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What Not to Do At Car Shows

I’m going to level with you: I love car shows. I go to as many car shows as I can. I’ve managed to win prizes at car shows before. I believe that my car show etiquette is above reproach. Sure, so do most people, but lots of people don’t even know that there really is such a thing as car show etiquette. They think that anything goes at car shows, and I want to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

Sure, the owners of the cars might not actually say how much they hate you, but I promise that if you do any of what I’m about to describe, they do hate you. They probably hate whomever you came with, too, especially the kids that you let crawl all over their cars.

That brings me to my first point: it’s okay to bring your kids to car shows. I like kids. Lots of car lovers like kids. Getting your kids interested in cars early in life is cool, since they’re all going to be driving later in life and it’s good if they get interested enough to work on their own cars someday, especially daughters. We need more woman car fans.

However, if your kids are crawling on owners’ cars, or worse, defacing them in some way, you really shouldn’t be upset when the owners tell them to leave. You also shouldn’t start arguments with the car owners about the rights of children in public spaces and whether there are things that children just ‘need’ to do in order to express their individuality. I don’t understand why your kid’s intellectual development hinges on scratching my car. I guarantee that no other car owner will either, including the parents.

My next point is really different, but I still have to make it. We all go to car shows hoping to see the coolest car, but the concept of the coolest car is going to vary from one person to the next. We can all agree that some cars are more expensive than others, though, and you should really keep that in mind before you decide to bring your Mercedes to a car show that is full of much less expensive cars. If your car is going to make the rest of us look good, bring it. If it will make the rest of us look bad, don’t.

There are plenty of car shows for luxury cars: show your car there and don’t try to upstage my Dodge Charger, which is a luxury car to me, anyway.

By the way, as much as I love my Dodge Charger, I don’t talk about how it’s better than every other car on the planet. I mean, that would be rude. I also don’t want to leave myself open to the inevitable criticism from someone who is convinced that he or she has a much better car than me. I’m trying to set a good example for other car show participants, because this sort of behavior is everywhere at car shows.

You have people who won’t stop talking about how great their cars are, and they don’t care about appreciating anyone else’s. You wonder why they’re even at a car show at all. They should just be home polishing their own cars until the finish starts to wear off and they need a re-spray. I think we should all encourage them to do just that.

It’s no secret that car shows have a tendency to attract people, especially men, who are really macho and really obnoxious. With no disrespect to Texas, we get a whole lot of that in this state. If you’re revving your engine a lot and trying to look as cool as possible and dressing like the Fonz, you’re a poseur. People will see you that way. Not everyone at the show is going to be young. Some of us got out of this phase a long time ago. Some of us also know that the Fonz is a pretty dated character now, too. Keep that in mind, and you’ll probably want to be as conventional as the rest of us.