Bud's Go-Karts of Life
It is a typical Saturday night at the track. The lights illuminate the delicate drizzle as I begin to prod the gas pedal. As the engines babble, I inhale the reek of petrol and evening rain in measured breaths. The overbearing NO BUMPING sticker frowns disdainfully from the kart ahead of me and I almost, (almost) pause before ramming the 4.5hp 115lb. machine. With a giddy glee I observe as the eleven year old boy turns around in confusion and detects my grinning mien.
By no means am I a bully, or even a jerk for that matter, I am simply an outgoing competitor. As a toddler, child, and pre-teen I was always a shy, timid individual. I was the kind of person who would make their mother call for them on the phone. I was that kid who could not initiate, or even participate in a conversation. When I step back and consider the copious amounts of tourists, residents, and assembled fun lovers in that line
of Bud’s Go-Karts, it is a painful reminder of the person I once was. They shuffle in close proximity of one another, watching in awkward silence. I consider it my sacred, Bud given duty to provide enjoyable conversation and aggressive racing.
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I figure that if I joke enough and offer enough friendly zest, I might be able to reverse the actions of my early years and at least be “awkward neutral”. And so, I jab the New Yorkers about their precious Yankees, pin the reserved mothers against the guardrail, and sideswipe the haughty college kids into the mud. An overwhelming majority of this populace responds ardently, as if they were waiting for the opportunity to chatter about their new grandson, comment on their new fresh haircut, or smash my kart right back.
This same philosophy applies outside of Bud’s, outside of even, (dare I say it) college. I always attempt to put in that little extra effort to be outgoing; it has earned me friends, opportunities, and a 15% off discount at Panera Bread. Also, as in life, having some honest fun comes with consequences. My kart has been slowed down even more (if that’s possible); I have been talked to and even kicked out of the establishment directly from my kart. However, as William Gladstone reminds us, “Justice delayed, is justice denied.” Thus, I persevere, because I know, out there, somewhere, an eleven year old boy wants a real race.