Racing To Make Accusations

, , , , | Friendly | February 5, 2021

I race dirt oval stock cars a few nights a week. I’m in a mid-level class — not the rookie divisions, but not the top-dollar, fastest cars, either. Mostly, it’s a class for drivers to have fun and compete without needing to spend multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars every summer. As such, as competitive as we are on the track, all of us drivers and our pit crews are also great friends who go to great lengths to loan each other spare parts or extra hands during emergency repairs. We want to race each other, and racing is no fun when all the other guys are broken down in the pits.

On opening night one season, a bunch of us have gotten to the pits early and are hanging out shooting the breeze, waiting for the racing to start. At the last minute, a massive enclosed trailer shows up at the pit entrance. This thing is easily fancier than any other trailer in the pit area — even the top-level classes — and looks like something that should be on pit lane at a NASCAR race, not just a weekend dirt track show.

The pit area at the track is generally divided by car class, and to everybody’s surprise, this fancy trailer heads over to the class that I race in. They park and start unloading the car, and all the pit crew guys are wearing matching uniforms — compared to everyone else in grubby jeans and T-shirts. Nobody from the trailer makes an effort to introduce themselves to anyone else, and they’re giving off an arrogant vibe, so we all comply and stay away from them.

We get through hot laps and move into the heat races. I’m in the same heat as the new car from the fancy trailer. The green flag drops and we all take off racing.

A few laps into the race, another driver and I make contact, and I get knocked off course — and straight into the new car. I end up hitting him hard and damaging both our cars badly enough that we can’t finish the race. We get towed back to the pit area, and before the new car is even off the hook, the driver is out of his car and storming over to me.

Before I can get out of my car, he starts yelling.

Driver: “I’m going to sue you for damaging my racecar! You ruined my easy win against all you amateur fools!”

Blah, blah, blah. I stay in my car because I don’t want to risk getting suspended from the track for fighting on opening night, and the other driver eventually gives up trying to fight, turns on his heel, and stomps back to his own trailer.

I climb out of my car and some of the drivers and pit crews from my class and other classes gather around to make sure everything is okay. I explain what happened, and after my adrenaline wears off, I walk over to the fancy trailer to try and explain what happened and offer to lend a hand to their repair efforts. 

Pit Crew Member: “Get lost!”

So, I headed back to my own trailer while they loaded up the car and left the track.

Meanwhile, the other drivers, knowing that sometimes bad stuff happens in racing, helped me bodge together a quick repair job on my car, and we managed to get the car running in time for the feature race later that night. I didn’t finish the race — some of the bodge jobs just weren’t permanent enough to stand up — but at least I started, unlike the guy with the fancy trailer that I assume was filled with all sorts of professional-quality tools and spare parts.

The team with the fancy trailer continued to show up every weekend and continued to give off the same arrogant vibe. I don’t know if they ever actually tried to sue me or not. I can’t imagine they found a lawyer who agreed to take on a case where a RACE CAR got damaged during a CAR RACE. But even if they had found a lawyer, all drivers at the track have to sign a waiver agreeing that they accept the risks and that they can’t sue the track or other drivers for car damage or injury unless it is blatantly intentional, so I would have been covered anyway.

I managed to win a handful of races that season. The “professional” team with the fancy trailer won absolutely nothing.

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Don’t Mess With Donna Reed

, , , , , , | Working | February 3, 2021

I’ve been working here for almost two years, but due to her work schedule conflicting with any of our social events, no one has met my wife outside of her popping into the store to drop off my lunch or swap cars. My wife runs a side business making vintage-style dresses — which is almost successful enough to become her full-time job now! — which she started because she loves to wear those 1950s swing dresses anyway. Because of this, my coworkers have only met my wife fleetingly, dressed like a 1950s housewife and being her sweet, polite self as she’s a little bit shy.

Our local council has put together a fun sports event where local businesses can put together a team of their employees and their families, and everyone can compete to both raise money for charity and win the donated prizes. Our store has signed up for two teams: cricket and field hockey. The cricket team immediately fills up as our boss is from India and has a large family filled with people who are absolutely mad for cricket. I quietly sign up my wife and myself for the field hockey after confirming with her, which my coworkers laugh about.

Coworker #1: “Is she going to play in one of her pretty dresses?”

Coworker #2: “I dunno if shin guards will go with those fluffy petticoats!”

The only coworker I have who knows my wife socially grins at me and we stay silent.

The day of the competition arrives. My wife has to work up until twenty minutes before we start, and she shows up at the last minute in leggings and a hoodie. My coworkers greet her and say something about her being dressed differently than usual. She just smiles; again, she’s a little shy. Our friend-coworker and I smirk and giggle when my other coworker offers her a stick and to go over the rules. She looks at the stick in his hand for a second.

