Tag Archives: camping

Adventures at NASCAR: Hick Cops and Are You My Mother? (Part II)

Did you know that “hick cops” actually exist? It’s not just a stereotype or a derogatory name given to small town country cops with unusually strong accents. These cops aren’t necessarily even cops, but more like security guards or deputies with a much-too-high opinion of themselves. They have names like Barney and prefer to be called “Officer” and are ridiculously bossy and unreasonable when it comes to dealing with so-called or would-be criminals or drunken delinquents at an event like a Nascar race. Do you blame them? People who drink beer for 3 days straight are bound to get a little obnoxious or do something a bit out of line at some point. If I was a security guard hired to drive around those campgrounds anytime after 3pm, I’d probably be pretty darn grouchy about it.

To clarify, “hick cop” does not imply necessarily that the cop is uneducated, dumb, or lacking common sense, although this is occasionally the case. It does not mean that the cop should be respected less, etc. So if you are law-enforcement reading this right now, don’t get your panties all in a wad. I’m not calling every southern cop a hick, I’m simply insisting truthfully that some cops are hicks. Moving on.

Saturday evening, well into the bonfire of underwear, with the air smelling like burning polyester (side note, polyester undies: so not comfy guys. Cotton is much softer and probably more airy, which I hear is best for those parts. Just saying), someone decided to take his after-midnight nap on the gravel road/path running alongside our campsite. And at some point “Officer”-I’d-rather-be-feedin-my-hawse-than-dealin-with-this comes by on his Gator (is that what they’re called? Like a golf cart with no roof and big tires…whatever) and stops just short of running our pal over. “What is your freeind doin in the street?” he drawls. And he definitely drawls. Not the cute kind that pretty little southern girls do, or the slurred drunken kind. It’s a country drawl he’s been working on since birth that very few can understand north of Richmond (and even there, the Mond is so full of transplanted yanks…). We’re all a little confused by his question. Firstly, our friend is not really in the road, he’s only half in the road, and secondly, he’s clearly napping. So what’s the issue…? The gravel probably isn’t all that comfortable but we’re not worried. His question is answered by crickets, followed by something like, “Well duh, he’s napping…” But Barney insisted that his hick cop mobile was far too large (in his mind only) to pass by without removal of the sleeping obstacle.  It ended up taking 3 or 4 guys big rugby men to haul him to a tent so Officer Grouchy-Pants could move his important self beyond our campsite.

From here it gets better, as our infamous campsite was visited by this particular gem 2 or 3 times more that same night. I believe I missed the best appearance while sleeping in Foxy’s Jeep Cherokee (I need my beauty rest ya’ll, even at a campsite…unrest shows on the face up to 4 days post sleepless night…not cute). Apparently our Gator driving enthusiast was a bit miffed that a large group of slightly intoxicated young adults was not listening to him (shocking) when he directed them to all “go ta BED” the first time around (shocking) so that the second time he was a bit preachy and even more grouchy than before (shocking). I only heard about this the next day when everyone started using the word “multiple” as often as possible even when it made no sense (pronounced MOLTAPLE or MALTAPLE and always with heavy emphasis…can’t decide which spelling is more accurate to portray his ridiculous country drawl, which was mocked by all). I don’t even know that I heard the whole story, except when he came back yet again and not everyone was snoozing in their beds/chairs, he reminded everyone present that he had “told ya’ll to go ta bEd MULTAPLE tymes!” And once again stormed away at 5 mph on his little rent-a-cop scooter.

Examples of “multiple” being used multiple times: How many beers have you had? MULTAPLE! How many free hotdogs do we get at the stadium? MOLTAPLE! How many cars are in the race? MALTAPLE! (Seriously I can’t figure out which spelling is the best…they seem to all do a decent job) How many times do we guess he’ll come by our campsite to yell at us again tonight?? MALTAPLE! I think we’re getting the picture. Even recent perusals of Facebook has shown that this particular memory has not faded from anyone’s mind (news feed = best way to stalk people quickly and efficiently).

