Call it a whim, call it a lapse in judgement, I agreed to make a trek to Colfax, IA last weekend for a fantabulous night at their local demolition derby.
I have three boys and two men that are constantly in my life, so none of this seems like a stretch for me. They do crap I want to all the time, they take me places, they spend their money doing a bunch of stuff they don't really want to, but they do it to appease me. So I've convinced myself that I can do this, that I can sit on some bleachers watching cars crash into eachother, sling a little mud and head home for the night. Plus, the entire night was going to cost all of $20. I can't take my family to McDonald's for less than that ...
We get to Colfax and everyone is hungry, the initial plan was to grab McDonald's on the way into town - but the boys had just had that last night, and the thought of spending 80 points on whatever meal I got didn't appeal to me. I was being a brat and throwing a tantrum and wanted to find something else. Google told me there is a pizza place, a Subway, a McDonalds and a diner of some sort ... the pizza place had a 45 minute wait so we went in search of Subway.
We found Subway, ordered, sat down, and I was about 5 inches into my footlong and I couldn't chew. I didn't have to keep going to know what was in my mouth. A piece of fatty, ligament, nasty, hard, whatever the hell it's called meat filler in my mouth. I get the chills, I am seriously ready to throw up. C'mon. I do the right thing, I order a turkey sub with spinach and cucumber and THIS is the thanks I get!??! This is horseshit.
Annoyed, I refuse to take another bite, reminding myself that next time I'll get a cheese sandwich...or a veggie delite...something that would have less chance of making me want to vomit.
We make our way to the derby. pay our admission, drive down the gravel road and I feel like fell bass ackwards into a country song. I have never, ever, in my life seen so many pickup trucks, cans of bush light, or people smoking their cigarettes in my entire life. I swallowed - hard. Trying to be excited, trying to be happy, trying to be fun, trying to be a good sport. I realized, almost instantly, that we should have came straight to the fairgrounds rather than getting dinner. Afterall, the most expensive item on their concession stand was like $2 - a helluva lot cheaper than my wretched subway. Turns out, everyone gets to back their pickup trucks directly up to the gates and enjoy the show from the bed of their truck. There are four small sets of bleachers that are completely full - I mean, COMPLETELY full. We walk around the arena and come across a spot that has room for about two adults, we are about to fit three adults and three children. Travis asks the guy right behind the spot if the seats are taken and he tells us to go ahead and sit down.
Lady on the lawn chair next to the bleachers starts objecting, telling me that these seats are taken. Now, I would love to tell you that SHE was being irrational, that SHE was being unreasonable, but this blog is loaded with honesty and I see no reason to stop that now. It was ME who was irrational and unreasonable. I felt like I just walked through a ring of fire (which was actually just cigarette smoke and spilled beer) - I could hear the intro to the tom petty song "wont back down" and if I was about to throw down over these seats. Just before I was able to prove that despite my brushed teeth, washed hair, and clothing that appropriately covers my body, I will get loud, I will get crazy and I have NO problem being mean, her husband interjects and tells her that he didn't mind giving up his seat, that, "these people have small kids and need a place to sit" I apologized to her for the things I did and didn't say, she apologized too.
This was not my element - it really, REALLY wasn't. There was far too much smoking for my liking, we were outside and it felt like everyone was smoking and blowing their smoke right at me and my kids. I was frustrated by the parents who were holding their babies and smoking at the same time. I was really irritated that the "officials" or flag people were chain smoking - one right after another! They are like the "cool people" that all of the kids are watching and they have a flag in one hand, cig in another. Gross. I was annoyed that people had their newborn babies out at this event, I was annoyed that the "DJ" had a playlist with the same four songs that were playing over and over and over again, I was REALLY annoyed that the theme of the derby was "Get Smashed in Colfax" - my kids wanted t-shirts and THAT wasn't going to happen.
Truth be told, it was a stretch to get the boys to look at me long enough to take the pictures and the biggest two wouldn't look at me. whatever. so they had a good time. the youngest two asked to go to the car with two heats left ... it was about 9pm and was getting dark and I held the boys' hands and made the long trek back to the mini van... it's funny though, every thing I've said about this derby and I would tell you that I wasn't nervous at all while walking two kids by myself in a field of pickup trucks and wrangler jeans ... i figured, in general, the most trouble I would have found was with lawn chair lady, and that was hours ago....and I was right.
There are a million songs about trucks, coon hounds, country back roads, good ol' boys, tailgates and tan lines and I know a good many of them. someday, local fair grounds will join the rest of iowa in being a smoke free event. Until then, I'll take solace in the fact that my boys were disgusted by the smoking almost as much as I was ... and when you ask them what they remember about Saturday night, they talk about cars and mini vans crashing into each other....so maybe they weren't in culture shock, maybe they'll be just fine if they have this much exposure to THIS breed of redneck once or twice a year....