Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day from the South

Some time back, my friend Claudia started a Facebook discussion as to whether football or auto racing was more typically Southern. A spirited debate ensued, during which time Claudia, obviously a football fan, asserted most passionately that football was the true sport of the South. I knew she was wrong, but not being a NASCAR fan myself, was unable to muster anything more than a few weak counterpoints to her excellent arguments ... until today. Today, Claudia, I give you:

Mattress Racing

I can hear ya'll snickering from here. It's not that. And don't bother to Google this folks; you probably won't get very far. You'll see pages and pages of ads for racecar bedding for little boys, videos of people racing down ski slopes atop mattresses, and pictures of people racing on open water using mattresses as rafts. But the mattress racing I'm talking about involves old bedding and race cars. If I have my facts correct from listening to the local radio station broadcasting from beautiful downtown Live Oak, Florida, mattresses dot the racetrack and initially it's comical to watch the drivers try to dodge them -- and each other -- as they race around the track. But the real fun apparently begins when drivers are forced to run over the things, which often get stuck underneath the car until maybe getting wrapped around the drive shaft and perhaps igniting.

Ain't got nothin' in football that even comes close to that.

Mattress racing.  Now that's Southern -- that's us -- for you. Nothing, not even used bedding goes to waste. Everything has a use, and if you hang on to it long enough, you'll discover its use. Southerners, the original recyclers; long before "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" became the catchphrase for modern environmentalists, we adhered to the mantra "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

Happy Earth Day, Claudia and everybody else!

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