Memories Are Made of These

Paul Menard, coming at you.  (Garry Eller/HHP photo for Chevy Racing)

Paul Menard, coming at you. (Garry Eller/HHP photo for Chevy Racing)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, September 25, 2015, 9:44 a.m.

Monte Dutton

Monte Dutton

I’m fond of walking into a tumultuous atmosphere, looking around, and proclaiming, satirically, “Another … big … day.”

My days and nights are generally pretty calm now. Writing fiction is like being confined to a monastery, though not so spiritual. Also, I get out more often. On Thursday, for instance, I dropped by the post office, chatted about old times for at least 15 minutes with Benson Roth at Printers Associates, dropped by a friend’s house, and had two ham sandwiches for supper. The Red Sox and Redskins lost, but the barn burner was between Memphis and Cincinnati, 127-126, Memphis, I think it was.

So far this morning, I’ve watched a little more of the Pope, sipped coffee, and completed the day’s first social-media perusal. Dean Martin is starring on TCM as a Southern politician who plays guitar. Right now he’s thumb-strumming a song called “May the Lord Bless You Real Good.”

(Graphic courtesy of Meredieth Pritchard)

(Graphic courtesy of Meredieth Pritchard)

After two months on the market, my latest novel, Crazy of Natural Causes, has fallen off in sales, and I spent a good bit of last night reading up on how I might be able to spread the word a little further out into the Twittersphere, the Amazon jungle, the iVerse, and the Me Generation. One way is for those of you who have read it to write down what you think of it, and I’d recommend a customer review at Amazon or Goodreads, but I’d be appreciative of a recommendation, by whatever means, to what few people you know who still read.

(Actually, more read, but it’s 140 characters at a time, and it’s hard to write a novel that way, which is, indirectly, why I sometimes tweet in haiku.)

Lights. On a Friday night. Hmm. Has a nice ring to it. (Monte Dutton)

Lights. On a Friday night. Hmm. Has a nice ring to it. (Monte Dutton)

Two years, nine months, and 21 days after my job “was eliminated” (“nothing personal, it wasn’t you, it was the job, which, coincidentally, you happen to occupy”) I’m back to fast-paced weekends. Tonight I’m pinch-writing at the Laurens District 55 High School game because the Clinton High School is taking a well-needed week off to “prepare for the region.”

Paladin Stadium, Furman University (Monte Dutton photo)

Paladin Stadium, Furman University (Monte Dutton photo)

On Saturday, I’ll be writing a little in the morning, then heading off to the Furman University to write about a football game with the Virginia Military Institute. Once that story is safely transmitted to posterity, I’m hoping to catch the latter half of the Presbyterian College playing the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I try not to be as rushed as I’m going to be tomorrow.

(In the previous two paragraphs, I have been using “the” in a coy and deeply insignificant satire on the way broadcasters tend to say THE Charlotte Motor Speedway and THE New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as if they were THE Ohio State University or even THE United States of America.)

Now a crowd in the streets is singing “May the Lord Bless You Real Good,” and, apparently, Dean Martin’s character is named “Bo,” which strikes me as an ill-fitting name for Dino. Today’s star of the day must be Susan Hayward because, earlier this morning, she was in the British Isles somewhere — probably either Scotland or Ireland — getting herself suspected of murder.

Which brings me, for no apparent reason, to NASCAR and this week’s race of the Chase in the pastoral setting of Loudon, New Hampshire. I’m really excited, even if it’s because the race isn’t at night, so I won’t be writing, selecting pictures, perusing Twitter and Youtube, stacking numbers, and inventing a poll until three in the morning. I might even be done in time to catch the latter half of the Sunday night football game, whichever teams are playing it.

Hendrick Motorsports sent this little hot rod over to Stewart-Haas for Kevin Harvick to race this week. (Getty Images photo for NASCAR)

Hendrick Motorsports sent this little hot rod over to Stewart-Haas for Kevin Harvick to race this week. (Getty Images photo for NASCAR)

To summarize, Kevin Harvick, who won last year’s Powerball, now has his back to the wall in New England, where he must try to win or at least watch while others screw up similarly to the way he did in Joliet, Illinois, where the Blues Brothers lived for a while.

The odds do not favor him, but that is for what the Chase is intended.

Clint Bowyer is getting "a nasty reputation as a cru-el dude."  (Nick Laham/Getty Images photo for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer is getting “a nasty reputation as a cru-el dude.” (Nick Laham/Getty Images photo for NASCAR)

Michael Waltrip Racing, the team with “nuttin’ to lose,” lost all its points when NASCAR officials uncovered its diabolical treachery in Joliet, where the Blues Brothers lived for a while. If Clint Bowyer, who really must be happy about all this, wins the Praise the Lord for Curt Schilling 313.7 (or whatever it is), NASCAR officials will undoubtedly bring in inspectors of the Atomic Energy Commission to handle post-race examination, just in case MWR put a breeder reactor under the hood.

Richard Milhous Nixon (John Clark photo)

Richard Milhous Nixon (John Clark photo)

Meanwhile, I’m hoping my Ryan Newman banner arrives in time for me to put it up in the living room for the rest of the Chase.

Who’s my pick? Hang on a minute. Heads an odd-numbered car, tails an even. Okay. Heads. That narrows it down to Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Paul Menard, Newman, and Kurt Busch. Next round: Heads, not prime. Tails, prime. Heads again, and we’ve got a winner, Paul Menard!

Who knew?

This is going to be quite a story. Now I can’t wait for Sunday. To New Hampshire and beyond!

Meanwhile, of course, I’ll be in my living room, switching to football games during the commercials.

 

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky.)

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky.)

Buy my latest novel, Crazy of Natural Causes, and that way I won’t have to sell peaches in a vacant lot next year. http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Natural-Causes-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00YI8SWUU/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Buy my first two novels, The Audacity of Dope and The Intangibles, and that way I won’t have to become a telemarketer.  http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

 

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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2 Responses to Memories Are Made of These

  1. Bill B says:

    Let me get this straight…. the Blues Brothers were from Illinois?

  2. Bobi says:

    I’m glad someone is “excited” about the race. I prefer switching to the race during football commercials. Sorry I missed that Dean Martin movie. It was probably more exciting than this race will be. I’d pick a winner but I’m not good at coin flipping.

Comments are closed.