Thursday, July 17, 2008

I’m with the Band – Drag Racing Edition

Do you guys remember those days of yore…back when I was a little less wise and a little more in shape? Back when my evening/weekend update usually invoved words like “tour bus,” ‘backstage,” or even “sang into Steven Tyler’s microphone!”? Right, well, this past weekend was a bit like that…except there were no (actual) musicians and an overabundance of cars.

Drag cars. Very fast cars. (Although, according to the boys that know, doing a ¼ mile in eight seconds really isn’t that fast. Whatever, sure looked fast to me.) A lot of them were super pretty too(the cars, not the boys). Made me smile…thinking of the days when I would run around with Chris helping him with the mustang…or even racing around downtown. (As another quick aside, how weird is it that 4 of my closest friends/boyfriends have owned/do own yellow cars…and 3 of the 4 were mustangs?)

I’m getting ahead of myself…let me back up for a second.

So, Thursday night I pick up AGFN (Adam’s Girlfriend Nicole), and we do the road trip thing out to Cayuga. We’re going to this event, called Armdrop Live. Apparently the dude hosting it is a big deal in the drag racing world. He does a show called Pinks and another one called Pinks all out. I say apparently, because I never heard of the guy before…but several of my uncles have, and they clearly have way more of an idea about this nonsense than I ever will. The roadtrip was quite possibly the first one I’ve taken since I left the US…which is kinda hilarious in and of itself.

Anywhoddle, the ride itself was rather funny…mostly because AGFN and I don’t really know each other all that well, and we’re confided to this small space for a couple hours…alone. As always, when I drive with someone, I try to be a little more cautious than I would ever drive by myself. I mean…if I die…that’s fine, but if I kill someone else…yeah, notsomuch. Also AGFN kinda made some comments about me “not driving like [a crazy person]” awhile back. Needless to say, I was concerned about my speed. She, however, was…not. She might have been giving me shit for not going faster. I might have been confused and asked what was up. She calmly explained that it was fine, because we were in a hurry. Okay then.

I speed for as long as I can, but soon we’re on a one lane road and in line with a bunch of trailers and cars on hitches and the like. It was insanity, I tell you…AGFN, screaming at the other cars and me…profanity flying around…and suddenly we pass a sign indicating we’ve entered the greenbelt and AGFN—going all Hyde to her Jekyll—says in this wonderfully pleasant voice, “Oh, the greenbelt, how lovely…I have one of those by my house.” I couldn’t stop laughing. We finally pull up, and wait in line at the gates. AGFN and MFCB argue over the phone…then he promises to meet us at the gates, to show us where they set up camp. AGFN and I pull up to the gates, give over our tickets/money, and get back passes. These cute older ladies are like, “Are you girls spectators, or are you with the drivers?” AGFN and I reply in perfect unison, “We’re with the drivers.”

See, told you it was “I’m with the band, drag racing edition.” :p

Oddly enough, I’m with the band, original edition does come up, because everyone keeps talking about someone named Sully. Well, the only Sully I’ve ever known is the lead singer of Godsmack. Apparently someone here looks like him. I’m like, well, yeah, he’s short enough, but he’s way more…and everyone just kinda looks at me. So I have to explain how I was not really the groupie…but the groupie hang-a-long.

Incidentally, that’s kinda how this weekend felt too.

BILL isn’t there, because a friend of his’ car went kaput, and they’ve gone all the way back to TO to get the old transmission, to switch them out. MFCB and AGFN put up my tent (Thanks y’all, you saved my life!!) The Great Transmission switching gets started around 1:30am. As it gets rolling, I start to notice a few things. First of all, people are so effing noisy!! Secondly, there’s not much I can do to help in the changing out of a transmission. Finally, the boy-to-girl ratio here is vastly in my favor. I decide to help in the only way I know how…I flip out my hair, walk with a strut, and start calling out to the passersby in my very best southern accent. What?! It was fun, leave me alone. This causes two very funny reactions…the first, is my new nickname of “Southern Comfort.” HA! I like that almost as much as the Nor’easter. The second is when some dude asks me why I’m standing around talking to them and I answer honestly, “For distraction.” The dude looks at me like I just told him Santa Clause is dead and whimpers, “Really?” I giggled.

Finally we hit the hay…er…tent, in my case.

