By Mike Garrison
It’s been almost three years, and I couldn’t be more excited to be dusting off the keyboard to bring back the LiveRC original “A Moment with Mike”. A lot has changed since the last Moment with Mike was published. I am almost 30 now, my lap-times have improved by nearly .00001 seconds, my unsweetened iced tea addiction has reached an all-time high, I am the proud father of perhaps the most uncoordinated and destructive Great Dane puppy on the planet, and somehow in that time I found a woman who was crazy enough to marry me – which brings me to today’s edition of “A Moment with Mike”.
With perhaps a bit of liquid encouragement while spending a night out with friends, I decided to ask the sister of a best friend on a date. Our first “date” was at the local RC track where she came and waited hours for me to finish racing so we could go out to dinner in my finest R/C track apparel and tire sauce cologne. That hot date led to another, and another, and another. Three months after the first date, which included countless hours at RC races, motocross tracks, and UTV side-by-side races, I pulled over after finishing a muddy UTV race in the Middle of Nowhere, Oklahoma, took the microphone, and asked her to be my wife. She said yes, and on the ten-year anniversary of the motocross crash that paralyzed me, we said “I do” in celebration. Had I never been paralyzed, I would have never met her, and with her by my side I will wheel happier than I would have ever walked without her.
Needless to say, with my
out of control addiction interest in RC car racing, and the fact our first three dates were at an RC track, it was only a matter of time before she wanted to try it out. I bought her a Traxxas Slash which got her started, but her interest in short course trucks was short-lived after I made the mistake of letting her drive my buggy. Now she has more cars than I do, and is racing everything from Stock 2WD Buggy to Modified 4WD and E-Buggy.
It’s not often that we get to race together, but about a month ago we had the opportunity to do so at a trophy race in Arkansas. It was a rare occasion, but halfway through our heat race I found myself on a TQ run by nearly a lap on the previous top time. As I approached traffic, most were very polite and allowed me room to go by - including my wife. However, one particular driver was not so polite. He continually allowed me to pass, only to missile-launch his car into me in the next turn. This took place two or three more times, dropping me off TQ pace, and I decided I was out for revenge.
The track featured a long, wide-open front straightaway leading into a massive wall-ride 180-degree corner at the end of it. As I was coming up to pass the missile-launching lapper, the angry racer inside got the best of me and I decided it was MY turn to launch the missile. I strategically followed him, lined up, and missile-launched him up the wall ride and into outer space. Both of our cars went flying, with his reaching new heights; almost hitting the ceiling of the building.
As I watched in slow motion his car falling back to earth, my feeling of successful revenge suddenly turned to gut-wrenching fear for my life…
First of all, folks, this kind of behavior should never, ever, take place on the racetrack. The best revenge on someone is not to take them out, but instead make a clean pass and beat them fair and square to make your point. More importantly though, if - for some reason - anger gets the best of you, before you take someone out and/or send their car to the moon and back, it is crucial that you make sure you have picked out the right car on the racetrack.
You see, it just so happens the driver who continually took me out had a very similar paint scheme to that of my wife’s car. Similar enough that, during my high-speed assault, my vision was blurred so much that instead of sending my attacker off the track and through the ceiling, I sent my wife flying off the track instead.
To make matters worse, she was standing directly next to me on the driver’s stand. As our cars came crashing back to earth, I felt her staring at me with daggers in her eyes. That’s when she said, “What in the $%&! was that, Michael?!”
At that point, she not only said a bad word, but she used my full name. My mind was no longer on the race, but instead I was already mentally trying to find a ride home, somewhere to live, and a pen for the divorce papers I assumed would be waiting on my pit table.
I apologized every 10-15 seconds for the next three hours, offered Starbucks on multiple occasions, bought her a brand-new blue antenna tube (her favorite color), and even told her we could have kids whenever she is ready. All of that helped to soothe the wound, but I had forgotten exactly who I was dealing with.
The day carried on and it was the last lap of the A-Main. All of the drivers had finished, and I was on my “free lap” to take the win. As I came one final time down the front straightaway, there hiding in the shadows was a car. As I approached the wall ride, the mysterious vehicle launched from its hiding place, smashing into me, and sending me tumbling across the track popping off ballcups and snapping plastic. Stunned, I look up only to see my wife smiling and she says, “Payback’s a &!*%#, but good run babe, I love you.”
We laughed hysterically on the driver’s stand together, loaded up, and headed home to race another day. Girls on the race track mean business, and if there is anything a girl knows better than us guys - it’s revenge. Moral of the story: if you decide to take someone out on the race track, carefully identify them, choose wisely, consider the consequences, and DON’T make it your wife.