Finally! Right? I just know you all have been waiting on baited breath for me to get to the damn race already! 🙂
Well, unfortunately the race part of our day was not the most exciting. I had kind of gotten pumped up for it by listening to the drivers speak and roaming through the pits, but then it all kind of got deflated once the checkered flag dropped. It was September 11th so the prayer, national anthem & fly-over had special meaning, which was a little emotional. Our seats were pretty low to the track, but still high enough so we could see all the way around. Jay had been concerned we wouldn’t be able to see the other side, but it was no problem at all.
So the checkered flag dropped, the engines roared and they were off … round, and round, and round, and round … two laps in and my heart started to sink but I tried to psych myself up (There’ll be a crash or something, it’ll get more interesting) Five laps in and I started stifling yawns. Ten laps in and we went to the concessions to get some fries. Then we came back for a couple of laps. Then we went for a walk. Back for a couple of laps. Then I went to the washroom. Back for a lap. Then I went with Jay while he smoked. Another lap in my seat and we went back to the concessions for pretzels. And so on and so forth until finally the damn thing was over.
Oh my freaking God!! I have never been to anything more boring in my life … and lemme tell ya, I’ve been to some pretty dry press conferences and poetry readings, not to mention church services! The cars just go round and round. They’re all spread out so you can’t tell who’s winning or who’s 2 laps down unless you look at the scoreboard. You can’t hear the commentators over the sound of the engines. And if nobody crashes or there aren’t any cautions, you just sit there and watch the same damn thing for hours. I swear, I will never go to another one in my life! Though, to be fair, Jay was also bored out of his skull and spent more time roaming the concession area and going for cigarettes than anybody else in our group. It was his first time at the Richmond track but he’s been to every other short track in the circuit and he said this was the worse race he’d ever been to. Bob and John also thought it sucked and days later Jay talked with different people who had been there who all said it was the worse race they’d ever been to. Certainly it was no Molson Indy, where the rubber hits you all over your body as you walk right over the track while they’re racing. Now that’s exciting stuff! I’ve been to stockcar races in Douglastown that were WAY more exciting than this Nascar race.
The race ended and we joined the throng of people heading back into the parking lot fields. We knew we weren’t going to get out of there any time soon, so there was no rush, we leisurely strolled and checked out anything that was still open.
Back at the truck our cooler tops were open. Jay had put almost all the beer in the truck and locked it before we left to go into the race, but apparently he’d left two cans in the cooler. These were gone. So this sent my hun into a bit of a rage, despite him having had whole coolers stolen at races before and knowing full well what to expect. I was like if you knew they were going to steal whatever was in the thing and maybe the cooler itself, why did you leave it out when you locked everything else in the truck to keep it safe? Like duh! And being the freaking redneck that he is, he immediately started blaming the one lonely black guy that we’d seen partying with some people close to us before we went in. This just drove me nuts! I mean there were thousands of people there, of which two might have been black and the rest were all white, yet if something was stolen it had to be the black guy who did it! Give me a freaking break!
Jay being all bitchy and moody did not help John’s mood … and he’d been increasingly getting his own bitchy attitude on as the night progressed. So with Jay going off on a bitch fest, John was not to be outdone …
Lots of people hadn’t stayed parked but had pulled out into the line of traffic that was trying to leave the place. Most of these vehicles had their engines turned off and were just sitting there because nothing was moving traffic-wise. One young guy, who I had seen earlier in the afternoon partying right across from us, had his window rolled down (as pretty much everyone did) and he yelled out to us, “Hey! How’s it going?” or something like that … and John just went off.
I think it started with John telling him to mind his own business or leave us alone or something. And the kid, who really hadn’t done anything wrong and just was looking to party some more and meet more people while they were in line, was of course surprised and concerned and wondering what was up. But he was also a 20 something young man who wasn’t about to be bullied by a 50 something old guy. So there were words back and forth and then John went over to the car and stuck his finger in the window in the guys face. And then Jay snapped out of his little bitch fest and realized he needed to get control of this situation before it escalated any further. So he went over to try and get John out of there and calmed down. But the kid got out of the car. So then Jay was in-between them and much finger pointing and eff yous were happening. Me and Bob just looked at each other and rolled our eyes, like here we freaking go.
Then a crowd started to gather from all the people who were walking through to find their vehicles. And suddenly out of this crowd steps a middle aged guy demanding to know what the trouble is, flashing an FBI badge and saying he’s going to arrest everyone if they don’t calm down and return to their vehicles. Oh boy! Now we’re having fun! I pretty much figured the guy was probably for real because of where we live; FBI, CIA, military, etc. are extremely commonplace around these parts. Jay took a really good look at the badge (in another life, under other circumstances that I won’t get into today, he had the opportunity to see many of these badges up close) and confirmed that the guy was indeed for real. John, however, was not discouraged and was more than willing to get beat to a pulp or go to jail or whatever. So Jay pulled him out of there and brought over to where I was standing beside the truck. Then I started trying to talk him down, while Jay went over to soothe any ruffled feathers with the kid and his crew, and assure the agents that everything was cool now and gonna stay that way. Who knows what poor old Bob thought about any of this?
For the rest of the time after the incident I stayed close to John and kept him distracted so he wouldn’t go off on anybody else and eventually the parking lot cleared out enough that we could leave. My husband had really had too much to drink to be driving. I knew that. But since John was even more drunk than Jay and I don’t have a license and don’t know that I could drive Jay’s big truck if I did, let alone in crazy city traffic, and Bob was only slightly more sober and can’t see really well after dark and had absolutely no idea where he was or where we had to get to, we really didn’t have many options. You’re not allowed to stay overnight in the parking lot at the race.
To say I was concerned about hitting a deer or my hun getting a DUI on the way home is putting it mildly. The whole way I repeated this mantra in my head, “We’re protected by the white light. We’re going to make it home safely. Everyone in this vehicle is under the white light of protection.” And whether it was the magic of my mantra or just pure good luck, we did get home without any incidents despite seeing several herds of deer. Dozens and dozens in every field we passed and a few who crossed the road in front of us. And despite us driving for many miles with one sheriff’s car in front of us and another behind. We got home around 4am, safe and sound.
Would I want to do any of it again? No. But all’s well that ends well, and certainly there were parts of the adventure that weren’t boring at all.