Sunday night, a group of real cops on Gators came by our campsite. It was like a prisoner escort, as the front Gator carried 2 cops and a very drunk young man in the back trunk, followed by a Gator motorcade of cops to make sure the prisoner didn’t make a break for it. We don’t know his story and neither did he but we did confirm that our campsite was infamous, as I mentioned earlier. The young man was pretty belligerent and appeared to not remember his own name or much else about himself or what he was doing (<- not sarcasm), and apparently all he could slur out for the cops when they found him was “rugby team.” What a thing to remember. SO, these cops, now being familiar with our friendly group of hotshots thanks to rent-a-cop Barney, brought the young man by to see if he belonged to us. It was all very “Are You My Mother?” taking this kid around, seeing if he recognized anyone or if anyone would claim him. We kindly informed these officers that this kid did not belong at our site and we’d never seen him before. They were extremely skeptical (understandably) until a less drunk member of the team stepped forward and a bit more earnestly insisted that seriously we didn’t know the guy, but if the officer would be so kind as to keep an eye out for our friend with the handlebar mustache, we actually weren’t sure where he was, we’d really appreciate it. As the motorcade drove away, the Lost Boy could be seen in the spotlight of the headlights behind him, his hands in the air as if he were at gunpoint, continuously insisting to no one in particular that they could arrest him if they wanted and he won’t puttin up no fight!

Monday morning was bittersweet. I slept better than I’d have guessed in the back of Foxy’s Grand Cherokee with her and Queenie, and we all woke up to responsible and mostly sober people cleaning up after themselves, giving hugs, packing tents, chugging found beers, cleaning underwear remnants out of the fire pit, and making plans for next year. The whole experience was grand for me, and I attribute at least 80% of that to this group of friends (warning: emotional moment). They’re serious people. Law school, grad school, real jobs, all put on hold to spend 3 days together so as not to lose track of such great friendships. The sacrificed underwear will forever serve as a memory of this – for me at least – epic trip and taking of my Nascar v-card. I don’t know about all of ya’ll, but I loved the camping, loved every hotdog I ate, loved every semi-cool cup of Keystone Light (ick), and loved watching a bunch of cars make left turns for over 5 hours and 600 miles. What I gained in calories from hotdogs and beer, I lost from laughing so hard so often.

As I seem to like to end these janks in a lesson, how about the lesson today be for all those framilies (friend families = framilies) out there who are graduated and moved away from each other, including and especially my own mucho loved Hokie fam. Don’t forget each other, and don’t let little things keep you from making your way back to each other every now and then. Facebook and BBMs are not enough for me to get all the lovin I need, and I’m betting I’m not alone. This trip, although I was an outsider, was fab. And I’ll admit that yes, I actually like Nascar now, and am not any less classy or sassy for it.

Adventures at NASCAR: The Gargoyle and the Burning Underwear (Part I)

NASCAR, The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, held its annual Coca-Cola 600 two weekends ago in Charlotte, NC, which also happens to be its headquarters. All of my close friends and family know that I have never been a fan of Nascar and in fact never understood it, enjoyed watching it, or cared really about any of it. So your car goes 165 mph and you can make 4 left turns over and over for 4+ hours. Congratulations. Who cares. It is stereotyped as being a redneck sport, that only rednecks enjoy, and only rednecks would pay to watch some fast cars go around a circle over and over again. So when Queenie invited me to go with her to our very first race in Charlotte, I asked the only important question: what should I wear? I agreed to camping (like, the kind in tents with no indoor plumbing/electricity or showers. I know), eating hotdogs for every meal for 2 days, and opened my mind to a grand adventure. Luckily there were hotels and an outlet mall nearby, should an emergency evacuation of the campsite be needed, and I was greatly comforted by these facts. My fav Miss Foxy agreed to rendezvous in Charlotte for this epic weekend.

