Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 1190 - Summernats

Today's post is brought to you by a rev-head (and it may involve a ride in an ambulance).

Summernats 2013 - Tahlia and Darby
(C) Deep Fried Fruit
I have been living right "next door" from Summernats for over 20 years and never felt the need to go and check it out.  The thought of all those mullets, black t-shirts, revving engines, tattoos and squealing tyres never appealed to me.  And then I had a son ...

For the last few years Darby has shown an interest in cars. (He has also shown an interest in mullets.) Specifically he is naturally attracted to the older hotted up cars. When choosing Matchbox toys he rarely goes for the modern streamlined sports model.  It's usually the old Mustang, Ford or Torana.  So this year given Summernats was on a little later than normal and we were actually in town, I decided to kick off his birthday week with a trip to hear some engines roar.  His father wasn't interested in attending. It seems I may be the rev-head in the marriage.

The moment we parked the car I could hear the engines revving and I got instantly excited. Me! Excited by motors.  How could this be?  Then I heard the squeal of tyres and the rise of black rubbery smoke and I almost went into cardiac arrest.  Could I have a little rev-head chick buried deep inside?  I do quite like a bit of AC/DC, so it stands to reason that the hotted up cars and roaring engines might have a stimulating effect on my innards.

Summernats 2013 - My what a big shiny motor you have

Darby on the other hand wasn't quite so sure.  By the time we got inside the arena he was looking quite withdrawn and worried. Whereas Tahlia and I had the "wow" factor plastered across our faces, Darbs was looking downright miserable.

Are you OK mate?  Are you enjoying this? He said he was, it was just hurting his ears.  Add to that the 38 degree heat without even a hint of a breeze and the situation was quite hellish.

We wandered around and watched the cars cruising "Main Street" with their music blaring and their engines roaring.

Summernats 2013 - the cars cruising up and down Main Street
(C) Deep Fried Fruit

We stopped occasionally to get a drink or a snow cone to hydrate us and try and take the edge off the heat.  We even went into the Dyno Cell Pavilion to watch the Horsepower Heroes presentation which involved chaining a car in place (lest it shoot off into the crowd at 200km an hour) as the driver revved the engine to the absolute maximum to see how many decibels he could register on the metre.  We were warned that it was a high noise zone and the protective ear wear was highly recommended.  We did not heed that warning. We wished we did.  The noise went through our bodies and into our stomachs. It vibrated me so much I almost threw up.  It was magic!! (Yes, I think there is a secret little rev-head chick in there somewhere).  I took a video and was thinking of posting it for you. But I fear I may breach some sort of bloggy noise code so thought better of it.

Darby was starting to get into it.  Perhaps the noise was no longer an issue. Perhaps I had sent him deaf.

We then watched the crowd all walk towards the Burnout Pit and knew it must be time for some burning of rubber.  We got there an hour before it was due to start and I was shocked to see the grandstand was already full. There was no shade.  We found a patch of grass in the sun and waited.  We sipped our slurpies and our water.

Summernats 2013 - Heading to the Burnout Pit - Tahlia and Darby
(C) Deep Fried Fruit
With fifteen minutes before start time Darby asked if we could move closer to the fence so that he could see.  So we stood up and joined the crowd at the fence behind the firefighters looking across the pit to the grandstands.  You know this is serious when the fire fighters are suiting up and getting ready for action.

Summernats 2013 - The Firefighters at the Burnout Pit
(C) Deep Fried Fruit

I was marveling at the crowd and the various points of commonality between many of the attendees.  Things I noticed a lot of were:

  • Mullets
  • AC/DC ring tones
  • Sombreros
  • Tattoos
  • Bourbon
  • F Bombs
  • Black t-shirts
  • Black t-shirts bearing F Bombs
  • Shorty shorts
  • Butt cheeks hanging out of shorty shorts
  • Cropped tank tops
  • Enormous boobs hanging out of cropped tank tops

With five minutes before "lift off" Tahlia said to me "I don't feel well". I turned towards her just in time to grab her arm as she feel backwards (somewhat gracefully) to the ground. BANG.  She had passed out.  The crowd of mulleted sombrero and black t-shirting wearing tattooed rev-heads were around us in an instant.  People were passing us their water, shading us with umbrellas, fanning Tahlia with their programs and organising for an ambulance.  My Tahlia was out cold .... she was unconscious .. for around 30 seconds.  It seemed like an eternity. Her eyes were open but she was blank.  There was no one home.  We poured water into her mouth and over her head.  We tried to cool her body.  We spoke to her and stroked her hair.  She finally came to.

The burn outs hadn't started ... instead the announcer called for medical attention.  I was calm through it all. The people around us were looking after us. These rev-head enthusiasts were guarding over us. A nurse with no front teeth came and gave us some first aid.  She was wonderful.  Another lady stood over us with her beach umbrella and someone else went and bought us a bottle of water.  Someone gave us ice.

When the ambos arrived Tahlia was able to stand up and walk to the ambulance.  As I climbed into the ambulance all I could think of was "thanks goodness Tahlia's dress didn't go up as she fell" and "poor Darby isn't going to see the burn outs!". I suggested to the security guards that perhaps they'd like to stand with him to watch a couple first.  They frowned at me. Apparently that was the wrong thing to say given the circumstances. Hmmm.  Maybe I was being too calm.

Tahlia and I were transported to the other side of the grounds to the first aid room while Darby was driven by the security guards down Main Street along with all the other doosh doosh cars.

We finished our Summernats experience in a very nicely air conditioned first aid room eating ice blocks.  Tahlia was given a clean bill of health and we went home.

It was an interesting day.

Will be going again next year?  Maybe. Maybe not. But according to my inner rev-head it is possible.

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