Weekend Update

Well, Monday is here again. That means it is time to talk about my weekend. First, I thought I would take a moment to tell you little about my brothers. You’ll see their names in my post often, so I’ll take a moment to introduce them.

Tim – My oldest brother. He is 25 and is a youth pastor at a church in Eden, NC (which is only about 20 minutes from us). He is married and has 2 children.

Aaron – Next in line. He is actually going to be 20 this week. He is attending a local community college at the moment, but has aspirations to be an engineer or scientist or something along those lines. He works as a math tutor at the college.

Joel – The baby. He is 15 and is in 10th grade. He loves juggling and playing guitar. He is good at both. I’m going to get some links up to some videos he has online soon.

On Saturday night, Aaron, Joel, and myself decided to go to this go-kart place that opened up a few months ago. For those who don’t know, Martinsville, VA is not exactly the big city. So a go-kart track is a pretty big deal. Interestingly though, this place seems to open up every so many years and then eventually closes down after a little while. I can only assume it has had a different owner each time. I told Aaron and Joel we needed to go ride go-karts before it closes again. Oh, I also had a coupon for a free ride.

When we got there, it was sort of unusual how disorganized everything seemed. There wasn’t really a well-defined loading and unloading area like you see at most tracks. After so many laps, a guy just runs out on the track and tells everyone pull off the track over to this area where there are no medians, cones or anything to guide the karts into any sort of organized arrangement. The result is that when you go to get in your go-kart, the karts are pretty much scattered around everywhere. To make things more confusing, there were some go-karts that weren’t even running sitting around.

As I was walking through the gate to start my ride, I noticed that the guy taking the tickets was having some trouble with the gate and cussing about it while I handed him my free pass. I got into a go-kart and tried to put on the seat belt. It didn’t fit, which isn’t unusual for me. I usually need an extension. The gate guy saw me trying to buckle it and told me not to worry about it. Interesting. Me, my brothers, and the rest of us sat there waiting for some sign from gate guy that it was ok to go. Finally, we got something that resembled a “go” sign so I hit the gas. The first thing I noticed was my go-kart seemed to move faster than those I had driven in the past. I am not sure if that was due to the fact that I haven’t drove one in a while, or if it was really moving faster. As I drove around the track, I also noticed tires were lying in the middle of the track. The tires were supposed to help cushion the impact at certain corners, but as they were knocked out of place, no one was putting them back into position. I didn’t mind. It sort of added another degree of challenge to the course. So, Aaron and I were immediately in a race. I kept moving in front of him, not worrying about whether I was bumping him or not. I also didn’t worry about bumping other drivers that were being equally aggressive. It was the same sort of bumping and blocking for several laps. I was having a blast, until the gate guy started waving at me as I drove by the starting area. I looked back over my shoulder to see what the deal was. To my surprise, sparks were shooting out the back of my car. My bumper had fallen off! At that point, it became obvious and I started to feel the bumper dragging behind me. I slowly drove around the course and pulled off when I got back around. They told me to get another car. The first car I went to was the only single seat go-kart left and wasn’t running. The only other cars I saw were two-seaters. I’ve always been told those are the fastest cars because they have larger engines, so I thought it was worth a shot. I am here to tell you that people are wrong. The thing drove like a tank. Well, compared to the first car anyway. It was harder to steer and SLOW. My brothers were kind enough to wait up for me at one point, but they were way ahead of me again in no time.

In the end, we wound up driving for about 15 minutes. I estimate it was 30 laps at least and you are only supposed to get 15. Driving the go-karts wound up being a blast regardless of the appearance. Still, I couldn’t help but think that the owner needs to get down there and work on how the place appears and is run. Letting us go 30 laps was probably not the smartest business decision. My brothers and I came expecting to ride at least two times. Possibly three. The first ride was so long we left after the just one. Since a ticket was $5, they missed an opportunity to make $30 on us.

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