Sunday, August 06, 2006

How to Strain a Relationship!

We were driving back today from Ottawa to Toronto; one delight attached to this activity at this time of year is the plethora of blueberry stands, selling locally gathered wild blueberries (they are cheaper than, and taste better than, what I would buy normally in Toronto in a grocery store). The stand we stopped at was manned by a jolly fellow who explained that he was standing in for this wife, who had to be at the drag races today.
This seemed remarkable enough to me, but he went on. As it turns out, his daughter is leading the local circuit this year. He mentioned, with somewhat of a twinkle in his eye, that her boyfriend was also a drag racer. He told me I could read about it in the Toronto Star. And indeed I can, in this article.
The story is interesting:

"As soon as I line up against him, I'm not going to take it easy on him," promises Jessie. "It's all about racing, not relationships. It's all about who's the better racer."

Clearly the words of a hot driver who tops the championship and is undefeated after four meets. Just for the record, her boyfriend is running dead last.

Jessie is getting some deserved satisfaction, and I have seen similar things in other sporting areas:

"A lot of guys choose to come up against me because they think I'm easy, that I'm a duck just because I'm a girl," says Jessie, a trainee mechanic.

"Then when I whip them, that's very enjoyable."

So who introduced whom to the sport?

Eric and Jessie first met in Grade 12 at the East Northumberland Secondary School in Brighton. "It was love at first sight," Jessie says. "He's pretty cute. I knew just by looking at him he was a good guy."

Life and love was uncomplicated at first because only Jessie was involved in drag racing. Her pedigree behind the wheel was impeccable: her father, uncles and cousins all race and are renowned at drag circuits as the Racing Tandys.

But Eric took the hook.

Last year, he made his debut at the Shannonville circuit in the Street racing class in his dad's 1980 Camaro. Eric was simply unbeatable and swept both the championship trophy and the Rookie of the Year award.

This year, the young Beer Store employee decided to move up to the faster Pro class. All he needed was a faster set of wheels.

So what vehicle has taken him from first to where he now stands?

"I bought the Malibu from Jessie's family, and we put in a new engine and a transmission," Eric says. But ever since the switch, his luck has run out quite a bit faster than his car.

"Eric is a very good racer, but he's having some difficulty adjusting," Jessie says charitably. "He's gone from street champ last year to dead last in the Pro class this year."

Obviously the vivacious blonde enjoys owning the bragging rights down at the track these days. But hope springs eternal for her boyfriend.

"Her car's faster than mine and she is a great racer, but maybe tomorrow it will be my turn to win," Eric says, hopefully.

Well the attitudes seem good!

And all this from wanting some blueberries!


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