I spent more than five hours yesterday at a dirt track car race. The newspaper sponsored the event and gave away free tickets (worth $20) to anyone who brought one of our newspapers from this week. My job was to count the papers and keep a tally. Not a complicated job, I assure you. Nor was that part terribly interesting. What was fascinating was the culture, and I’m using the word very loosely.
I spent four hours out front counting newspapers before I finally headed in to see the big race. I noticed that everything was covered in a fine coat of dirt, including the seats and the people. As I walked to where my family was sitting (I got them free tickets – I’m cool like that), I noticed signs warning that anyone attending the races accepted responsibility of injury from dirt, rocks or car parts flying off of the track. My sister-in-law Michelle and I joked that if you died, it was your own fault for coming to the race, you idiot.
When the cars came roaring around the corner and to our side of the stadium, the roar of the engines was deafening and the entire stadium vibrated. Michelle and I discovered that we could yell anything we wanted at the top of our lungs as the cars were going by, and no one could hear us. So we shook our fists and yelled random things or gibberish as the cars sped by and no one was the wiser. I yelled "Chicken licker!" and Nathan, sitting right next to us, didn’t even notice.
When we left, I had the strangest crunchy sensation in my mouth. I guess I shouldn’t have been smiling and laughing at a dirt track race.