So I’m sitting in the waiting room of a local diagnostic clinic the other day (no worries—my health is fine; just a routine screening), reading a book to pass the excessive amounts of time that are passing beyond my appointment, when a friendly-looking guy approaches me, sits down, and asks, “Excuse me, but are you a big NASCAR fan?”
Now that threw me for a loop.
I made the face that I make when I have no idea what is going on but I’m trying not to let it show while I buy myself a moment to figure it out. I’ve never been on the other side of that face, so I don’t know if it looks placid (as I intend), or stony, or utterly baffled, or what. But while I was making it, I ran through all the possible physical manifestations of my new obsession: Was I wearing any NASCAR-themed clothing? (No; I don’t even own any. Yet.) Was I reading NASCAR-themed fiction? (No; I was reading Umberto Eco, who is as far as I know is not generally associated with stock car racing.) Is it possible I just had a NASCAR-loving glow about me? Was I exuding the unique pheromones of the NASCAR enthusiast?
I must have looked as confused as I felt, because the gentleman then added, “I’m sorry—do you have a LiveJournal?”
It turns out my inquisitor was none other than local Honored Guest banjopwhistle, who recognized yours truly from across the waiting room (presumably from the occasional image posted in these virtual pages, but perhaps from the nebula of newly hatched NASCAR fanaticism—both are possible). For those of you who have never had the pleasure of meeting him is person, I assure you he is quite charming.
I promise that the final installment of the NASCAR Chronicles is on the way, but right now I’m doing the End Of Semester thing, so I’m a bit preoccupied. In the meantime, I suggest you rent Talledega Nights, recently released on DVD for your viewing pleasure. Shake & Bake!