Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grating Behavior

THERE ARE FEW THINGS that irritate me as much as the idea of the American police officer. The very thought of an indignant, ignorant, presumptuous fellow who thinks he knows everything and anything about you, your situation and your intentions of that exact moment. And he is at that moment determined with every last strand in his body to give you a ticket.

I am not here to write about my horrible experience with an American police officer, however. Rather, of the threat of one.

A few hours ago today, I visited the airport where my dad flies out of to get some "track time" as I like to call it.

At the "track" I devised, there is a long straight, which leads into a sharp 90-degree right hander that goes to a wide straight so you can clip the apex and track out with out lots of exit speed. After the short straight is a wider 120-or-so-degree right hander that transitions into a Sebring-style section of large, bumpy tiles of concrete. Racy. Next is the very tight, short chicane of first gear-corners. Finally is the 180-degree corner where we started.

Ahem. So while I was busy with that and "improving" my lap times, I see a man giving me a fist in the sky as I pass Sebring corner. On the following lap, I slow down to greet the onlooker. He says, "Right on man! Keep on going!" I say, "Well I figure since there's no planes or people here, it shouldn't be a problem." He reveals to me he's a mechanic and hasn't seen any planes come in all day anyway. We talk for some more and it happens he knows my dad and he used to race motorcycles on the taxiway in Lansing. Suffice to say, he supports this behavior.

Later I see a blue Subaru BRZ. Being the opportunist that I am, I thought to invite the driver over to join in. But to no alas. He simply pulled out of his parking spot, paying no due attention to yours truly, and moved only to park somewhere else.

I drove to his car, wanting to see if I could persuade him to come by. He wasn't in the car. Pulled up to a hangar, he was probably talking to one of his long-time buddies. That brings me to another point. Everyone at this undisclosed airport somewhere in Illinois is close. So I stood out.

The actual Sunset Bend at Sebring for which one of the corners on my custom track owes its namesake.

As I wait on Sebring corner for the blue Subaru to emerge, a white Ford Explorer approaches my car. I see an "M" precede the truck's license plate and the lettering is in green. I take this to be a sign. "Alright, he's either a cop, has cop connections or was a cop," I thought to myself.

I panicked. But in panic situations involving the law, I play cooler than I usually wish I do in retrospect.

He pulled up to my car and said "You've been driving like a jackass. I already called the cops. They're on their way." He turns his boat of a vehicle around. He follows up, "My name's Chris. You can tell your dad that."

Fuck you, Chris. From one assumption to the next, "Chris" thought he had me all figured out.

No, Chirs, you're the one in the wrong. There is literally no-fucking-place in this stupid state to drive briskly for enjoyment. Also, douchebag, all the tracks are closed for winter. I am not some off-the-street-scumbag who decided to "practice" his illegal street racing skills on a private airport. No, I am trying to become a proper racing driver. Y'know, the ones that drive on tracks? Nevermind...

As the even-more-rebellious-than-me child you probably were, you had ample opportunity to burn rubber from stoplight to stoplight in the muscle cars that you and your adolescent friends could afford. Now. America is a driving hell. With speed limits lower than my age, drivers who couldn't be more apathetic nor drive much slower or with less skill, driving on public roads blows.

Can't you sympathize with me for one measly thing? I am done with school for winter. I am dreadfully bored. There was literally no one. NO ONE. At the airport that day. Who, and for that matter, what on God's green earth was I going to hurt? There is plenty or runoff area to my track's corners, so it was even difficult to hurt myself!

So what am I to do? Let me make myself clear here. There was no one to be seen on my little track. I didn't seen a single aircraft during the time I was there and above all, if there was a motherfucking airplane coming my direction, by golly, Chris, dontcha think I'd pull over into the bleeding grass?!

I am familiar with the area. I know what to do in emergency situations. I have been coming to that airport since I was a little tike. People compliment me on how much I've grown after not seeing me for about 15 years. People know not only me and my dad here. You could say we're a part of the airport's community. It's just assholes like this that don't understand that and frankly, have too minuscule an IQ to even begin to wrap their heads around that.

After the confrontation (for which my dialogue consisted of nothing) I panicked. I drove out of the airport. "Chris" was waiting for me on the way out. I contemplated flipping him the bird. Yet I figured have too much class for that.

Then on my way back home, I realize I was tricked. It was a false threat. I played with the idea of going back and telling him straight, but I will be back with my race car. Or even tonight.

I patted myself on the back and thought, "Good job, Michael. You were the bigger person in this instance."

I decide to blog about it to relieve my stress and here we are.


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