Marker of NASCAR pit in, purveyor of snark, International Twitter Superstar @theOrangeCone stands squarely at the pinnacle of inanimate object fame. Often imitated, never duplicated, The Orange Cone has rocketed from a cute curiosity to a TV star that gets more air than Blake Koch and Tayler Malsam combined. With more than 23,000 followers on Twitter and billions of cousins around the world, the cone lays down the snark while ensuring traffic proceeds in an orderly fashion.
I caught up to my good friend Coney at Kansas Speedway this weekend for a WORLD EXCLUSIVE interview (insert self-important "pressdog.com has learned" references here).
Thus spaketh the cone ...
The Orange Cone: It all goes to Kasey Kahne and my friends at Fox Sports. Kasey took aim for me in practice at Daytona, thinking it would raise his street cred after the whole bare boob debacle. But the public outcry, and let's be realistic here, fear of an #asskickingofalifetime, brought out a public apology. And my friends at Fox, well, we're still in talks for "Cone Cam" to debut at the 2013 Bud Shootout.
pressdog: Any jealousy among other inanimate objects? Does the cone have a target on his back (or, side, or whatever)?
The Orange Cone: There is some. Moreso there are a lot of copycats out there. I keep petitioning Twitter to be verified but aparently you have to be an inanimate object on Mars to get the blue checkmark.
pressdog: Lotta cone wannabes out there? How about Cone Haters? How do you deal with the fame?
The Orange Cone: There are really only two Cone haters. Oddly enough they come from the same gene pool. Obviously it was the shallow end. Dealing with fame has been fun though. I get a lot of offers from #HotHoneys, so much so that I'm often perceived as the Wilt Chamberlain of the cone community.
The Orange Cone: Never. I love crowds and the danger of my job drives me. I love it when a driver starts feeling froggy and wants to take me out. I'm all about fortune and glory and babes love a cone with scars.
pressdog: What driver gives you the most static? I know you and Scott Speed had issues in the past. I he the nemesis or are there others on The List?
The Orange Cone: Speedo and I aren't bosom buddies, but that's really only because Amanda won't allow it. But I think we've put our differences behind us. Which is nice because I can now take his advice on style and fashion. I'm looking for a flat-billed cap for the Texas race and I may paint my base blue in tribute to him. As for current nemeses, those Busch brothers are raging against me and I think Chase Miller is holding a grudge too.
pressdog: Any truth to the rumor that you have an agent now who works with TV people to get them to hit a minimum number of Orange Cone references per broadcast?
The Orange Cone: No truth to that rumor. Van Colley is just a friend. I swear.
pressdog: You know dogs like to raise their legs on cones. Not saying that would happen here, but I thought I should bring it up.
The Orange Cone: Its why I stay away from Biffle's bus in the coach lot.
pressdog: What do you hear from Danica these days? Word on the street is you've been giving her some pointers to help her out in NASCAR.
The Orange Cone: After her well-publicized pit entrance error at Darlington, we haven't been on speaking terms. As Elton John once sang, "sorry seems to be the hardest word." All it takes is one phone call and we can move past this awkwardness and get on with our lives. I know you know her. How about some help on that front?
pressdog: Do you enjoy coming to Kansas Speedway? What do you think of the new banking?
The Orange Cone: I love Kansas. It was my idea to build that track, to build the entertainment zone around the track, and I did the computer designs for the new banking. If the racing is good I want full credit. If it sucks, I want none of the blame.
pressdog: Are your 1.2 billion cousins and other relatives constantly hitting you up for tickets? Asking you what Kurt Busch is really like?
The Orange Cone: As you see, we've had lots of influence in the garage and parking lots for years. The cousins enjoy the attention I get but most are quiet and do not crave publicity. One cousin of mine did knock up Snooki though. I haven't seen him in a while. I bet the shame is too much to bear. As for Kurt Busch, all you need to do is as my pal Medical Bag about him and you'll get the true story.
pressdog: Are you and #bzf (Brian Z. France) on the same wavelength? Does he run stuff by you often? Seek cone counsel? How would you rate his performance so far this year?
The Orange Cone: We're on the same page. Most days I sit in the big chair and make the day to day calls. The 2013 car, all my idea. But #bzf sits in the big chair for the big meetings with sponsors and such. It's mainly a ceremonial position but he enjoys it.
pressdog: I've notice the Cone Analysis seems to be less now than it was. Is that just me drinking too much and missing it or have you moved away from that?
The Orange Cone: Well, sadly my position was eliminated by ESPN. With no Tim Brewer there is no need for me to break down his complex analysis so the viewer at home can actually understand it. I should get back on it though. People demand to know what shock absorbers are, what oil coolers do, and what "halfway" actually means.
pressdog: What's changed the most since you've become Mr. 23,000 followers? What's stayed the same from those humble days of 7k?
The Orange Cone: The biggest change is the demands on my time. I can still sit and play PS3 all day like before, but now I have to tell people "the demands on my time are crazy, please move away from me so I can leave my million dollar motorhome, ride my $50,000 golf cart to my chartered helicopter, fly home on my private jet, and play videogames in my $5 million house." Most people understand, but some don't.
pressdog: Is it easier for you to get a table at a restaurant or get into a club now that you're huge? Are there a lot of cone impersonators out there?
The Orange Cone: I still go to clubs and see future #WAGs working their game. With some there is a sense of desperation and they end up going home with *gasp* a crew guy or worse a Wallace. Thankfully there aren't many viable impersonators out there and the people who matter can tell the difference.
pressdog: What is up with the Keselowski kid? Always tweeting and taking photos from his car. Did you give him some Twitter tips?
The Orange Cone: The only tip I gave Brad was "please respect my rules on pit road." He's a quick study and a good guy. If he holds on, look for a crazy celebration rivaling Tony Kanaan's championship party.
pressdog: One last question ... Do people assume since you're inanimate you don't have feelings? Can people be cruel to the cone? Is there inanimation discrimination out there, and if so how do you deal with it?
The Orange Cone: Most people are wise and show me the #respect I deserve. There's a few that don't. And they, as always, run the risk of an #asskickingofalifetime. Cruelty will not stand, and will always rise against it. The cruelest thing, in my book, is just to ignore me. Cones are people too and I deserve to be treated as such.
pressdog: I lied. This is the last one ... What's next for the cone? What's the next mountain you will climb?
The Orange Cone: The release of official #ConeSwag. Its been rumored for months but we're extremely close. What size are you? You need to be the first "Blogger of Cone(dog)."
pressdog: I'd be quite honored. XL for me, in both T-shirt and beer mugs.