Wife: “No, thanks. I brought my own.”

She pulled off her hoodie to reveal her T-shirt, which was from when her hockey team went to the state finals the previous year. She pulled her custom stick out of her bag, popped in her mouthguard, and walked onto the field with the rest of us.

It took about five minutes for my coworkers to realise that my shy, quiet wife is the most competitive person I know and is better at hockey than the rest of us put together. She actually wound up in a fight in the last quarter because one of the jerks from the air conditioning place on the other team tried to grab her butt as she ran past. She won the fight AND the game. During after-game drinks, she beat everyone at darts by a huge margin and wound up singing karaoke with my boss. 

I think my coworkers were more confused when she showed up on Monday to drop off my lunch again in one of her pretty swirly dresses and was as quiet as ever. No one ever considered her anything less than a total bad-a** ever again. The council said they’re bringing back the contest next year. My coworkers found out that she also does netball and volleyball and are fighting over which sports to sign up for so she can be our ringer again!

This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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When You Listen To Their Brain, You Hear Crickets

, , , , , | Friendly | January 22, 2021

I am playing cricket. One of my teammates is known as a jokester and also a bit of a dumba**. For those who don’t know the rules of cricket, a bowler gets an “over” of six deliveries, after which another bowler gets an over from the other end. The aforementioned teammate is currently bowling.

Teammate: *To the umpire* “How many?”

Umpire: “Three.”

Teammate: “Is that I’ve bowled three or there’s three to come?”

Me: “The problem with you is that when you say things like that, I can’t tell if you’re joking or dead serious.”

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How Dare Women Exist In Public?!

, , , , , | Romantic | January 2, 2021

When we are still dating, my husband gets tickets to the local NFL team game. Like all arenas and public venues, the seats are mashed in to make room for as many people as possible. 

During the first half of the game, the man beside me constantly has his leg against mine or elbows me in the breast every time he moves. In a typical male fashion, my husband doesn’t notice and brushes it off.

Husband: “It’s just because it’s close quarters.”

During halftime, I express my frustration with Mr. Gropey next to me and I swap seats with my husband. Within moments, he has a thigh against his and an elbow to his chest.

Well, it seems that gets Mr. Gropey’s attention; apparently, it isn’t as soft as it used to be. When he looks over and sees a beefier man smiling and waving at him where there was a woman before, he suddenly finds a lot more space on the other side of his seat.

Husband: “Huh. You weren’t kidding about him constantly trying to feel you up.”

Me: “Welcome to the life of a woman.”

This story is part of our Best Of January 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of January 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of January 2021 roundup!

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Grandpa’s Future’s So Bright He Needs Shades

, , , , | Related | December 3, 2020

My family has always been big dirt track racing fans, and we go to the races almost every weekend all summer long. My grandpa gets tired of dealing with the bright sun shining into our eyes when we’re sitting in the grandstand, so one day on our way to the races, he stops at a thrift store and picks up a small rain umbrella to block the sunlight.

The umbrella costs him about eighty cents, but he’s like a kid in a candy store bragging.

Grandpa: “I’ll be able to see and you won’t because of my shiny new umbrella!”

We get to the races and find seats toward the top of the grandstand. Everyone starts joking about how long my grandpa is going to wait before pulling out his umbrella, but he decides to wait until the first heat race starts.

After the practice lap sessions, the first race takes to the track in preparation for the green flag. With a flourish worthy of a Las Vegas magician, my grandpa pulls out his umbrella, unwraps the strap holding the canopy closed, raises the umbrella over his head, presses the button to open the canopy, and POP!

The entire canopy flies off the shaft. My grandpa is left holding the handle and the shaft as the canopy falls onto a group of guys about halfway down the grandstand.

My grandpa freezes as the other fans turn around to find out who threw an umbrella onto their heads. As the guys see my grandpa still holding the shaft over his head, they start to scream up the grandstand. The screaming attracts a lot of attention from other fans, and soon everybody is staring up at my grandpa.

In response, my grandpa slowly lowers the umbrella shaft in front of his face and pretends to hide behind it like a little kid hiding behind a tree.

The scene is so comical that everybody in the grandstand starts laughing, including the guys who were hit by grandpa’s rogue umbrella. Grandpa quickly offers to buy a round of beers for the guys, and the rest of the night is as enjoyable as ever.

Before the next race night, my grandpa invests in a pair of sunglasses and insists on getting a wraparound cord.

Grandpa: “…so the d*** things don’t fly off my face like that cheap umbrella!”

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