For some unknown reason, my wife had given me the King for a Day Experience at the Richard Petty Driving School. An odd birthday present considering I've never watched a NASCAR race. I couldn't tell you the name of any NASCAR drivers. I've never exhibited the faintest interest in NASCAR.
Hell, I don't even eat macaroni and cheese.
Nevertheless, there I was being strapped into a 600 Horsepower multi-colored beast. When the crew chief guy flipped the ignition switch I was a split-second away from bailing out.
My palms were sweating. My feet were sweating. I'm pretty sure my stomach was sweating. But before I could utter, "You know I'm a big pussy, I don't think this is for me," he barked at me to put the car in gear and stay three car lengths behind the pace car.
I had it in fourth gear, a little prematurely I suspect, and was right on his tail through the first turn. He signalled for me to come in closer, so I laid into the accelerator. It was not like driving a car, it was more like I was piloting a land rocket. My peripheral vision disappeared. I don't remember seeing the stands. The sky. Or anything.
On top of that, I forgot everything they told us in the one hour safety session. Yellow light, no idea. Green light, not a clue. One orange cone on the apron, accelerate. Or was it decelerate?
My mind went blank. It was just two hands cemented to the thick rubber steering wheel, one foot on the gas, and a polyester jumpsuit mercilessly pinching my crotch as if to say, "You're on foreign land here, Jewboy."
But I did it. And I loved it. When the results came in I had a top speed of 128.3 mph.
I would go into a lengthier description of my day (maybe when the DVD documenting the drive comes along and I can post a Quicktime movie) but right now I've got to scratch one more activity off my list of Things Jews Don't Do.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to oil my musket.