Dec. 16 2013 05:31 PM

Drive fast and take chances (but be discriminating)

Aaryn Belfer

"The car is crazy. We know of the incident Leno had (where he spun it at Talladega) and of course the one at Fontana, where those two guys died in 2005—that one was REALLY sad because it was very similar circumstances to this—a guy went for a ride, then crash, both died, at least one left behind a young family. There was also the German prince who smashed up a Gemballa version, and (at least) one serious accident in Europe."

That's Doug DeMuro, a former manager at Porsche Cars North America, describing the Porsche Carrera GT to

Immediately after the deaths in a car crash of Fast and Furious star Paul Walker and his friend last month, the media wasted no time in turning the dialogue toward deeper introspection. Much the way every mass shooting of the last 40 years has propelled the question Why did this happen?, CNN got right to it: Is the Porsche Carrera GT too dangerous? 

It may seem ridiculous to wonder such a thing about a car specifically made for racing, with a top speed of 208 mph, of which only 1,300 exist on the planet (or 1,299, if I'm to be precise about it). But this is the highly respected CNN. They are on it! This car is a menace to society. Or, at $450,000, it's a menace to the lives and wellbeing of bajillionaires, something about which we should all be deeply concerned. But grappling with this humanitarian issue has me thinking of other pressing questions of societal safety.  

For instance, is football too dangerous? There's been a lot of focus lately on our modern-day gladiators and their Slurpee brains. Tony Dorsett, who suffers from depression and suicidal thoughts, was recently diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition caused by repeated head trauma. He admits he gets lost while driving familiar routes and has uncontrollable outbursts that frighten his kids. 

Brett Favre spoke to the Washington Post recently of his mental issues. "I don't remember [my daughter] playing soccer," he said. During a top-secret exclusive interview with CityBeat, Favre looked confused when we showed him the infamous text photo of his shriveled Willie. "That does not look familiar at all," he said, stupefied. 

OK, that last part never happened.

The theory at Chez Belfer is that this new CTE info will result in an influx of soccer players, as moms around the country refuse to let their sons bang their helmeted heads together. But, wait! Is soccer too dangerous? According to a study of 37 amateur soccer players published in the journal Radiology, heading the ball is "associated with abnormal white matter microstructure and with poorer neurocognitive performance." Lead author Michael Lipton said evidence began to be visible only in players who reported heading the ball between 885 and 1,550 times in one season. Pretty dangerous, right? 

Yes. And that is exactly why some schools are saying ix-nay to anything un-fay. This past fall, Weber Middle School in Port Washington, N.Y., banned all balls. As reported by CBS News, there will be no "footballs, baseballs, soccer balls, lacrosse balls or any other equipment that might harm a child or school friends." Are balls too dangerous? Like fast cars, they are!

(It's not just balls that wield the evil specter of childhood injury. "Rough games like tag or cartwheels" must now be supervised at Weber. Remember all those rough games of cartwheels from childhood? My god, how did you live to be reading this?)

Speaking of balls, shaving them, dipping them into someone else's mouth or nailing them to cobblestone are extremely dangerous activities. These are such obvious hazards that the question Are they too dangerous? is redundant and probably why CNN hasn't dispatched a team of journalists to investigate.

Continuing to speak about balls, my friend Carrie makes chocolate-covered peanut-butter balls at the holidays, and they are dangerous. But are they too dangerous? Solid question. Certainly, they can't be served at any school function because, you know, the deadly peanut allergy looms like the Grim Reaper at the site of a Porsche Carrera GT crash. But these delicious little death bombs present an obvious choke hazard. Personally, it's a risk I'm willing to take. The Archduke of Walmart would be ill-advised, though, to ingest one of these while trying to corner in the Carrera. That sort of danger, CNN, would be worthy of a one-hour special.

Danger is everywhere, people. The mandolin, for instance, is a violent predator. My house sitter nearly removed his thumb over Thanksgiving when slicing apples for a pie he and his lover were making. The two of them were probably naked and covered in flour at the time, given that their relationship is young and fresh. I suspect—but don't know for sure—that they made wild gay love on the tile floor of the kitchen after tending to the mangled thumb meat. Gay sex on Saltillo tile while already injured? Total minefield.

Other dangers to ponder before getting into the proverbial passenger seat for a quick spin include: the temperature of hot tea served at Café Madeline, Megyn Kelly, revolving doors and fake sign languaging at the memorial service of a man more famous than Jesus himself. That, my friends, takes serious balls.

So: Is the Porsche Carrera GT too dangerous? Ask me if I care.

Email Aaryn Belfer. Aaryn blogs at and you can follow her on Twitter @aarynb.


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