At this point, it’s functional to accentuate the positive. It’s probably not a bad idea at any time, at least where attitude is concerned. A large number of my acquaintances, and even several of my friends, are either in Daytona Beach, headed there or packing to leave. Most all will be en route by tomorrow.
Me? I’ll be at the house, writing a blog. And working on a novel. And writing a song. And memorizing another. And reading a book. And emptying the trash and washing the clothes and paying the bills.
To quote Tom T. Hall, friends, “Oh, we miss you on the old side of town.
“We still drink Cokes and tell old jokes, and there’s always splits and strikes. George Jones is still a hero on the jukebox late at night.”
Now, I’m going to get out before too long. Heck, I’m liable to take little Alex to a cartoon movie here directly. (I’m starting to sound like Roger Miller.) “Here directly,” by the way, is a mostly Southern term that means “when I get around to it.” When someone says “directly” (often pronounced “tuh-RECK-ly”), it really means “indirectly.”
I feel even more country and Southern this morning. Perhaps it’s because Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis were on “Imus.”
In the broader sense of “get out,” I’ll do a lot of promoting my novel, The Audacity of Dope, in March. I’ll sign copies, read from the text, talk about how I wrote it and sing some songs (lyrics are included in the text) on March 7 (Binding Time, Martinsville, Va., 3-5 p.m.), 8 (Barnhill’s, Winston-Salem, N.C., 6-7:30 p.m.) and 16 (Poor Richard’s Book Shoppe, Charlotte, N.C., 5-7 p.m.). I hope to be able to announce several more soon.
In regard to Daytona Speedweeks, I’ll blog about it from afar. I’ll tweet and post (sort of a modern take on Tom T.’s “splits and strikes”) on social media. I’ll make feeble attempts at humor, which has always been my Twitter/Facebook style, anyway.
I’ll need to show some restraint. It’s easy for the Twitter feed to lead one to premature conclusions. I’ll need to sit back a bit and think things through, the better not to go off half-cocked and draw half-baked conclusions. Come to think of it, it’s probably just as easy to get overheated in Daytona Beach, too. Many of my former colleagues will concentrate on “getting while the getting’s good.” Everyone’s a contender, a hero and a paragon of NASCAR’s version of pop culture. I’m not going to be driven by the frenzy. I can write what I want. I can sit back and let them race a while before I declare the discovery of the next Great American Hero.
Let’s just see what Danica Patrick can do, not to mention Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Darrell Wallace, Travis Pastrana and all the other flavors that turn the Daytona 500 into “Tutti-Fruiti.” Or “Rocky Road.” Or “Moose Tracks.” (I’m dieting, and I really shouldn’t be citing ice creams.)
From afar, it looks as if media types (radio, TV, web sites and even a smattering of newspapers) are milking everything for all it’s worth. From experience, it looks that way up close, too. There’s a perverse functionality in setting the scene before a lap has been raced in anger. There’s no such thing as a bad recruit – remember that recent feeding frenzy? – but there are plenty of bad players. At the moment, it seems possible that Danica Patrick might win the Daytona 500, and at the moment, the Houston Astros are tied for first place with a winning percentage of .000.
Miracles happen, but it’s not the way to bet.
Hell, I might get carried away, too, but here in the living room, on Highway 56 in Clinton, S.C., there’s no damn excuse for it.