Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rubbin' Is Racin'

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! I had a very busy weekend and week! I didn’t realize there was going to be big doin’s at Rockingham Speedway last Saturday, so I was surprised when Mom asked me if I wanted to go there with her and Dad. She told me I would have to be carried around in her big purse, but that was okay. I do wish she would put a small fridge in there so I could bring along some tuna sandwiches.
It was a long ride to “The Rock”. I had never seen a stock car race before so I was very excited. I thought Dad’s car went fast – ha! That was nothing compared to those bad boy stock cars!! Dad was going to ride in the pace car so we had special parking passes and media credentials. We could go anywhere we wanted!
I had ridden on my Mom’s lap in the car, so I didn’t notice anything or anyone in the back seat. When we opened the doors to get out of the car, Malcolm leapt from the backseat and jumped out into the infield. Mom was worried because she didn’t have enough room in her big purse for the two of us (I beg to differ) and she couldn’t leave us in the car because it was too hot outside. As were standing there trying to figure out what we should do, one of the track managers came by to say hello to my Dad. He noticed me hiding behind Mom and recognized me from my renowned Dogwood Festival performance. He was honored to have me at the track and told me to jump right in and have fun. Now, Malcolm doesn’t strike me as a man of adventure, so I feared he would cramp my style. I told him he could tag along as long as he stayed out of everyone’s way. He mumbled something about being hungry and headed off to find a snack bar. I waited for him to return so we could start exploring the racetrack. Finally, Malcolm returned with a giant turkey leg. The first thing we came upon in the garage area was a big pile of tires. We played a modified version of whack-a-mole. I would hide in a tire, then pop up and Malcolm would try to hit me with his turkey leg – or what was left of it.

It didn’t take him long to devour that whole turkey leg! It was kind of disgusting…

Dad stopped our frivolity to introduce me to a great NASCAR race driver, Bill Elliott.

He was very nice and evidently is quite the animal lover. He told me all about his pets and I told him about how lucky I was that someone adopted me from the shelter. His son was racing in the next race, so I told him I wished his son luck. I had to excuse myself to go chase Malcolm – he was disappearing around a corner – oy!

All of a sudden, there was this loud roar as the race cars started their engines. It almost made Malcolm jump. I heard someone in the pit area complaining that they were short a tire changer, so I jumped in and volunteered like the plucky girl I am!! They didn’t have a fire suit for me, but they did have a teeny tiny helmet to fit my dainty head. Malcolm ran to the corn dog stand so he’d have something to nosh while I participated in the festivities. Everyone in the pits just loitered around for a while, until the head guy yelled for everyone to get ready.

All the cars started roaring toward the pits and everyone started moving all at once. I grabbed a tire and started to roll it toward the car. Being a cat, I was having lots of fun rolling it along…wheee!... until I realized I rolled it down three pit stalls! By the time I rolled it back, the car was back on the track with 3 fresh tires. The guys in the pit crew were laughing so hard they couldn’t get mad. They suggested next time around I might want to try carrying the gas can – it didn’t roll!

The first race was really short, so there were no more pit stops. The pit crew thanked me for the entertainment and told me they had found another pit crew who could use my services. They had graciously arranged for me to carry the gas can for a car in the next race. What could go wrong with that (dat dat dummmmm)

Malcolm and I headed to the other pit stall where I was needed. We had to stop at the cotton candy stand on the way – not for me, I was too excited to eat. Everyone in the pits was very nice to me. They showed me what I needed to do every time the car came in. I was going to hand the gas can to the head gas guy who would then put the gas in the car. Simple enough. I was the girl for the job!

The signal was given to prepare for a pit stop. I was so nervous. I wanted to do a good job. I clutched the gas can as tight as I could – I was NOT going to drop it. The car came to a screaming halt – break dust went everywhere. Before I knew what was happening the gas guy grabbed the gas can and slung it high in the air to get it into the gas tank in the car.

I had no time to let go, so I hung on so I wouldn’t fall to the cement. I dangled from the can the whole time the car was filling up. I was so relieved when the gas can was finally empty. The gas guy slowly lowered the can and pried my little paws open to get me off of it. After the car left to head back to the track, they took off my helmet and scratched behind my ears and made sure I was okay. I explained to them I was very adventurous and the whole thing was a lot of fun – a little scary – but fun – sort of like a roller coaster!

It was evident that I was not well suited for pit crew work, but all my new friends put their heads together and came up with something right up my alley. It would make me the center of attention – all eyes, including the drivers’, would be on me…….. they were going to let me wave the flags! I had to climb waaaaay up the tower in which the flag guru stood. He gave me a quick lesson and when the caution was over and it was time to get moving again, I was going to wave the green flag. The cars came roaring around the corner and I started my little arm just a wavin’ that flag all around. No one was going to miss my green flag!!!!

The cars sped up and were off! I stayed up there for the rest of the race. Boy, was my arm tired when the race was over!!

Once I finally climbed down from the tower, my racing buddies had one more treat in store for me. They rigged a car so I could drive it. I was going to drive a race car!!!! I asked Dad to ride in the car with me to help me out and he was brave enough to oblige. I asked Malcolm if he wanted to come, but he said he wasn’t finished his ice cream yet. I think he was too scared anyway. I put on a helmet and strapped myself in. I waved to Mom then stomped on the gas.

I drove around the track a few times. I only made it over 100mph once and that was quite a thrill. Dad seemed thrilled too – if that’s what clenching your teeth and closing your eyes means. He seemed more than a little relieved when a track official started chasing me to make me stop and return the car to the garage. That was certainly an experience of a lifetime!

After all that excitement, I was exhausted. Malcolm had disappeared, but we found him next to the pizza stand with a lovely array of junk food.

He thought I might be hungry so he arranged a buffet for me. One question kept running through my mind. Where did he find all this stuff and how in the world did he pay for it?!??!?!??!

I had to stop at the Media Center to give interviews before we could head home. The media folks were all very interested in my life story, and many of them took notes. Some of them were just doodling, but that was okay. I liked feeling like a celebrity!

I fell asleep on the way home, which is just as well. Mom told me that Malcolm kept burping very loudly the whole way. I don’t even remember Mom picking me up and putting me in my bed. I was one tired little kitty!

Hope you have a great week. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different this weekend. It’s fun!

Love & licks,


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