Friday, July 25, 2014

Compact cars

I know some of you are thinking that an intervention might be in order here for Tilda, who seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time far, far away from Unionville (metaphorically speaking) at the Cecil County Fair in Fair Hill, Maryland. Last week I wrote about eating a fried Oreo; this week I'm writing about the Fair's Demolition Derby, which we attended the evening of July 23.
After dining on scrumptious "loaded" baked potatoes (cheese and butter), we settled into our seats in the metal bleachers.
"So, what is the point of this?" I asked my more learned companion. Before he could explain, the young woman in front of me turned around and said simply, "It's like bumper cars."
That was a perfect description. Junker cars bash into each other within a muddy enclosure, and the last one still running is the winner. Bumpers and tires fall off. Metal crumples. Steam pours out of crushed radiators (flames too, sometimes, causing a stoppage in the action so firefighters can extinguish the blaze). Clods of mud fly up from spinning tires. It's like a Brueghel version of the Avondale Wawa parking lot at rush hour.
Do I need to add that it was great fun? And I actually picked the winner of the second heat, just because the car looked especially agile when it first came onto the course.
After each heat, guys in skid loaders come out to efficiently clear the course of the automotive corpses. They're really talented, delicately coaxing or prodding the still-rolling vehicles off the course and just picking up and carting off the really bad ones.
The people-watching kept us entertained, too. I was enchanted by a tough-looking biker guy in leathers and a bandana who was sitting with a toddler wearing a polo shirt and madras shorts (I assume his grandson). They were totally wrapped up in each other, laughing and cuddling. The boy was fiddling with the fat silver chain attached to his grand-dad's wallet, and I thought, "That kid is probably the only person on earth who's allowed to do that."

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