Ask Ping

September 5, 2008 4:20pm | by:
Hey Ping,
Is it me or does the fan of the week look like J-Law with a gnarly set of bolt-ons?
Wayne Kinser

Dear Wayne,
That chick couldn’t look any more like J-Law if she were pounding a beer, scratching her balls and wearing a Yamaha jersey. Someone should do a DNA sample on her because they might be siblings.

Dear Ping,
First of all let me say I enjoy reading your column and I especially liked your response to motocross not being on the top 100 hardest sports. That was a few years ago. Your knowledge and sense of humor put together is funny as hell.
Anyway, the reason I’m writing to you is because I need some advice in pursuing a job in the motocross industry. I’m 19 and am taking exploratory classes at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania as a sophomore. I have been racing dirt bikes since the age of four and at 19 I can’t even make loretta’s in the B class. So, that pretty much rules out turning pro in the sport that I love. So, basically, I would like to know what type of major I should participate in while trying to obtain a job in the motocross industry? I love the sport and seeing my life go in any direction but motocross, which I eat, sleep, and breathe isn't really an option to me. Hell, I even have the Doug Henry flaming carburetor tattooed on my arm… that’s dedication!
Thanks for any help,
Spagina #767
Beaver Falls, PA

Dear Spagina,
If I had a nickel for every letter I’ve gotten from guys (and girls) wanting to know how they can get a job in the industry I would be too busy tearing across the water on my 60’ cigarette boat with solid gold propellers to even answer the question. The thing is, this industry is very small and tight-knit. And most of the people working the jobs in the motocross industry are doing it because they are passionate about the sport, not because they can get rich doing it. When the economy takes a downward turn the first things that people scratch off their list of things to buy are motorcycles and the associated gear and equipment that goes with it. If you are determined to break into the sport your best bet is to take the business or marketing route. There is always a need for smart, qualified people that know and love the sport.

Now, regarding the tattoo, I can only shake my head and sympathize with you the same way I do when I see someone with a barbed wire tattoo around their bicep or a big piece of tribal work around their lower leg. You think Pamela Anderson doesn’t lie awake at night trying to figure out what she can cover up that barbed embarrassment with? At this point I’m guessing she’d rather have the likeness of Tommy Lee’s genitals wrapped around her upper arm. Maybe you should have taken it easy on the whiskey that night and you wouldn’t have permanently marked yourself with something that will be totally irrelevant in a matter of years. You know that EFI is coming, right? Getting a carburetor tattoo would be like me getting the Atari logo across my back when I was fifteen. I hope you’re comfortable in long-sleeve tee shirts.

P.S. How bad did you get teased in high school for living in Beaver Falls and having the last name Spagina? That’s brutal.

[This one was hand-written in and it is one of my favorite letters ever.]

Dear Ping,
Sorry if my handwriting makes me look like a gay 8 year old boy; I’m not, promise.  And sorry about the crap paper I’m writing on. Typing seems too formal and I’m too lazy to find better paper.

Anyway, I’m a fan of yours. Your rants and answers and columns do a great deal of cheering me up. I’m also “kind of" a fan of you as a rider. I don’t watch Supermoto so I don’t really know when to cheer, but hey, when it was on the X Games you bet I was cheering you on! Well, sort of. After you crashed I crossed my fingers and hoped you would medal and then felt like I jinxed you. Oh well. Maybe next year it’ll all work out, right?  And then, of course, the year after that.
Wow. This letter is probably super boring and I don’t want to distract you from demonstrating your opinion to somebody else in a half-comical, half mind-fogging manner so I’ll skip to my point and make it simple enough that an 8 year old gay boy could understand it.
Me=Fan feels bad you didn’t get gold at X Games.  (Sorry for bringing it up 2 times in 1 letter.  I should know better)
You=August 08, 2008 “Ask Ping” “Perhaps someday it will be cool to rock the Magnum P.I. mustache…”
Me= Artist that painted a picture of you with Magnums’ ‘stache.

So, I know it’s not a championship or a medal or a trophy or a star on that sidewalk somewhere I think is in California, but until you achieve all those things, hopefully this watercolor painting will keep you motivated and remind you that somewhere is a fan waiting to cheer you on.

P.S. I’m too lazy to write 2 letters, so if you don’t mind, please inform the Racer X staff/crew they do an amazing job with the magazine.  They keep it like a community and almost ___ well.  I’m too lazy to describe it, but it's real super.  And tell them not to fire you and tell them to give you a raise. Ha, ha! Have fun and good luck in the pursuit of the rest of your goals!
Lydia Pape

Dear Lydia,
I’ve got to be straight up honest with you here and tell you that your letter is unequivocally the best I’ve ever read. I won’t lie to you and say that I’m not a little frightened by the notion of you painting my portrait, but I’m willing to overlook it. You didn’t blow a bunch of smoke up my rear end and that is something I can appreciate. You are quite possibly one of the laziest people I know and you made mention of that several times. That is an exhibition of honesty that should be valued. You also clarified that you are, in fact, not an eight-year-old gay boy, which is another fantastic point. So, thanks for taking the time to scribble out your thoughts on crappy paper and sending them to me. It means a lot. And the drawing is incredible. At first I thought the mustache made me look a little bit more like Sam Elliott than Tom Selleck’s character, but once I compared it side-by-side to the furry lip-piece of Thomas Magnum, P.I., it was a certain match. You are half an ear away from being Vincent Van Gogh in my book. Except, you know, without all the fame and mental illness and suicide and whatnot. I will indeed pass on your compliments to the staff at Racer X, though I may just stop in the middle of my praise and walk out since I am just too lazy to finish it. Lydia, you are real super and if you ever want to sell that thing let me know. That is, if you can muster up the energy to write again.

Got a question for Ping? E-mail him at