…joy turned to shock as we discovered.. the beer’s nearly ALL GONE!!
Suddenly everything became difficult. Indecision reigned. The heat haze of 90-degree, May 29, seemed to choke our beer and meat-addled brains’ ability to comprehend reality. The steamy grass and gravel confines of Lot 2 had suddenly become a desperate place tinged with the smell of panic. Our ranks constricted into a more defensive posture. Even the slightest of issues so easily dispatched just minutes earlier, became cause for alarm. Gravel dust and sweat were mating with abandon on my skin. There are GRASS BLADES AND DIRT IN THE ICE SLURRY!!
This trip will NOT end like this. We have the entire Indianapolis-fuckin’-500 tomorrow. The time to overcome obstacles was now. First up, each man took a quick inventory of beverages consumed. Preliminary calculations went beyond initial comprehension. In times like this it’s almost as if the brain understands it is no longer functioning at 100 percent, furiously ignores the messages and signals from the most-affected area, and allows for basic logic and math calculations to be performed.
Through some well-thought-out teamwork, we were able to arrange a party for supplies. When they returned with two cases to last the remaining 20 hours, we were surprised with the extended bonus of cheap cigars and magazines whose theme seemed to revolve around a poorly-lit, yet vaguely art-like appreciation for the female form, complete with pages and pages of telecommunication ads, all in a foreign language that appeared to be Russian. I took this as a sign that things would be OK. For what remained of the now-scant daylight hours, we set about a final straightening of the camp site.
A sense of order restored, we settled back into our chairs, reconvening around our re-stocked cooler and makeshift soft-sided pictorial gallery. We offered thanks for the fresh beer and a return to a more serene, seated conversation as our Wisconsin neighbors set about foraging for local food and investigating the rising nightlife on Georgetown Road.
Those moments, huddled as a small group far away from the trials and tribulations of everyday life, I believe gave us a better appreciation for the value of our adventure, comradeship, and even our friendships. Daylight and activity waned. Consumer-level fireworks popped and sparkled in the distance. Music from other camps wafted as we noticed the campground nearing capacity. Sights were now beginning to affix on the remaining 20 hours that lay ahead.
Drinking light lagers continuously for extended periods of time prior to age 40 isn’t terribly difficult nor is very complicated. It is almost cleansing in fact. It was easy for us to see why, as men age, they seem to increasingly treasure times like these – they afford us a respite and time for reflection. My race rookies and I even indulged in some poor-tasting cigars, salty snacks, and Indy 500 race conversation. As 1am beckoned and final arrangements made for tent-sleep, we all also settled the final tabs with our bladders and retreated to our modest nylon shelters, satisfied that we sucked the marrow of that Saturday with appropriate vigor.
Regardless of how much we choose to believe the illusion of how evolved or civilized we are, the body and brain has it’s millenia-old systems of well-groomed self-preservation if we dare to listen.
I find mine becomes apparent only when asleep. This system was activated with a rustling of grass and snickers that were much too close to our defensively-placed tents near the vehicle and back of our lot. Ears pricked up and alerted all senses to an ominous shadow on the tent’s far side, but it was already too late. Our playful neighbors had pulled a trump card from their camper and decided that we would be the victims.
At approximately 3:11am local Indiana time, we were quite rudely awakened to a standard-issue crowd bullhorn just 12 inches from our tent and one of the Wisconsin boys singing some currently popular song and also imploring us to come out and play some more. We all remained motionless and through visual communication realized we had been had. Our first strategy was to ignore it and play ‘possum even though no person would ever assume sleep could be maintained though a bullhorn’s call. The strategy worked for a couple of minutes but the bullhorn was then set on the tent sidewall and the taunt continued.
At approximately 3:14am local time, nearby female voices giggling with our neighbor boys implored them to stop as the joke was clearly over and now were only antagonizing us. The one of us closest to that tent wall only later admitted it was only through both great fatigue and restraint that he didn’t violently send the bullhorn back through the jokester’s incisors and canines…
An uneasy calm returned to camp as the voices again trailed away whether back into the night or just into the camper, I don’t know. Knowing the day’s physical expenditure and requirements of the next day, I used every bit of personal soft good to insulate my head from sound, returning to whatever form of rest I could muster…
I have the skills of a master detective. Actually more like approximately 65% of the average skills found with the average TV detective from the 1970s… less the cool car.
