Sunday, September 26, 2010

You Can't Win a Pissing Contest with a Skunk...

I don't watch NASCAR anymore. My fascination was a phase that I wandered through several years back, when I supervised a crew at Goodwill. It was a fascination that grew something out of minor necessity: If I was going to communicate with a couple of the guys who worked for me at all, I'd have to have at least a nodding acquaintance with the the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.

See, Goodwill employed a lot of disabled and "disadvantaged" folks. There is part of me that is Republican enough to think that the only disadvantage a lot of these folks had was a laziness that seemed ingrained. Hereditary Laziness. Mitochondrial Laziness. That, or these were people that didn't have the first idea how to associate with people in any manner. At all.

But they all loved NASCAR. That's what I found out, eventually. I'd always mocked it, to be honest. Like most, I didn't understand the appeal of watching anything that involved cars going around in a circle for four hours (though I myself have watched clothes drying in a dryer as a form of meditation for years...). I mocked, and I loved the shit out of reading a headline in a local paper that somebody had blamed losing a race on Dick Trickle. I blame many of my life's woes on Dick Trickle, to this day.

Being in that position, though, with the people who were damn near religious with their NASCAR, I started paying attention. I started learning names, and and car numbers. I learned tracks. Restrictor Plate races were revered among those I worked with, and they featured spectacular crashes, but were often long and tremendously boring to me--I tended to lean toward short track races like Bristol, which was still cool in the eyes of many I worked with. I shared their belief that road tracks were ridiculous, though i figured I'd appreciate them more if there were more than 2 on the schedule.

Toward Bristol racing, I still enjoy the matter-of-factness with which these people would use the phrase "rubbing is racing." I am 33, and I cannot write that phrase without a smirk that comes straight out of sixth grade crossing my face.

I learned why it was right on the verge of blasphemy to mention anybody's name in the same breath as Earnhardt. And what it meant when somebody was coming into the Pit for a trackbar adjustment.

All so that I could have at least one common frame of reference when I'd work with some of them.

And truth be told, I started liking it.

I worked a lot of Sundays, and here's something that surprised me, and still surprises. NASCAR on the radio has a shitload of energy to it. They constantly switch announcers, because we're dealing with mile, or 2-mile, or 2.5 mile ovals, so announcers are strategically placed around the track. No one announcer, as a result, is given too much time to lapse into anything but describing the action. (I listened to a CBS football announcer during today's Titans' game, by comparison, spend 2 minutes talking about the time his wife threw her keys onto the roof of their house. No fucking joke.) And the announcers are always loud! I don't know if it's training, or simply conditions of having to talk over high-horsepower stock cars. I suspect it's a combination of the two.

But that's a minor digression.

Over a couple year period, I started to learn names, personalities. At the time, everybody hated Rusty Wallace. HATED Rusty Wallace. No joke. In 2000, if Hitler, Stalin and Rusty Wallace were in a room with you, and you had a pistol with two bullets, you'd shoot Rusty twice. (I put that year there, because since September 2001, I'd say they'd probably shoot Osama bin Laden twice, but then beat Rusty Wallace to death with the empty gun).

As an aside, and I think I've probably written it here before: Do you know why they call him Rusty? Because you can't say Shitty Wallace on Sunday Afternoon TV.

Toward those personalities? Even some six or seven years after the fact, I will swear to the fact that Kevin Harvick is a turd in a fireproof racing suit. I have no recollection of the genesis of this idea, but it's there, sure as shooting, in my head. It's as strong a belief as any I have, up to knowing my middle name or that the sky is blue.

It's been a while since I've followed regularly. More than half a decade. So, there are some names, that if I should happen across the NASCAR section of the interweb, I don't recognize well enough to assign a personality. But, when I read this story this afternoon, in which the team of Richard Childress Racing took issue with Denny Hamlin's comments, it gave me a moment's pause, for my aforementioned dislike of the despicable Kevin Harvick.

Utlimately, I've decided I don't have a dog in the hunt to judge one way or the other. I doubt I could name half the drivers in a field, right now, and I'm just not up to date enough on the soap opera to take a side in the issue.

I guess I'm going to finish by disputing the phrase "you can't win a pissing contest with a skunk," as states Richard Childress.

I put it to you that you probably can win a pissing contest with a skunk, as unpleasant as that could be. Honestly. How big could a skunk's bladder be? It's an animal not much bigger than a breadbox, with a bladder proportional to its size. Me? I can hold as many as four tall Yuenglings in my bladder with ease, as of last night. Before breaking the seal, mind you. After that, I have the bladder of a skunk.

I posit this. Prior to breaking the seal, under the right conditions, you can win a pissing contest with a skunk.

It's the part where he starts spraying his skunkenly foulness at you, and you find yourself in that particular stinkfight woefully under- or unarmed, depending on just how big a cabbage fan you are.

I hesitate to call that a fart fight, but only because I know not everybody will find that phrase as funny as I do.

2 Comments:

Blogger T. Church said...

Good stuff Tommy. As a non-Nascar fan, I really enjoyed this post. I find it interesting that RW is so unloved in the South. In my hometown of Newton, he actually designed a track now called the Iowa Speedway.

Everybody I have talked to who has ever had a conversation with him says he is a great guy.

I've never met him, and don't have a self-formed opinion. But I'm thinking I'm gonna take your side on this one. There are a helluva lot more rednecks in Newton than there ever was. And racing fans and football do not mix.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Tommy said...

I really don't know the genesis of the animosity toward Rusty. It was widespread, though he had his loyal followers, too.

11:38 PM  

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