Day two starts with me waking up at six, calling in, then going back to sleep for an hour or so. I get up, starving, and try to rummage around in my cooler for some grub. BILL is actually sleeping in the trailer, so I’m trying to be super quiet, but he’s kinda up anyways. He sits up in bed, looks at me, then past me to the weather outside. He scowls at the cloudy sky and—in a rather gravelly and frightening voice—says, “Fuck! I wanna go drag racing!” I assure him that—while the weather is crappy now, it’s supposed to clear up by noon. I do not lie, and day one of racing gets going. AGFN and I decide on tube tops and drinks, then we all get our respective jobs for the day. I’m video/picture girl, which is fine with me, because that’s a job I can easily do. I also get to power on the car, which is fun for me as well. (A car with a power switch, guys, isn’t that nifty? [and now you see how much I don’t belong there]) AGFN and I do some wandering around on the 4x4 when we don’t have something to actually do…plus everyone hangs out at and around the trailer, where camp is…making food and drinking/eating/conversating. Later on, BILL gives me this devious look—one I’m beginning to think is a family thing, because his brother does it too—and asks, "You wanna go for a ride?" Riding with BILL on the 4x4 is infinitely different then riding with AGFN, and there are moments I’m terrified of flying off…in a really, really good way. We even got to go tearing around on the off-road course…then we sat around to watch the jet car flame away in the dark. Insanity, I tell you people, insanity. More partying ensues…I lose my phone, then find it…lots of running around in the dark, acting like an idiot. I couldn’t even tell you what time I got into my tent.

The next morning I wake up with my jeans hanging off one ankle, my sweatshirt on all the way up to one armpit, and the rest of my clothing strewn all around the tent. (It was a big tent.) I come to some very quick realizations. The first of which is that my bladder is probably what woke me up, and I’m going to have to empty it pronto, least it decide to explode into the rest of my body. As I slowly gain consciousness, I think, shit, where is my phone? Then the even scarier thought creeps in…where the fuck are my keys?! I find my phone near my bag…then lie down in exasperation as I cannot seem to locate my keys. This is going to be an issue…how am I going to get home?! I reach my arms up over my head, still tired and trying to calm myself out of a panic attack. My fingertips bump something hard and plastic, and—I swear to God—I heard the “Haleighluia” chorus in my head. I’m hung over, hot, hungry, and…well, have to go to the bathroom. Needless to say, I was not as much of the hyper dwarf on this day. Things go from bad to worse as the sky opens up and dumps me with buckets of water. Well, not just me, clearly. Unfortunately, my tent doesn’t make it. Neither does my stuff inside my tent. All my sweaters, hoodies? Yeah, soaked. I wanted to cry.

The event gets cancelled for the day, as wet tracks = scary accidents. The boys are bummed, so it turns into our own personal food/drinking event. I partake, but with much less enthusiasm than before. Two of the drivers start going back and forth, doing their own little skit show for the rest of us. It went on for hours. Sometimes it wasn’t even in English. (Felt like I was in the Godfather for a second there.) My abs were hurting, I was laughing so hard. At one point, I got noticed sitting with my hand around my neck, my elbow braced against my curled up legs. (This is something I do a lot…akin to wrapping your arms around yourself in a “self hug.” It tends to happen more when I’m uncomfortable…scary parts of moves, when I’m really disturbed by a story, whatever.) One of the funny drivers starts giving me shit, asking me what I’m hiding. I answered honestly, “Nothing, I just…have my hand around my neck.” He replies, “Goodness girl, why do you dislike yourself so much?” This is alarming in its accuracy.

I wake up to more rain…everyone is a little slower/grumpier this day…seems I picked the wrong day to be hung over. I do a lot of hanging out with myself…taking more videos/pics. The sun comes out, and I’m feeling the heat and my body’s desire for a shower and rest in my own bed. BILL chats with me for a bit, then apologizes to go back to check on the car. He asks me if I’m going to be okay alone, and I just smirk a little and remind him that I’m always okay. He looks as if it’s finally clicked in, that I’m really okay with whatever, fine to be chill, and just happy to be in and around good people. He nods absently, and says, “I know.”

Well, Yippee-ki-yay.

Soon after we pack up for the day, ready to head back home. I’m burnt. Badly. I start to realize how badly as I get closer to my place. I’m so gross, so in need of a shower…but I’m so shaky and tired I honestly have to debate with myself over whether I want to shower first, or fall into bed, get up later to shower, change my sheets, and wash my pillow. I chose the latter, mostly because I don’t have much of a choice. I wake up in so much pain, I can’t even move. Heatstroke. And I had to wait until I moved to Canada before I got it. Lived in the southern US for over 20 years, but no…I hit Ontario and nearly burst into flames. Fun.

All in all, though, I wouldn’t take any of it back. It was something different, and something fun. Good times with good people. And really, if that’s not worth a little pain, what is?

Quote of the Moment: "Seriously, nothing said this weekend is allowed to end up being the quote.”
Soundtrack of the Moment: Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, Hollowpoint Sniper Hyperbole
TV/Movie Quote: The Godfather: “I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a businessman; blood is a big expense.”

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