When we first arrive at this little racing mecca, my first thought is that I have never seen so many RVs in a 5 square mile area in my life, even in pictures. Driving into this place it was like a little Hooverville of country folk. I was slack-jawed taking in the vast mileage of camping, and I don’t even feel that I can describe it accurately for those of you that haven’t witnessed it. Think about a big football tailgate. The VT kind, not the fake UVA kind (yes, that was trash talk. Bring it.) Its like if VT let us park on every available field and parking lot on campus, plus the drillfield, plus all the pastures along 460, plus the big horse farm across from the Southgate entrance, and if EVERYONE came in an RV and not just that little section of Lot 2. Then it might begin to compare. In the middle of everything, there was huge ginormous massive stadium. The track is 1 and 1/4 miles, plus the concourse, plus all the little attractions and booths and stores surrounding the track. So in all, it’s probably 5 miles around at least. This is what greeted us as we made our way to the furthest campsite (in my little Mini Cooper no less…totally blending in from the start, obvs).

So instead of give you the play-by-play (boring) I have compiled a list of random happenings that a) taught me something about myself/life/people/what happens when one downs half a bottle of SoCo, b) were hilarious, c) required me to say, “No, I’m keeping my undies on, thanks.” or d) all of the above.

Any of you heard of a gargoyle? Not the stone kind that guard France’s great cathedrals, the kind related to a keg. It’s actually sort of cute and if you’re small enough to perch on top of a keg (like me, for example) it’s kinda fun and definitely way better than a keg stand. So I only lasted like 4 seconds, who cares. Thank you Foxy for preserving that moment for me on film.

I think Nascar is now synonymous with “it’s ok to not wear clothes.” It’s gosh-darn hot in Charlotte in the middle of the day, especially sitting in the stands on metal bleachers with nothing but a cold beer to keep you hydrated. The no clothes thing applies to anyone and everyone – small children, pregnant women, old geezers (I mean super duper old), hot chicks with beer guts, hot dudes with beer guts, anyone with a beer gut, etc. My most favorite-est example of this was a prize bull Queenie spotted during one of our beer/hotdog breaks. He was at least 60, 5’10 or 6ft tall, probably pretty close to 300 lbs, completely bald, wearing no shirt and no pants, only a tiny little speedo looking thing. TINY. On a HUGE man. He had lots of dark extremely curly chest hair and a huge smile with missing teeth and a cooler of beer. Clearly, a can’t-miss photo opportunity.

Saturday evening the dudes built a fire and we all sat around it drinking from our newish coldish kegs, everyone at various stages of drunk. At first it was an innocent little gathering, everyone going around and sharing an embarrassing story or two, making fun of each other, having a good laugh. This innocent activity somehow, and quite quickly, turned into everyone putting their underpants in the fire. At first it was a baseball cap, which burned for about 30 seconds or a minute before the owner wanted to wear it again. Then someone had the brilliant idea to sacrifice his underwear, and suddenly pants were being shed and man-undies were tossed into the fire. It’s pretty funny to watch underwear burn. The fire flares bright white for a couple seconds, devouring the little rocketship underpants before calming back down again. After the first pair, the natural course of action was for each guy, one by one, to drop trou and feed his underpants to the growing fire. In total I think we reached 15 pairs. Miss Sassy favors somewhat expensive undies so for this reason (and a couple other pretty good ones) mine did not make the foray into the fire, despite a couple feeble attempts to persuade me otherwise. I am also proud to report that my dear friends maintained their dignity as well and kept it classy. You go girls. This however cannot be said for one female visitor to our campsite, but I guess the class kind of goes out the window when you can’t remember your own name.

Have you ever slept in the back of a Jeep Grand Cherokee with 2 other people? It’s super fun. As it turns out, I’m a pretty good middle spoon…

Maybe you never thought Nascar could every be classy or sassy. Well folks, we made it happen. Foxy brought J.Crew, I brought Mini Coop, and Queenie brought her chic Cleopatra hair cut. I know you want to hear more but someone once told me that I’m “wordy” so, fine. Less sass for you. Stay tuned, more Nascar shenanigans on the way asap.