Tuesday, April 22, 2008
NASCAR-ish part 2
Tents were already setup, lanterns burning so each person was able to mix just the right amount of Fernet and Coke for the perfect late night Rally beverage while the fire had settled to a mound of hot embers that allowed the asado and vegetables to cook nice and slow. Praise God for Argentina and its abundance of beautiful asado. We were a group of about fifteen, as always with this crowd, while two other crews camped close to us combined to be another fifteen. As the evening progressed, the cups of liquid courage turned three distinct groups of ole boys into one giant social circus. The bullcrapping was something serious and here I am the lone white boy, doing everything in my power to follow the conversations and at lightning fast questions in another language. Finally, one of the guys from the other group brought out the guitar and proceeded to play this “classic” style progession that many boys from the country here play. The beautiful part about this, and extremely impressive aspect, is that on top of these two chords, two other jokers start taking turns improvising in a story telling style way that I´ve never seen. It was a mixture of spoken word with a distinct vocal tone and flow. For me it was very difficult to follow the themes, but one did not need to understand the language to appreciate the rhythm and fluidity of their phrases. I had played for crew a couple weekends back at the Papi´s country getaway, so as the improve action came to a close I was haggled intensely to play something, oh man, this is where it got ridiculous. I played for a good bit, sang a little, and received such encouraging support and feedback I didn’t wanna stop. Another guy from the other group, I forget his name, step in and began playing all sorts of popular songs we all know from the states, including other obscure Radiohead tracks that I adore. I have to say the ole boy was a good player. Nonetheless, me being the only native English speaker and musician, I was elected to sing. Ya´ll, I have never sung so much in my life!!!! This wildness went on until almost daylight. The following morning my throat and voice hurt so bad it was hard to speak. Me and Tommy slept in the car for about three hours and around 9:15 we got ready for the first car to pass. The atmosphere is so tranquil at first, with all the fans piled up on either side of the road, waitng for those 10 seconds of glory and madness when the first car passes. You begin to hear that faint chopping noise in the background from the helicopters filming the lead car combined with spurts here and there from the “bumblebee on crack” exhaust. Suddenly out of nowhere, comes this two door couple barreling over the hill as if he´s trying to launch himself to the moon. This frontman, and winner of the race, Sebastian Loeb from France, passes through an old stone wall gate right in front of our campsite like a bullet through the end of a sniper rifle. There´s dirt and gravel streams flying through the air creating a shower of stone and earth. The following gate, just barely bigger than the width of the car, was rather close, and at such a speed, you´re thinking he´s gonna crash and blow this little car all to Hades at any minute, but somehow, the four wheels just stick to the dirt and he squeezes through the next gate flawlessly as his door handle licks the rock of the left side pillar. You wouldn´t think that so much adrenaline would be drawn out of you in such a short period, but trust me, you are doped up something serious and wait anxiously for the next dirt storm and threading of the four wheel needle. As soon as you hear that faint buzz in the background, senses heighten, muscles clench, and seconds turn into minutes as you tune in for that next overload of endorphins. Man I wish we had the Rally back home!!!!