A few months back, I posted a video that shows me driving around in the Ferrari, desperately trying to get attention from women. And it shows women completely ignoring my efforts. The whole thing is depressing, and disappointing, and in the end, I crash the Ferrari into a day spa while screaming: "DO YOU NOTICE ME NOW?!?!? HUH?!??!"
No, that's not really how it ends. How it ends is, I get a dog to ride in the passenger seat, and women start flocking to the car, thereby proving that a dog is far more useful than a Ferrari if you're trying to pick up women. But here's a fun behind-the-scenes Doug DeMuro video fact: that dog, who was female, hated riding in the car with me. In fact, she hated it so much that she tried to climb out the open window every time I got in the driver's seat. So what we discovered, while filming that video, is that the ambivalence towards men in cool sports cars actually transcends species. Female fish, for example, often pretend to be on their cell phones to avoid talking to me at gas stations.
So anyway: that video got pretty popular, and over the last few months I've heard a wide range of commentary on it, primarily from YouTubers. Generally, they fall into one of two camps:
1. Teenagers, who are convinced that I've done something wrong, because it would shatter their realities to discover that a Ferrari doesn't attract women. They make suggestions about getting a better haircut, or buying nicer clothes, or wearing better shoes, or my personal favorite: getting a newer Ferrari, as if women will see it and say "This one has BLUETOOTH? Wait just a second while I unhook my bra."
2. Actual exotic car owners, who confirm every single thing in the video.
But I've also received a few e-mails from readers who had a different suggestion: try things in reverse. In other words: put a woman in the Ferrari and see how men react. I thought this was an excellent suggestion for several reasons: it would be a great social experiment. It would be interesting to see all the surprised reactions from men. It would give us a chance to really examine gender roles in our modern society. But most importantly, I would get to spend the day with a woman, instead of driving around all afternoon with my cameraman, discussing which Chrysler minivan we liked the best.
So I teamed up with my friends Jamie and Carly, who readily accepted my offer to appear in the video, provided I let them drive the Ferrari. Although you can watch the video and find out what happens, here's a little summary for those of you who are stuck at work without YouTube: for about three minutes, the girls drive around attracting a lot of attention. And then, about four minutes in, they get into a screaming argument about what Chrysler minivan they liked the best.
No, that's not what really happened. What really happened was, we started the day in Atlanta's hipster section, an area of town called Little Five Points, which is home to a large amount of foot traffic from a) homeless people, and b) bearded twentysomethings who look like homeless people, even though their parents are doctors.
Unfortunately, we made a miscalculation here: hipsters hate wealth. So the girls stood by the car, chatting it up, smiling at everyone, and the men who came by actively went out of their way to avoid looking at the Ferrari. Instead, they gazed back at the girls with what I call the Hipster Death Stare, which is an especially angry look that says: You disgust me for buying a more expensive car than the Nissan Versa. This coming from people who often walk around with food particles stuck in their beards.
So then we moved on to a friendlier area of town (known locally in Atlanta as "everywhere"), where people are a lot more likely to have a conversation with a dashing young lady driving a Ferrari. And boy, did they ever have a lot of conversations.
I'm not entirely sure what I thought this spectacle would bring, except that I assumed we would have to go in and rescue the girls from aggressive flirting by strange gas station men. But there was no aggressive flirting. There weren't even any strange gas station men. Instead, we found that no matter where we parked the car, or what poses we put the women in, or how friendly the women were to strangers, men who approached wanted to discuss only one thing: the car. There was no exchange of phone numbers. There were no overt sexual remarks. Everyone just wanted to talk cars.
Admittedly, the women elicited a few different remarks from strangers than I usually get. No one tried to one-up the car, for example — and nobody became self-righteous about fuel economy. And a lot of people asked the women about how they make a living, which is a question I've never gotten. This could be a coincidence — or it could be that men were secretly hoping the answer was "exotic dancer."
One thing, however, remained exactly the same. Even with Jamie and Carly behind the wheel, other women still didn't care about the car. Maybe if they had different hair, or better shoes. Or maybe they should get a newer one.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.