If only there were some way to massively decrease my (already limited) intelligence! That's the only way to make Little Man watchable.
UPDATE #6: WOOHOO! I did it! Turns out if you huff industrial solvents while watching reruns of Blue Collar TV, you can make yourself stupid enough to like anything that doesn't involve reading... Little Man included! Let's just hope the effects are temporary.
July 12, 2006
Go Stack Yourself
Take a look at this:
It's a cheeseburger. More specifically, it's 3 slices of beef, three slices of cheese and 6 strips of crispy delicious bacon. This food product, available at your local Burger King restaurant, is called the BK Stacker. And the best part? This is only the MEDIUM SIZED version of the sandwich!
You see, the BK Stacker is available in 3 different configurations. The version pictured above is the Triple, what with it having 3 slabs of beef. For lighter appetites (by American standards) there's the Double... which is really nothing more than a Double Bacon Cheeseburger with "Stacker Sauce". And then there's the Big Daddy Stacker: The Quad.
4 beef patties, 8 strips of bacon and 4 slices of cheese. Now that's a cheeseburger! Though there's no way I will ever EVER put one of these into my body, I can still enjoy it vicariously by scoping out the burger's nutritional data.
Some fascinating data here, worthy of further analysis. First of all, the sandwich is only 1000 calories! That's pretty filling, but it could be worse. Hardee's Monster Thickburger contains 1410 calories, and it only has two patties (though both patties are 2/3 lbs -- hope your colon has a sense of humor!). I was also surprised to find that the sesame seed bun contains fewer calories than the 8 strips of bacon. Attention calorie counters: you'd be better off replacing the bun with an ADDITIONAL 8 STRIPS OF BACON! Finally, how is it that the whole burger weighs 311 grams... but the individual ingredients don't weigh anything at all? Look at the "Weight(g)" column to the right of the ingredients: Bun, sauce, bacon, cheese, and beef: all weighing in at precisely 0 grams. Maybe its a typo. But I have another theory.
I believe that BK has developed a new kind of "weightless fat". Perhaps pigs and cows raised in a zero-gravity environment yield zero-gravity meat and cheese. SHUT UP THAT IS SO PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE! These new weightless food products will allow BK patrons to eat ridiculously huge burgers without gaining any weight.
To be clear, these patrons will still become morbidly and hilariously obese. But at least their lower body mass will increase the fuel efficiency of their extra-wide SUVs.
July 11, 2006
Next-Gen Reality TV
Sometimes I feel like life is pointless and there's no reason to keep on living. But then I remember that there's TELEVISION! Sweet, sweet television. If TV didn't exist, I can't think of one good reason why I wouldn't stick my head in the oven and be done with it all. Actually, I can think of one reason. My oven isn't gas, it's electric. I think you need the gas oven if you want to do an old school Sylvia Plath style suicide. I guess if I cranked up the heat real high on my electric oven and kept my head in there for a while it might work. But I'd have to leave the oven door open and then most of the heat would probably escape. It would take FOREVER to kill myself that way -- and I have better things to do with my time.
Fortunately, television does exist. Therefore, life is still worth living! Of course, the TV shows that are currently on the air... those are a steaming pile of bull-ass-crap. Those shows don't make me want to continue living. Mostly, they make me want to end the lives of the people responsible for producing them. Come on, who hasn't felt the urge to strangle the entire cast of Two and a Half Men?
Yes, even the little fat kid. ESPECIALLY THE LITTLE FAT KID.
No, what keeps me from offing myself isn't current TV programming. Rather, it's the promise of TV shows to come! Every fall, viewers are showered with a bountiful crop of new television programs. Some of them are stupid, some of them are really stupid, but it's entirely possible that one or two of them will be pretty decent! In fact, my research indicates that precisely 1 out of every 91 new TV programs doesn't suck. With that in mind, what if I told you that there were 91 new Reality TV shows debuting next season? Let me guess: if I told you that, you'd accuse me of making up the whole 1/91 ratio just to facilitate a convenient segue.
GUILTY AS CHARGED!!!
So anyway, here are some highlights from in-development Reality TV. Special thanks goes out to the Brilliant But Cancelled blog whose text I will shamelessly copy/paste before interjecting my own commentary and analysis.
Bling! - Due Fall 2006 - This show follows women shopping for the most incredibly expensive jewelry around.
