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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on December 21st, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 41 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 11, Issue 41

The Pusherman

Sometimes fun isn't fun without the threat of it being crushed

By ROB KRIDER


Dudes only
It was a boys’ night out for Krider Racing at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Neither women nor reason attended.
PHOTO COURTESY ROB KRIDER

At my house, I have been known do something we call “pushing the fun.” It is a situation where I take something that is normally just moderately fun, and push it and push it into absolute extravagant uber fun awesomeness. My wife, whom I love, describes the same situation as “taking something fun and totally ruining it.” That is just her opinion. She has an opinion about everything, and I stopped listening to that years ago.

So what is “pushing the fun?” Here is an example. Everyone likes Disneyland right? Well, when I go to Disneyland we go for FIVE DAYS AND WE DON’T LEAVE THE PARK UNTIL MICKEY MOUSE HIMSELF THROWS US OUT OF THE GATE! By 10 p.m., after standing in endless lines all day, my kids start to get tired and cranky. But I don’t care; we are staying until midnight because that’s when they close and DISNEYLAND IS FUN!

My wife’s job is to try to mediate my manic fun-having and keep the kids alive.

When my kids want to go on a bike ride, I take them on the ULTIMATE ADVENTURE RIDE. IT IS LIKE OUR OWN MINI TOUR DE FRANCE! Once the kids get really tired and are about to fall off their bicycles, my wife, whom I love, steps in and ruins all the fun by canceling the last leg of the tour. I call her “the dream crusher.”

You see, sometimes mom jumps the gun on canceling the fun. Like when I wanted to play miniature golf IN THE RAIN JUST LIKE TIGER WOODS! The kids were having a blast jumping in puddles and playing mini-golf in their soaked clothes. Mom put the kibosh on that before it was really the right time; we hadn’t seen lightning in at least 10 minutes (I told you she was the dream crusher).

My kids live their lives somewhere in the middle, between the fun pusher and the dream crusher. It seems like a pretty good balance. My wife and I actually work pretty well as a team. But every once in a while, she and I get separated and I am allowed to run amok. This is always REALLY AWESOME for a little bit, and then generally ends badly.  Apparently I need to be monitored.

Because I like to push the fun, I decided that since hanging out with my friends and racing our car for a couple of hours was a good time, WE SHOULD DO IT FOR 25 HOURS STRAIGHT! That is correct: race a car all the way around the clock, plus one more hour just to do it longer than the French at Le Mans. This is America, dammit! We like our stuff big. We like our trucks big, our bellies big, and our automobile races big, too. The National Auto Sport Association (not surprisingly—it’s run by men) actually has an event this insane called The 25 Hours of Thunderhill.  My wife decided she would not attend. THAT LEFT ME TO RUN THINGS MY WAY!

The boys left the wives (and reason) at home and headed up to Thunderhill to enter this crazy race. C.J. Wilson, pitcher for the Texas Rangers, was there racing, as was Paul Walker from The Fast and the Furious. My team got our car out of the trailer and put it on grid with 72 other lunatic groups who were ready to put their cars and bodies to the ultimate 25-hour test.

Our crew chief double stinted me (meaning I would drive through two full tanks of gas) equaling about three hours in the race car (longer than my wife would have suggested).

During the race, I noticed that the inside of our racecar had a strong exhaust smell to it. I paid no mind to the lack of oxygen in the car and the increasing amounts of carbon monoxide filling the interior and concentrated on important things like WINNING THE RACE! At the end of my stint, I got out of the car feeling pretty bad. I went into the motor home and fell asleep/passed out/nearly died. Since no wives were around, nobody cared that I was asleep at 4 in the afternoon. I woke up after a couple of hours with a splitting headache. I was fumbling around, trying to get my bearings, because I knew I had another stint to drive in the car soon (three drivers shared 25 hours of racing, because the wives weren’t there to tell us that was a foolish idea). I wandered over to our pit space to talk with the crew chief. I really wasn’t paying much attention to my state until our crew chief asked me why my left eye was bloodshot and why I was standing in the pits in my underwear. I really didn’t have an answer for him. All I could respond with was, “IS IT MY TURN TO DRIVE AGAIN? THIS RACE IS REALLY FUN!” The answer was, “Go to bed. We’ll wake you up when we need you back in the car.”

Had my wife been there, she would have kept me from walking around the racetrack in my underwear (and probably dragged me to a medical center). She would have suggested we bring the car in and fix the deadly exhaust leak. I would have been mad at her, because I didn’t want to bring the car in to fix it because that could cause us to lose the race (a dream crusher move). Instead, I had a cookie, took an aspirin, and told the crew chief at 2 a.m., “PUT ME IN! I CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK IN THAT CAR AND GET SICK AGAIN! THIS IS SOOOO FUN!”

After 25 hours of SUPER FUN, we survived carbon monoxide poisoning and the race. I had about as much fun in a racecar as I care to have for at least a week. I wore pants to the trophy ceremony and called my wife to tell her I was alive and that I missed her. Life just isn’t right without the fun pusher/dream crusher combination together.

After the race, Rob readily admitted that he should not be left alone to have fun.




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