A Southern Fried, Sunday Afternoon Play Date

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

After testing out the adventure of taking you to the races at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway with us, we decided to invite your best friend Sophie and her parents along for the next race.

It was interesting because I could tell Sophie enjoyed watching the races just as much as you did, but in a slightly different way:

She is a highly verbal extrovert. You are a highly verbal introvert.

Sophie wanted to talk to you and share snacks.

You wanted to eat your own snacks and watch the race; as the “grumpy old man” look on your face in this picture clearly demonstrates.

I was actually surprised you let Sophie wear your skull and crossbones sunglasses… or as you call them, your robot glasses.

Basically, if it meant she didn’t get to eat your food, you were willing to sacrifice the shades.

It was funny when I asked Sophie’s mommy how she liked the races as we were leaving, because her response perfectly reflected my own: “That was different… but I had a good time.”

I must say that being at the races this weekend reminded me how truly Southern living in Nashville can be sometimes… or at least I should say, in some places in Nashville.

The races began with a prayer, which is fine by me. However, the prayer devolved quickly:

“Dear Lord, we thank you that we can all be here at the races today. We just ask that you will keep all these drivers safe today…”

So far so good. But then…

“And Lord, we pray that you will help these cars go faster than they ever have before, so that all the fans here today will be entertained like they never have before…”

{Insert record scratching sound effect here to imply a surprise in the story flow, like they do in cliche movie trailers.}

“And I just pray, oh Lord, that for all the people who decided to stay home today instead of coming out here to the races, that the next time they decide to not come to the races, you would make them feel bad and realize just what they’re missing by not being here with us today.”

That was the point where I stopped taking the prayer seriously, and started looking around, catching eye contact with Sophie’s parents, as to say, “This must be a joke, right?”

Nonetheless, the man ended his “prayer” like this, I kid you not:

“And I pray all this in Jesus’ name, boogity-boogity… AMEN!”

I felt like I needed to ask God for forgiveness simply just for being present for that.

(It actually reminded me of one of my favorite bands, Cake, with their 1998 song, “Satan Is My Motor”; which I interpret as a song about the dichotomy of impure motives versus good intentions.)

Perhaps the most confusing part of the opening prayer was the fact he prayed that the next time people decided to stay home, that God would essentially curse them, but not this time.

Sophie and her parents stayed about an hour after we left, which was at the end of the third race. I learned from Sophie’s mommy, that in the fourth race, two of the cars bumped into each other and the drivers got out of their cars to start fighting each other.

Fortunately, the drivers’ pit crews held them back from actually hitting each other in the face.

I think next time, the opening prayer needs to cover that too.

 

Love,

Daddy

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