Suck it, Trebek.
So I get teased a lot. People sometimes don’t know what to make of me because I grew up in France yet I’m into NASCAR. The two don’t go hand in hand, they say. You don’t seem like the type who likes NASCAR, they say. But you’re not a redneck!, they say. It’s kind of like Chuck Klosterman and his love for Pamela Anderson; you’d never think a guy like him would be into a “girl” like her. But there it is. I like NASCAR and I’m proud to be a fan. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know that this wasn’t an overnight dealio. It grew gradually, and culminated in a race weekend last October at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
My mother already thinks that living in the South has warped my brain; she’ll not know what to think once she finds out I watch this crap. Although I need not worry, because she’s probably never heard of NASCAR. Formula 1, yes. Stock car racing? Mais, c’est pour les ploucs**, she’d say.
Tomorrow at 2 pm EST the gates to the infield at Atlanta Motor Speedway will open to campers, and I will be there in Sammy the Ford Escape following the boy and Ken who are towing the 1970s camper which will be our home until Monday. A month or so ago when I called AMS to buy our infield tickets, the lady on the other end of the line told me, in a surprised and pleased tone of voice, that the infield campsites were all sold out – unheard of. This is very exciting news. This means that me and a couple thousand other drunks will be hooty-hooing from our camp spots, and a fun time will be had by all.
Contrary to popular belief, the entire weekend is not just devoted to drunky-pantsing it (although drinking heavily is one of the fun factors, if drinking is your sort of thing). We also eat pretty damn well. This takes some pre-planning, as this year our communal campsites will probably host 25ish people (give or take a few). I’ve had people poke fun at me because I make massive Google docs filled with lists: packing lists, grocery lists, menus, etc... and all I have to say is: SUCK IT. I am a born planner. Camping with that amount of people without some sort of plan stinks. Once I am somewhere, I do not want to budge. I don’t plan on leaving the infield this weekend because I happened to forget something, which will force me to run to the closest Wal Mart. Don’t get me wrong - of course there are times where unplanning is fun, like when two of you are on vacation in the Bahamas or something, and you just want to let life unfold and roll with it. I am a huge fan of surprises. But when one has been unofficially designated the Project Manager for 25ish people camping in the infield, some order and preparation is necessary and vital for my sanity and the sanity of others.
Most of our friends are arriving Saturday, so Friday night will be grilled steaks for the three of us. Saturday is Wingapalooza – wings all day. The boy has been prepping chicken wings for a week or so now, cutting off the wing tips, freezing the wing parts in Foodsaver bags, preparing his spice mixture. All of this is necessary because there is nothing worse than having to butcher wings on a makeshift cutting board while camping, as the boy knows firsthand. The main focus of Sunday’s dinner will be Bobby Flay’s Cuban burgers, which we've made there before and are a huge success. I already have the aioli ready to go. I delegated several people to shop, so that one person wasn’t stuck with the astronomical grocery bill. Everyone is responsible for their own booze.
So here’s to you, whether you’re a NASCAR fan or not, or whether you’re one of those who poops on my planning (therefore not invited to join us, sucks to be you doesn’t it – YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) . I hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend.
** But that's for hicks!