ISSUES

Funny how things can change on a dime, or in this case, some $800 worth of entry fees. I spoke a couple of weeks ago about what a difference that little bulb on the guardwall can make when it lights up in your lane. However, when it doesn’t, all holy hell can break out.

The plan for last week was to attend the JEGS Speedweek in Columbus, Ohio, which included the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional held on Thursday and Friday, followed by the JEGS Sportsnationals run on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, on Wednesday, a separate Stock/Super Stock combo race was held. A good week to run my Super Stocker and Super Comp dragster. Five chances to race. Oh, how things can change.

Score me zero for five last week. Oh, and I really don’t want to talk about it.

I guess I just don’t understand how when things seemingly are rolling along okay; naturally define “okay;” all of a sudden it seems as if everything goes in the dumper. Now of course, nothing “really” bad happened for us last weekend except for just that little bit of electricity never reaching the bulb on my side of the lane. Oh there were moments, times when you ask “Why me?” But then I guess you hear that little voice on the other shoulder saying, “Why not?”

I’ll admit it. I’m not always that optimistic guy, that glass half-full kind of guy. In fact, sometimes I think somebody even shorted me on the glass itself. But just when you think things are really at the bottom, it just seems to turn around and go in a better direction. “Why,” is what I keep asking. Why do things happen?

Now in the general scheme of things, I did get to go racing last weekend. And I fully understand that there are a lot of people in this world who didn’t get the chance to at least somewhat spend some time doing what they “want” to do. Yes, in that respect, my glass was half-full. Or as my son pointed out to me, “At least your weekend was better than mine,” this after he was diagnosed with COVID. Not yet the bad kind…  yet… more just a cold-like strain; tired, low grade fever, coughs. So again I ask the question, Why?”

Maybe there’s something wrong with me. (No comments please.) I know I got to go racing while others don’t, but somehow I just don’t enjoy myself when I’m not doing well. Sort of the same as when I play golf. If I’m not hitting the ball good (which is usually all the time anyway) I’m really not enjoying the round even though I should be. I’m out of the office, weather is nice, clean fresh air, sometimes with great company; but if that stupid white ball isn’t cooperating, it becomes frustrating.

So when things start going bad, how does one stop them and turn it around?

“Knock it off.” “Forget it.” “Move on.” “You have another chance to make up for it.”

Those are the little voices you hear in your head and from the people around you. But what do you do when that “other little guy” in your head says, “Why not.” You can’t tell me it’s as easy as just forgetting it and moving on.

How does one turn things around? And maybe you really have no say in the matter. Maybe things just turn around all on their own. I guess that’s what having faith does.

I love extremely optimistic people. Because drag racing is what we do, I’ll explain it in this manner. I’ve spoken with the “NHRA people.” They all seem to have that optimistic gene injected in them when they become an employee. Naturally that’s all very admirable. But you can’t tell me that when they lay their heads down on the pillow at night, they don’t have that sinking feeling that the world as they try to portray it as, that light at the end of the tunnel… That the light is in fact a train coming straight for them.

I always liken it to a routine comedian Lewis Black once used in a show he did in icy cold Minneapolis. He asked the audience if they’ve ever used the F-word. He went on to state that if they walked out of their house, slipped on the ice, fell down flat on their back and didn’t use that F-word, then you have “issues.”

So maybe for those of you who are those “glass half-full” kind of people, if you don’t ever think pessimistic thoughts, first of all, God truly blessed you. But maybe you too have “issues.” -JOHN DiBARTOLOMEO