Dale Probably Needed His Sleep On Race Day, Too

, , , , | Related | September 14, 2020

My grandmother is OBSESSED with NASCAR! The Daytona 500 is like a religious holiday for her and she spends the entire month before the race getting decorations and meals planned for the Daytona 500 weekend. It’s a bigger deal for her than Christmas and Thanksgiving are for most people. She also literally worships the late NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., to the point of having a shrine to him in her house for almost twenty years after his death in 2001.

My husband and I are currently stationed in South Korea.

It is the day of the race and she decides to call me. Please note that South Korea is thirteen hours ahead of the east coast of the United States and I have been in bed sleeping soundly for the past five hours.

The phone rings.

Me: *Very sleepy* “Hello.”

Grandma: “It’s Grandma!”

Me: “Oh, my God! Is there something wrong with Grandpa?!”

Grandma: “No! Do you know what day it is?”

Me: “I think it’s Monday.”

Grandma: “No, it’s the Daytona 500! Why are you sleeping?! You should be watching it right now! Does the military not show the Daytona 500 in Korea?! I swear I will call my congressman if they don’t! They have no respect for Dale!”

Me: “They are showing it at the base club but I don’t feel like dragging myself there at three o’clock in the morning! I have an appointment at Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul at eleven this morning; I have to leave by 8:30 to make my appointment time so I need to sleep.”

Grandma: “It is un-American not to watch the Daytona 500! You are really disrespecting Dale by not watching it!”

Me: “But it’s three in the morning! I don’t feel like crawling out of bed and walking across the entire base in the freezing cold just to watch a NASCAR race! It is too late to get a taxi on base, anyway.”

Grandma: “But this is the most important race of the season! Dale died in that race! You need to respect his memory by watching the Daytona 500 every year!”

Me: “Look, Grandma, I am really tired and I have a doctor’s appointment at Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul later this morning. I don’t want to try to fight rush hour traffic in Seoul while I am overly tired. I’m going back to bed.”

Grandma: “But the Daytona 500 is the most important day of the year! You need to stay up and watch it! I am ashamed that you aren’t watching it! Dale is looking down from Heaven condemning you for not watching it!”

Me: “Whatever, Grandma. I really need to get back to bed.”

I ended up falling asleep, and when I woke up four hours later, my caller ID said that she had called me EIGHT times between then and seven am. My mom later emailed me to let me know that all my grandmother did was talk about how I should have been watching the Daytona 500 and that I was “lazy” to stay in bed! My grandmother actually wouldn’t talk to me for several months because she thought that I had “disrespected” Dale Earnhardt by not watching the Daytona 500!

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Unfiltered Story #196577

, | Unfiltered | June 16, 2020

(I lived in Korea for three years as a teacher and in my first year there. Neither I nor the employee were at fault but since I was the foreigner in the equation in putting this as my fault and submitting to NAR.)

Store Employee: *offering a can of instant rice as I enter the store* Lice? Lice?

*not yet familiar with the oddities of the Korean pronunciation, I assume she’s offering me lice shampoo and immediately put my hands to my head in horror before figuring it out and calming down.*

Me: Oh, rice. No, thank you.

*I still use this as an example for my students today.*