When I worked in Kingston, I was host of a television phone-in program called Feedback Live. All the local politicians would come on and I would question them about policies and issues.
It was a little off-the-wall. Speaker of the House Peter Milliken (he's the MP for Kingston and the Islands) was a guest a few times and when then-Ontario Premier Bob Rae came on, the first question I asked was whether he ever bought lottery tickets? (He said he did, occasionally.)
Anyway, one year at Christmas, the producer decided we should do a “remote” for our Christmas show. Instead of the guests coming to the TV studio, we would set up shop in a favourite local gathering place and invite the president of the Chamber of Commerce and the police chief and the coach of the junior A hockey team — and the politicians, of course — to drop in for an interview and to wish the viewers a Merry Christmas.
(There’s an auto racing point coming up; trust me.)
Anyway, we settled on Morrison’s Restaurant (anybody who's ever lived in Kingston or went to Queen's knows Morrison’s) and away we went.
However, at the last minute we hit a bit of a snag. One of the show’s sponsors backed out and the station had to find a replacement. And, wouldn’t you know it, it turned out to be another restaurant.
The show went on the air as, “Christmas at Morrison’s, brought to you by the Lone Star Café.”
Hoo-boy. I heard about that for weeks.
“How dumb, how stupid,” people would say. “A TV show about a restaurant being sponsored by another restaurant.”
The Morrison’s people weren’t impressed. The Lone Star Café folks thought it hilarious.
Which brings me to the Grand Prix of Bahrain. Have you noticed something?
The Renault team is being sponsored by the
Russian car company that makes the Lada. (A car company being sponsored by a car company, get it?)
And BMW-Sauber is being powered by a Ferrari.
Maybe “Christmas at Morrison’s, brought to you by the Lone Star Café” wasn’t so dumb, after all.