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World's Largest Gathering Of Smart Fans: Another Reason To Avoid Italy This August

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On: Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 11:29AM | By: Andrew W Davis


World's Largest Gathering Of Smart Fans: Another Reason To Avoid Italy This August

I kid. It’s not like smart (damn lowercase) did something horrible to me or mine at some point, it’s just that I find it hard to resist putting into words what the design of their ridiculous-looking pseudo-cars screams out in pictures.

But here is where it ends. Well, if I am kidnapped and flown to “the seaside resort of Riccione on the Adriatic coast” (Italy) between August 4th and 7th then (and only then) will I feel like perhaps starting the beginning of the ending procedure.

Why? Because “More than 4000 smart enthusiasts from 22 countries, some with individually designed vehicles, are expected in Riccione where they will celebrate their passion for smart cars together and connect with designers, tuners, and industry experts.”

God help them.

Hey, if you were scrambling to find one nice thing to say about Austria—the country that aided and abetted the creation of smart in the first place—I have good news: After ten years of putting on (up with?) this “smart times” event they finally found a country they could bully into taking it off their hands.

Or, in smart-speak: “Smart [Ha! Cap’d it!] times is a fantastic event, where thousands of smart fans come every year from all over Europe to share their enthusiasm and love for the brand, experience road trips and concerts, and present their wonderful, resourcefully designed cars at the smart parade,” says Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart. "In future smart times will take place in a different country each year to increase the appeal of the get-together for the smart family."

Still not sold? How ‘bout this bit of sacrilege: “In Riccione attendees can look forward to a private beach with a stage and a varied programme comprising sport, fun, and entertainment with a focus on the smart fortwo plus a very special highlight: the ‘smart meets Museo Ferrari’ excursion to Maranello.”

[And you thought NOTHING could keep you from visiting the vaunted Ferrari works and museum. Well, now you know how wrong you were. And to think, it took only a swarm of plastic-clad half-cars to show you the error in your thinking.]

Anyhoo, most of the entertainment value of these press releases is seeing how seriously they word descriptions of the inane; so with that in mind, here is the unedited (!) “Overview of smart times 2011”:

1 - 3 August: smart times on vacation:
To get into the mood for the event the community can congregate in Riccione three days before the official start of smart times. smart fans will have an opportunity to take part in outings to the hinterland and the Po delta where they can get to know each other and enjoy a holiday feeling as they cruise through the picturesque countryside of Emilia Romagna.

Page 24 [sic] August: smart meets Museo Ferrari:
To kick off the smart times weekend with its competitions, shows, action, innovations, and exchange of information the participants will be able to enjoy a very special highlight in the form of a visit to the home of the famous red sports car: "smart meets Museo Ferrari".

5 August: beach volleyball and smart times contest:
On day two beach volleyball and the smart times contest will provide plenty of variety and excitement. At the smart times contest a jury will rate the tuning, design, and performance of the various smart models. The programme will be rounded off by test drives and an "after party" every evening.

6 August: smart times parade:
At 10 a.m. the starting signal will be given for the traditional smart times parade. In the afternoon smart experts will be available to answer all questions relating to the brand. In the evening smart will invite the fans to Piazzale Roma where the secret "smart times 12 goes to …" will be revealed.

7 August: smart flea Market:
The event will come to an end with the traditional "smart flea market". Fan articles and all kinds of used parts will come under the hammer. Then it's time to say goodbye and see you next year in …”

Yes, to amplify your feeling of dread, the future destination for this smart-cult circus is merely hinted-at with an ellipsis—yes, that’s the name for those three little dots that drives you crazy because you can never remember it—instead of the name of the condemned.

Oh, and just in case you’ve recently suffered trauma to your head region and cannot therefore travel to this fun-fest, smart has you covered:

“A virtual get-together is already taking place in the run-up to the event at www.facebook.com/smarttimes For example, the regular live chat "smart times TechTalk" offers fans an opportunity to compare notes with smart experts and like-minded people and to become actively involved in the smart community.”

Wait. What the hell am I thinking?!? I hear these things can be transmitted over the Interweb! Before you know it the U. S. of kickin’-A could become a stop for this traveling band of goofiness, and once we’re infected we can never fully be cured, no matter how many of these little buggers we get rid of.

So just say no, folks. Because if you don’t… God help us all.


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