For those that haven’t been keeping track, this year’s running of the St. Paddy’s day rally marked its 10th anniversary. I don’t recall seeing a better turn out at any of them, with so many cars in attendance.
This year, the Rally was actually run the day AFTER St. Paddy’s day. This is important to note, because several of the attendees, myself included, were notably “frayed around the edges” from festivities the day before. My morning in particular got off to a rough start because my loving wife Kate got up at the crack of dawn to head off to a “crafting event”. I’m not exactly certain what happens when a bunch of women get together to “craft”, but I imagine that there are candles, pentagrams and incantations involved. But I digress. When she left, she turned off the alarm, and since I was in no condition to be up 4 hours before the rally started, I promptly fell back asleep. If not for a call from Healeyman, I would have dozed through the rally.
I pulled into the parking lot after about half of the entrants had already started and found Pat Klenk wandering around looking dazed and confused, this is normal. As are the bloodshot eyes. It was like looking in a mirror. Bill Wellbaum was in similar condition, and eating aspirin like Pez.
Because Kate was off practicing Witchcraft, Pat had agreed to be my navigator. We were both looking forward to being on what we considered to be a “Dream Team” and showing the Mini Club (The Hun) a thing or two about rallying. You see, Pat and I are both “professionals” and just egotistical enough to think we are pretty smart guys………….the rest of the teams wouldn’t have a chance against our cunning, supreme intellect and driving acumen. We were a shoe in to take the podium. Frankly, I was surprised that anybody hade even shown up, knowing that we were competing together. Surely, once they were aware of this team, they would forfeit and not just concede victory, but shower us in free beer and adulation.
Pat and I put on the safety belts and proceeded to the start of the rally, where we received………..the Scan Tron Test From Hell. I’m not sure how many of our members recall taking the SAT, or LSAT, but the Hun’s Evil Doctor clearly had something up his sleeve here, and I had a brief flashback to oversleeping through several college midterms. He even provided us with #2 pencils….. he asked us if we had understood the Rally master’s instructions…………which I had slept through………I look over at Pat, he silently mouths “Instructions?” with a puzzled look on his face.
How hard could it be? We laughed…………and promptly took the 1st turn of the Rally. Incorrectly. We joined 15 cars lapping the parking lot. At this point we note that it is getting warm. Very warm. How could it be 90 degrees at 10:00 AM in March? Once in 10 years has it been this hot……It’s rained, it’s even snowed……but 90? I look towards the Henderson Convention Center for obvious signs of Necromancy, but nothing was to be seen. No worries though………with Pat navigating and my Stirling Moss like driving skills, Pat and I will be collecting 1st prize and working on tomorrow’s hangover by 11:30.
We saw lots of other cars, many going the wrong direction (we thought) and in our arrogance assumed that only we knew the correct route. Until we had to make a U-Turn in Reno. At this point we are 3.5 hours in, and our spirit was getting low on BAC, (Blood Alcohol Content, not British Auto Club), and things were looking pretty grim. So grim in fact that at while at first I happily thought we were being circled by Flying Monkeys that the Wicked Witch of the Crafting sent to find us. Unfortunately, it turned out to be worse………..much worse………….Pat and I were lost in the desert and being circled by Vultures expecting us to expire at any moment. Despite Pat’s protestations that nearly ended in a knife fight, I decided to throw in the towel, tuck my tail between my legs and head to the bar.
Apparently, while we were off in Northern NV doing our imitation of the Donner Party, every single other team had finished and was enjoying beverages and lunch. We pulled in as most of the participants were leaving, apparently the still circling Vultures scared them off?
We missed the awards ceremony, lunch, and pretty much everything else (I’m sure the editor has the details, which they will fill in for me). But that’s OK, we had a great time, as ever. It was good to see my friends (even if only briefly as we waved at them by going the wrong direction).
Looking forward to next year, the Mini Club is hosting, and Pat and I are looking for an elusive win.