Jeff had Race Friends. People he’d met previous years. He’d keep in touch with email or through ICQ. There are several that stand out in my memory, but the first one I met really left an impression on me.
From my slightly terrifying seat on the top deck, I heard a commotion down below. Jeff had his binoculars stuck to his eyes, and didn’t seem to notice anything. I thought I heard someone shout for Jeff, so I scooted over to the rail.
Scanning faces, I passed by a fellow with a red shirt and a raised beer bottle. He must have been very hot, because he kept raising his shirt almost over his head. Repeatedly. He was with two other men and they were both shouting something I couldn’t make out.
A head popped up near the roof-mounting ladder and caught Jeff’s attention. “Hey,” he called, “So and so is here!” (No, I don’t remember his name. I do remember he was going to come to our wedding. But, that was before 9/11 happened.)
Jeff lumbered over to my side of the deck, took in the scene and delightedly began waving. As Jeff smiled down, the fella once again began picking up his shirt hem, practically smashing his fists into his own head.
“I can’t figure out what he wants,” I informed Jeff.
Suddenly, there was a wide-eyed, frantic man standing next to me using that universal chop-to-the-neck sign that commonly conveys “Stop!” “Cut it out!” I glanced down and then up again. By then, Jeff had switch to a two-handed chop, and still the main guy carried on.
“Do you know that weirdo?” I asked. “Yeah,” he sighed, “I’ll be right back.”
It almost immediately got quieter down there. Shortly, without fully climbing up, Jeff peered at me from between the rungs. He asked me to please come down and meet his friends from Canada. To my relief, red-shirt had stopped spazzing by the time I got to the ground. His friends seemed to be missing, too.
Jeff introduced him to me and me to him, and then I was embraced in a big, sweaty, beer-soaked hug. He was very f-ing glad to meet me, he crowed. He enthusiastically shouted to Jeff (who was standing right next to him) how f-ing happy he was that he had a girlfriend. He told us he had to go catch up with his f-ing friends, because they were only f-ing stopping by on the way to their f-ing awesome seats in the stand.
I figured he was pretty drunk, and Jeff smilingly agreed he’d probably had a few and would likely fall asleep in the stands.
“Sounded like he was saying something about a shower,” I commented. “Is there a shower in this bus?” “No,” Jeff replied.
“Well, did he tell you what he wanted?” I pressed. “Yeeaaahhh,” Jeff drawled.
“Now, don’t take this the wrong way,” he started. “He didn’t know you were my girlfriend or he’d never have asked ya….”
“Well,” he said, scratching his bearded chin. “I guess I’d better tell ya how it is. It’s kind of a tradition at races…. he didn’t mean anything by it….”
“He was just yellin’ ‘Show us Yer T-ts!” he continued.
“Seriously?” I squeaked.
“Ya know,” Jeff noddingly explained as he grabbed his shirt hem and pulled it over his head, “Like this!”
Quote for the Week:
Jeff may have invented the selfie before there were cell phones with cameras… on the bus roof, always with binoculars, radio and headset, and a camera around his neck.