Friday, May 18, 2007

Start Your Engines…

Of all the senseless holidays I have tried to bring to light, today’s holiday makes them all pale in comparison. The only difference is that today’s holiday is in no way senseless. Well, at least I don’t think it is. Today my friends is NASCAR Day. That’s all I can tell you. I really have no idea what the holiday is for or how one is to set about celebrating it but I celebrated it in my own special way…at work.

My excitement began last night when I laid out my best racing outfit. Normally, I am to fashion what a mole is to an elephant, but when it comes to racing gear, I can dress with the best of them. I had a dilemma: do I wear my Dale Earnhardt Senior #3 shirt, cap and jacket or my Dale Earnhardt Jr. #8 baseball jersey, cap and jacket since he is still racing? Then my mind wandered to how out of fashion I will me in my #8 regalia next year when he changes teams and car numbers. I chastised myself for breaking my cardinal rule of only rooting for deceased or retired drivers since their apparel will never be out of style. In the end, I went for a combination of #3 and #8 gear and if I may speak highly of myself for just a moment, I made those clothes look good (in a redneck, crazy fan, obsessive sort of way).

I got to work and the first thing I immediately noticed was that I appeared to be the sole participant in NASCAR Day at my office. I passed the receptionist area with all eyes on me. I could hear a few whispers that sounded something vaguely like ‘what the he - - does he think he’s doing,’ but I didn’t let that phase me. I greeted everyone out front and wished them all a Merry NASCAR Day. All I got in response was a bunch of sighs and rolled eyes. Then I tried wishing them a Happy NASCAR Day but that didn’t help any. As I turned the corner to head towards my office area, I could hear everyone I just left erupt into laughter. Wow, they got into the NASCAR spirit in a hurry.

My secretary was the first to greet me. She looked up at me and sighed, ‘oh yeah, that’s right, it’s NASCAR Day. I didn’t think you would bother coming in today, but I see I was wrong.’ Have a mentioned before how much I value her? Next up was Mr. Lay Low who said ‘nice duds, dude.’ He wondered why he didn’t get the memo for the costume contest and I just laughed that off politely. My boss came down the hall and literally did a double take when he saw me. Well, maybe he didn’t see me. I suppose he could have been reacting to the huge #8 flag I draped across the back of my cubicle. He told me good morning and then made sure to mention that I should know I couldn’t wear what I was wearing to work. I acted surprised. It’s the first time in a long while that my one semester of high school drama classes paid off.

I then explained that this was an officially recognized holiday and that it gave me the right to celebrate it as a NASCAR fan. He said he would verify that and get back to me. The moment he left my padded cell, I mean cubicle, I grabbed my well-worn copy of our Employee Manual. While there was mention of holidays and celebrations, I could not locate the exact paragraph that stipulated NASCAR Day as one of the holidays recognized by our company. I’m sure it’s just a page missing from the manual. My boss got off the phone with HR and then came back to ask me a few questions. He said that HR could not establish that NASCAR Day is an official holiday and there was no mention of it in our list of recognized holidays. I expressed my surprise that HR’s manual was also missing the same page as mine.

My boss asked how I knew that the holiday was an officially recognized national holiday. A-ha! I now knew that the balance of power had shifted towards me, so I confidently explained that NASCAR Day was official because I had seen commercials about it featuring Kelly Clarkson as official NASCAR Day spokeswoman and that the NASCAR website had a link and a logo about this holiday. I figured that faced with such irrefutable evidence my boss would issue an email telling everyone to go get a NASCAR shirt so that we could all celebrate the holiday as a team.

Unfortunately, that’s not what ended up happening. First, he made an announcement that three of us (including myself) had each won $500 dollars in a contest dealing with our recent performance. I joked that had I known about the contest and drawing (despite the 13 posters throughout our office reminding us about it) that I would have actually tried. Well, that comment wasn’t received too well. Then, my boss apologized and said that despite my valiant efforts I could not celebrate NASCAR Day at work by wearing ‘sporting paraphernalia’ and must return home until I could come back to work wearing appropriate business shirt and tie.

Although I should have been embarrassed as I left the office with my flag, hat and Dale Jr. jersey, I kept my head high. It was half way home that I realized how much I had just lucked out. It’s a Friday, I was headed home to ‘change my clothes,’ it’s NASCAR Day, there was almost 10 hours of NASCAR related programming on the Speed Channel and I had an extra $500 dollars in my pocket that I didn’t have earlier that day. Yeah, it took me about 3 hours to ‘change my clothes’ before I returned to work…Happy NASCAR Day everybody!!!


captain corky said...

Another reason why Ben is superior to Adama is because Ben's kids could take care of themselves.

Adama's kid Zac wound up getting blown to bits by the Cylons. Do you ever recall Adam or Little Joe getting scalped and killed by a group of wild Comanche's? Of course not. I remember one episode where Joe got jumped by an Indian (probably played by an Italian back in those days) and they wrestled until the knife wound up nice and snug in the Indian's gut. Zac and Apolo never would have stood a chance.

Although Adama's daughter was pretty hot... But that's a story for another day.

And now to read your post.

Lee said...

I'm running around in circles until I run into something. How's that?

Happy NASCAR Day!

captain corky said...

Happy Nascar Day.

Michael C said...

Captain: You gave this a lot of thought and I appreciate it! Adama's daughter was the hottest non-star in the galaxy, but again, story for another day! (Gheesh, that was lame)

Lee: Thanks, I'm not sure if you're mocking my favorite sport, but I don't care because I'm laughing too hard!

Erica AP said...

Wow - you are such a rebel!!! :)

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

you have your own secretary to tell you it's nascar day? sigh... i don't.

smiles, bee

Odat said...

Tell me this didn't really happen...lmao....oh btw, Happy Nascar Day.

Michael C said...

Erica AP: I wish ;-)

Empress Bee: I'm thinking she just was hoping not to see me today.

Odat: Just a few slight exaggerations ;-)

Ralph said...

I've never seen Nextel Cup style races, but years ago I 'd go to Stafford Speedway in is a NASCAR sanctioned 1/4 mile oval, but it is racing. You know, New England Int'l. Raceway races are the toughest tickets to get your hands on in the region, tougher to get than the Patriots and the Red Sox. I haven't been although it's about 5 hours away.

I like live racing, the smell of the exhaust abd tire rubber and the is such a visceral thing!

Michael C said...

Ralph: I stopped at the New Hampshire speedway when we were going through the area the year before the twins were born.

I live 20 minutes from the California Speedway and fortunately my company sponsors the February race there (the one after Daytona), so I usually get pretty good seats ;-)

Patti said...

I don't understand why you guys like "the smell of the exhaust and tire rubber."

I do hope your NASCAR Day was a happy one.

mist1 said...

This post is useless without a photo of you in your NASCAR get up.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

I have never watched a race before...nor do I have any intention of it. Happy belated Nascar day anyway.

Patti said...

I'm with mist1 - a photo would be a great addition to this post. ;~)

FRIGGA said...

Dang, looks like I found out a week late. Oh well, guess there's always next year!