Well, a lot soft, if this keeps up. The garden and yard got minimal attention this summer, the heat and humidity were so overpowering. But what I'm talking about is my tolerance as a race fan, not my paunch and love handles.
Just today I found pictures of all of us, plus the girls and their buddies from university, freezing our fannies off at Martinsville one spring race. I remember thinking it wasn't possible to be more miserable, but lo and behold, the sun came out and we peeled off coats, hats, and gloves as fast as we could. We cooked in the afternoon. Yet the grins on our faces say it all. We had a blast.
Not so much after the last race. Saturday's event at RIR carried the burden of the threat of scattered thunderstorms starting at 4 p.m. This means, by the time the lightning was going to start dancing around the parking lot, filled with flag poles attached to truck bumpers and tents on metal frames, everyone was going to be good and drunk. (Not us, we use the long day awaiting the race to sit and read and cook on the grill.)
Sure enough, heavy rains drove in, tents started pulling free from their pegs, and we loaded everything up into the truck post haste in the rain. We saw the lightning, but figured it was far enough away. Yet after two hours of waiting for the race it start, it was clear that the track was going to need serious drying. Okay, we could wait it out.
Only the temps had dropped from 90 and humid to really, really cold and very windy. With soaked feet, jeans, and every inch wet that our ponchos didn't cover, we weren't happy campers. Still, we stuck it out. The race started. We hugged each other to keep warm. The rains came again, and not a sprinkle as the MRN announcers described it. It was a full-fledged downpour.
More rain delay. We'd given up on the spring RIR race because of the constant rain and wet, so we weren't going to chicken out again. As the stands emptied, and fewer and fewer people remained, we too joined the exodus as the next (third) rain delay was called. We were cold and miserable, and who was the idiot who decided to start the race that late anyway in the first place? And what moron kept it running with rain delay after rain delay, when Sunday was going to be beautiful, according to the weather reports? No race should end at 2 a.m.
We're done. The fans don't matter to NA$CAR. We're through paying for very expensive seats at an event where the fans can be miserable, for all the powers-that-be care.
It used to fun, not torture.