I would watch this, but only if every episode ended with the women getting their faces smashed in with bricks.
Gene Simmons Family Jewels - Due 8/7/06 - Similar to "The Osbournes" but with Gene Simmons and his family.
OH MY GOD THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!!! Oh wait... Gene Simmons? I misread, I thought it was going to be Richard Simmons. Nevermind.
Show Me the Money - Due Fall 2006 - An Endemol game show where the prize money increases or decreases based on an uncontrollable mechanism.
The prize money is controlled by "an uncontrollable mechanism"? I am genuinely interested in seeing how this goes down. Maybe they'll put all of the prize money in a room with a dozen monkeys, and whatever they don't eat or crap on gets awarded to the contestants? At least the footage of screaming, shitting monkeys will be worth watching.
Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty - Due 8/13/06 - Shannen will intervene in toxic relationships and decide if a breakup is necessary.
Let me get this straight: Being a stupid bitch now makes you a relationships expert? Well, I guess that explains the success of Dr. Phil.
Iron Ring - Due Summer/Fall 2006 - Celebrities in martial arts fights.
Ladies and gentleman, I think we have a winner!
July 08, 2006
Save Marissa Cooper
Reading Stereogum today, I saw that there was an active and highly organized movement to revive the character Marissa Cooper on FOX's The OC. As fans of the show already know, Marissa was killed off on the season finale of the most recent season -- a very controversial move. By all reports, the character was eliminated because Mischa Barton (the actress who played Marissa) wished to pursue other opportunities. However, this fact has not dissuaded fans of the character from launching a massive (allegedly) internet protest intended to bring the character back next season.
Even though I don't really watch The OC or find Mischa Barton attractive or think she is a particularly good actress, I have been persuaded by the passion of these Marissa fans! In a show of solidarity, I recently posted the following on savincoop.com, the premiere "Save Marissa" website:
Subject: HOW 2 BRING MARISSA BACK
I am TOTALLY down with the save Marissa movement! Everyone knows that the only thing worth watching about that show was Marissa and seeing how awesome and skinny she is and that one facial expression she does when she is happy or annoyed or eating some chili fries. MMMM CHILI FRIES (LOL and stuff!)
But oh noes! The season finale of The OC made it pretty clear that she was not breathing and she was bleeding and she really looked pretty dead and not very alive at all! So how will they bring Marissa back to life so that she can once again bless The OC with her skinniness and her ability to make that one facial expression???
I guess they could do the old "it was all just a dream" think but that is SO SO LAME. If they did that I would grab my girlfriend by the hair and smash her head through the TV LOL!!! Also they could have an angel come down from heaven or maybe even Rupert Murdoch himself and they could lay hands on Marissa's smelly rotting corpse and she could come back to life and then they could all go eat chili fries! (MMMMM LOL).
If that doesn't work, they could say that the Coopster actually faked her own death because she was an operative for the CIA and she was on the run from Russian KGB agents or al Queda sleeper cells or something. Then maybe they could do a spinoff series called Marissa Cooper, Double Agent where Marissa FIGHTS INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM through her fashion sense and her skinniness and her ability to make that one facial expression that she makes. Come on, that would be DOPE as HELL!
If the FOX TV executives aren't down with this idea, here's another one: Bring Marissa Cooper back (wait for it!!!) as a ZOMBIE! WOOOOO!!! Come on, how hot would it be if Marissa goes around eating people's brains and maybe Ryan has to go and shoot her in the head and he can't do it because he still LOVES her and then they start to make out and stuff... but instead of having hot teen sex Marissa eats Ryan's BRAINS while making that same facial expression she always makes when she is being dramatic and also when she is annoyed or eating chili fries (or brains)!!!! LOL LOL WOOO!!!!
So come on Fox TV Executives, I know U are reading this. There are as many ways of bringing Marissa back as there are obsessive OC fans who are willing to do internet protests and post on message boards until their VOICES ARE HEARD! Bring back my favorite character or I will start reading BOOKS instead of watching TV. And NOBODY WANTS THAT LOL!
July 06, 2006
I'm a Cycling Enthusiast!
With the Tour De France in full swing, I've decided to become one of literally DOZENS of Americans to follow live race coverage on the OLN network. That's right: I, Joey Headset, have become a Cycling Enthusiast!