What I do have that resembles a 1970s TV detective, besides the penchant for bars with dark wall paneling and 11 mpg sport sedans, is a friend who survives below the radar that provides me with helpful information from time to time. This friend sourced to me two major places to go to find clearinghouse information on musical acts and their schedules: Pollstar and Tourtracker.
Armed with my latest research weapon, I perused and pursued any combination of search tag scrap that would produce a result. I now don’t mind sharing these with everyone since the secret of the Carb Day band for 2010 appears to be on lock-down in a maximum security computer at IMS and (much like my favorite 70s era TV detectives) I lack the true ‘juice’ or contacts to elicit such information. My research therefore has been sufficient only to produce data for deductive reasoning, eliminating the acts who are already committed to the May 28, 2010 dates.
This I share with you so that the first person with any correct information you may have that leads to the confirmed band or bands to play the 2010 Carb Day, prior to the official IMS announcement of such concert, will garner you full and commensurate honors (a free premium beer or alcoholic beverage) at the campsite of yours truly for the 2010 Indy 500 weekend. Here is the official list of those acts currently on tour who shan’t be performing Miller Lite Carb Day 2010:
Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum, Black Eyed Peas, Bullet For My Valentine, Tim McGraw, Asleep at the Wheel, Angels and Airwaves, Eli Young Band, 3OH!3, Dave Matthews Band, Pavement, Steel Pulse, Michael Buble, Daughtry, Oak Ridge Boys, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Bret Michaels, Little Big Town, Godsmack, Kiss, Coheed and Cambria, Wilco, Heart, CS&N, Elvis Costello, Montgomery Gentry, BoDeans, Bela Fleck, Mark Knopfler, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Carole King, David Gray, Lifehouse, Joe Bonamassa, NKOTB, Three Dog Night, ZZ Top, Barry Manilow, Diana Ross, Tesla, Deep Purple, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, moe., Steve Miller Band, Chevelle, Umphrey’s McGee, Indigo Girls, OK Go, Living Colour, Buckcherry, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Manhattan Transfer, 1000 Foot Crutch, Barenaked Ladies, Gov’t Mule, Reverend Horton Heat (damn.), Saliva, The Glitch Mob, Cracker, Dark Star Orchestra, Steve Winwood, George Benson, David Sanborn, Gaelic Storm, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Good Charlotte, Proclaimers, Pendulum, Paul Weller, Garaj Majal, Natalie Merchant, Duke Tumatoe (crap.) Cinderella, Sammy Kershaw, Dangermuffin, New Pornographers, The Damned, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Stone Sour, The Yardbirds, Naked Eyes, The Wailers, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Eve 6, Rusted Root, America, Buddy Guy, annnnnnnd (perhaps most disappointingly) AC/DC.
Please note there are many others left off the list that I couldn’t recognize as any band of note and judging by their venue, not big draws anyway. So there it is, the unofficial, non-announcement of Carb Day band for 2010. Sorry. What else is there to do for off-week, non-NCAA day of non-sports-news?
Despite the ever-increasing depth of snow outside my window today, chassis-related events coupled with our first planning meeting last week have stirred the spirit to more firmly focus on ‘the trip’.
100 days sounds like a big number but, in truth, isn’t. It’s just barely enough time to coordinate the elements necessary for a proper trip. This being the 7th trip with this group, the planning has become a bit easier, but each year poses its own obstacles which must be overcome. The primary needs, however, are firmly trenched into the budget: location (Speedway camp lots), lodging (campers), beverages (water – for when the beer runs out), and of course food (primo grilled meats to be exact).
Everyone has their favorite camp food, but ours is not simple fare. Burgers, brats, dogs and potato salad are generally eschewed for a more civilized palate. The menu is annually given extra attention and love with a grilling phenom and our very own 4-star chef. It’s not uncommon to find this on our plates at Indy (less the expensive linens and flatware, of course)…