Sorry for the delay, but I took Sunday off on here. I had no choice, on account of the fact I didn't get home from the Cup race until 3 o'clock Sunday morning.
Here, is the whole sordid story...with a request at the end of this piece.
I mentioned in passing Saturday morning, that my brother and I were going to Richmond for the NASCAR race there that night. The plan was to leave around 2:30 or so, (hopefully) get to the track by 5, do a little tailgating, buy a few knick-knacks, and be in our seats by at least 7.
Apparently, somebody didn't get the memo.
I should take a moment to point out something about traffic and sporting events. From my experience one summer of working for VDOT (the Virginia Department of Transportation, which was once called the Department of Highways when I worked the summer of '79), I know something about traffic control. You know, when to let cars go by a work site and when not to; that kind of thing.
Anyway, back to our story...
One of the ways to get to the track is by using Azelea Avenue, which takes you to parking areas near the backstretch. Dear brother has always taken this route when we've gone, and it was always nice to use. That is, until Saturday. We got on Azelea about 4:40 or so, ready for the half-mile trip to the parking area.
We got to the parking area...@ 6:30. I felt like we were sitting on I-66 waiting to get to Vienna on a weeknight to see a Nats game. Nobody moving. Turtles were passing us...OK, I made that up. But it felt that way, truthfully.
And just where were the Henrico County police, to direct traffic?? Standing, and doing not ONE goddamned thing!!! Lucky for us, we'd gotten food @ the drive-through for Chick-Fil-A and decided, "what the hell??". So we ate, while the snails passed us on the highway. (Yeah, I made that one up, too. You see where I'm going with this, right??)
OK, I'll speed this story up some. Park @ 6:30; wait on tram to take us to the track; walk around; wait on brother to get #48 and #88 stickers for his Toyota SUV (and #24 stuff; Gordon's his fave)...by this time it's now 7, and I can't stop to get any Gibbs-related stuff. In the gate we go...
(You'll have to read elsewhere for my critique of the race. Don't worry, troops; I'll connect these dots. Trust me on this.)
Now the race ends, and we start walking. It's a good mile and a half back to the parking lot, but eventually we find the tram area and get on that to get to the lot. Whereupon we walk around for a good 10 minutes, TRYING to find our SUV in a dimly-lit parking lot. Hell, I can tell his license plate--how fricking hard is it to find the damned thing?? As it turns out, pretty hard. But, eventually we find it. Now, it's midnight and it's time to leave.
45 minutes later, we're on the road to I-295 north, to hook up with I-64 west....and onward.
As I mentioned at the start of this, it was 3 AM when I walked in the door to my place...and 3:30 when I finally closed my eyes...and 5:30 when a leg cramp hit me...and 6:30 when I decided to eat breakfast, run and get a Sunday paper (or the other way around). That's when I decided I was going to take the day off from going online. I just couldn't find the strength to do it.
Now as promised, I have a request to ask. Actually, I have 2 requests to make.
#1...When you go to a sporting event (or any other event), it's OK to be courteous and allow one car to go ahead of you. It does NOT give those behind them license to try to horn in and attempt to ram you from the side. I witnessed this up close Saturday night--that's why it took 45 minutes to get out. Which leads me to:
#2...If anyone knows the e-mail address of the Henrico County (VA) sheriff's office and/or the Richmond city police, could you please FanMail it/them to me?? They're about to get a very profane-laden e-mail from me, about the traffic control (or lack of same) on Saturday.
There. I think I've vented enough over this...don't you???