Note how I use the word "enthusiast" instead of "fan". I'm not a fan of cycling because one can only be a fan of sports that deliver fun and excitement. Clearly, that's not cycling. However, many followers of competitive bike racing prefer the subtle pleasures of the Peloton to the more overt pleasures of home runs and touchdowns. Hey, millions of Europeans can't be wrong!
SHUT UP HITLER!
Cycling does have its detractors. The "world of cycling" has been "rocked" by blood doping "allegations" in recent years. Some journalists say that doping has ruined the sport, but they are stupid and wrong. First these bastards say "you shouldn't inject steroids" because it's unnatural. Now the same people don't want you injecting yourself with oxygenated blood. How can blood be unnatural? IT'S ALREADY IN YOUR BODY. Vampires need to ingest other people's blood just to survive, but these ultra-anal rules officials would have vampires starve themselves just to compete in a three-week bike race. That hardly seems fair.
Plus, every legitimate sport embraces some form of drug abuse. Baseball has steroids, boxing has diuretics, and you've probably heard how those kids in the Special Olympics pop dozens of Flintstones vitamins before they take the field. From what I hear, those chalky little tablets keep you strong... AND GROWING. As they say "if you're not cheating, you're not trying." (By "they", of course, I mean cheaters.)
Look, I realize that most American sports fans will never understand the appeal of competitive bike racing. It's their loss! Cycling is the Sport of Kings. Specifically, it's the sport of recently dethroned Kings, living in exile. Or perhaps the sport of Kings of small, southeast Asian countries where no one really has access to cars. Or roads.
And that's good enough for me.
July 01, 2006
Get Your Drift On, a Joey Headset Guide to Drift Racing
Drift Racing is the fastest growing sport in the world! Well... perhaps that's an exaggeration. Certainly it's the fastest growing motor sport in the world. At the very least, it's the fastest growing motor sport that doesn't rhyme with ASSCAR.
If you're unfamiliar with Drift Racing, it's the same underground street racing seen in The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift and on the G4 Network's Formula D. Assuming you (like most Americans) haven't actually seen either of these, here's a video clip:
Looking at that video, I bet many of you are thinking "wow, I wish I could do that in my Ford Fiesta!" Good news: you can. All you need is a car, a limitless budget for auto-repairs and an excellent relationship with your local law enforcement community. That last one is very important, especially if you enjoy drifting in a school zone. I know I do.
There are many different techniques used by Professional Drift Athletes. There's the Power Oversteer method, the Shift Lock system and a procedure known as Clutch Kick. Though these techniques have WAY COOL names, they're awfully complicated. They all require a working knowledge of weight transfer and slip differential and BLAH BLAH BOOORRINNG. In reality, you don't need a degree in mechanical engineering to "get your drift on" just like the pros. All they're doing is forcing an automobile into a barely-controlled skid around tight corners at an extreme velocity. How hard can that be?
Through trial and error, I've discovered it's not very hard at all. I've developed two techniques that anyone can use to experience the thrill of drifting for themselves.
Technique 1: 2 Pedals 2 the Metal
Stretch out those calf muscles, you're going to need them! In an automatic transmission vehicle, drift can be attained by accelerating to 85 MPH and then slamming the brakes hard while jamming the throttle to the floor. By braking and accelerating simultaneously, you create what physicists call "drift-mentum" -- a force that propels your vehicle sideways (and, eventually, straight into the repair shop).
Though this technique works fine for automatic transmission vehicles, SERIOUS drivers all prefer manual transmissions. Working the gears manually gives you much more control over the vehicle, though it does make it harder to talk on your mobile phone while eating a seven layer burrito and searching for podcasts on your iPod. Harder... but not impossible.
Technique 2: Tokyo Shift
For manual transmission vehicles, the trick is to engage two sets of opposing gears in quick succession. What I like to do is get the car into 5th gear on the highway, then suddenly downshift into Reverse. This method forces the vehicle to compromise between forward and backward momentum, thereby sliding the car into a lateral trajectory. When you execute this maneuver, your car may produce a soft whizzing or harsh grinding sound, accompanied by an acrid smoke wafting from the gearbox. Don't worry, this is perfectly normal! Even so, I always recommend that novice (and even advanced) drifters practice their craft on rental cars.
With a little bit of skill and a whole lot of disposable income, you'll soon be drifting like grandpa behind the wheel of his 1972 Buick Centurion. Drift on!