You should have been with me at the Toronto Auto Show today. I was standing beside my Kia Optima Turbo Targa Newfoundland car, and there was no shortage of kids (of all ages) wanting to sit behind the wheel, making the classic 'vroom-vroom' noises, even if most of them couldn't see over the bottom of the steering wheel rim, let alone out the windshield.
I wish I could show you some photos of the kids, but there are various issues about printing candid photos of children. So I'm just including a shot of the car.
Rocks, fog, fishing boats - could that be anywhere but Newfoundland?
Quite a few of these kids were girls too, and most of them knew that Danica Patrick is on pole for Sunday's Daytona 500.
I've always maintained that car racing is one sport where women don't have a built-in disadvantage.
There's no real need for huge muscle mass or upper-body strength in racing, where women generally trail men.
If you think that competitiveness is solely a function of testosterone, well, did you ever see the Williams sisters play tennis?
Given that weight is always the enemy of race cars, there's actually (typically) an advantage for women here.
NASCAR in fact has a weight equalization rule; lighter drivers have to add ballast. But because of the way the formula works, Patrick - who only weighs about 100 pounds - has to carry just a 40 pound penalty, so she probably gains about a 40 - 50 pound net benefit over most of the field.
Given the size and weight of NASCAR cars, this might not be as crucial proportionally as it might be in a lighter formula car.
But when races are won by hundredths, sometimes thousandths, of a second, every bit helps.
Whether any of these kids become our next Paul Tracy - or Danica Patrick - it seems that enthusiasm for the automobile is alive and well in our young people.
So my job should be safe for a while anyway...