Part 1: Prelude to salt
I’m not the type of person to quit something partway through. I feel that it’s important to finish what I’ve started. I’m also not the type of person to sit down and think about things before I start them. That is, I don’t think about how much time and money it will cost me in the end.
Well, that’s not entirely true; I usually sit down for about 15 seconds and pull some numbers straight out of my ass. But then I forget to incorporate the rule of Pi. The rule of Pi goes something like this:
If you think it will take you a week to build a desk, it will actually take you about 3.14 weeks. And if the budget for said desk is $100, you will be out $314 before it’s all over.
Auto racing is a little bit different than desk building. They equation for time and money spent on any auto racing venture looks like this:
Where Money is all the money you will make in the next ten years, and Gf is any semblance of a relationship you expect to maintain (Note: If you substitute Gf with Wife, then you have to add LawyerDivorce and then Money approaches an asymptote which is roughly equal to that giant pile of money that the joker set fire to in The Dark Knight, it’s all very complicated…). Anyways, the graphical representation looks something like this:
The X axis represents the number of months spent on the project. Of course, you expected to be done around month 8, but when 8 comes around and you’re not even close, you start to frantically spend money and time trying to finish you project. Expectations swing wildly between “world’s fastest motorcycle” and “I swear to god I’m going to set this fucking thing on fire and push it into the ocean”. Around month 15 your roommate starts to suspect that your wild mood swings are the result of a cocaine addiction, you’re mounting debt looks suspiciously like you have a cocaine addiction, and you start to wish you had spent all your time and money on something less addicting and less destructive to your health and social life. Cocaine, for instance.
Month 20 rolls around. Your expectations are nil, you now have three credit cards all carrying balances composed entirely of racing purchases, you start to confuse your net worth with the national debt clock, and you’ve actually scouted an area near Malibu where you can easily roll a flaming motorcycle off a cliff and into the Pacific Ocean.
About then, your friend Bobby moves back to California and offers to help finish the project. You resist the urge to shake him violently, slap him in the face and yell “Get out while you still can! Don’t worry about me, I’m already gone! You have to live on! Live on without auto racing!”
Instead, you hand him a wrench and put him to work. For the two months approaching the race (which you will probably not make, but you’ve already paid $800 in registration and fees for), you spend all of your time on the bike. Wake up, work on bike, go to work, come home for lunch and work on the bike for an hour, go back to work only to return in five hours and work on the bike until midnight when you finally manage to squeeze in a shower before going to sleep. You were supposed to go running today, but you didn’t because you were busy with the bike. Clean the bathroom? No time, just strap a bomb to a can of Lysol and shut the door.
You ask your boss if you can add a day to the beginning of your vacation, because you won’t be able to finish in time. Everything is behind schedule: the final bits and pieces, the packing, the laundry, leaving. Things on your “must do” list reach a new level of half-assery, and your “should probably do” list might as well include “catch a unicorn” and “fart rainbows” ‘cause that crap is never going to happen.
Finally, six hours after your planned departure time, you leave with a hastily packed motorcycle, thinking about what you might have forgotten and hoping your roommate doesn’t mind too much that you left your half of the garage looking like the Tasmanian Devil had a seizure.