Today our plan was to lay low around
the trailer, saving up any sexagenarian energy for stock car races
scheduled for tonight at the fairgrounds across the street from
Waiiaka RV Park where we are currently camped. Our activity wasn’t
entirely idle. We made a short foray into town to look at some very
nice historical buildings and houses downtown. We stopped at WalMart
and Peggy ran in and got us stocked up on liquor before we move on to
the expensive liquor wastelands of Oregon and Washington. Oregon only
sells liquor in state stores, one per city except Portland, where
there are two. Little towns like Langlois, Mapleton or Bridge have
neither liquor stores nor satisfied alkies. The stores in cities are
notorious for being closed whenever one might be tempted to buy a
bottle or drink and when they are open, their prices are a bit steep.
In Washington, the stupid voters have allowed the state to collect
sin taxes on liquor such that a 1.75 liter bottle of Irish Cream at
Costco costing $14.95 + 9% sales tax in California is $31.95 + sales
tax on the same bottle in Costcos in their beautiful state.
Accordingly, Peggy snagged a half dozen bottles of Irish Cream and a
couple fifths of Jack Daniel’s to get us through our proposed foray
into points north. I suspect it will be insufficient to carry us
through unless I quit aspiring to be a drunk but it should cut down
on some expense. We also, quite by accident, found a nice guy selling
tamales from under an Easy-Up in a parking lot and returned home to
devour his tasty creations for lunch.
The time for the races was
approaching. Unfortunately, our weather apps on our phones foretold
of rain starting at roughly the same time as the racing. I suggested
that weather forecasting we have sought, to date, has quite often
been absolutely incorrect so we gathered up our butt pads, blankies
and warm garb and drove across the street to a parking lot pretty
close to the fairgrounds entrance. We strolled down the fairgrounds
midway for a few hundred yards, eventually making it the ticket booth
for the track.
Things started to get a little weird for the next part of our journey. I stepped up to the window to purchase our tickets and the first thing I noted was that the 30-something woman leering back at me was gritting her teeth and her eyes were apparently performing some form of ocular calisthenics, moving rapidly from place to place but not stopping anywhere to focus. She promptly asked “Two seniors?” I asked her how she knew and nodded. She then stated our tickets would be eight, instead of ten, dollars each and I forked over a twenty. She handed us two little blue tickets and thirteen dollars in change, jaw just a-grinding away. Puzzled, I mentioned that I was under the impression that elderly adult tickets were eight bucks a head, I was attempting to purchase two of said tickets and I suspected the quantity of change from my twenty might have been returned with a calculation error. I displayed the ten and three ones so she could see the denominations and she indicated she had it right. I replied that that was some senior discount they were offering – from ten bucks a head to three dollars and fifty cents. She googled her eyes at me for a few seconds and said that I was mistaken, senior tix sold for eight bucks a head. I told her I was attempting to buy two, even though she had already given us the two tickets and the change, calculated by some unfathomable arithmatic. Again, I fanned the thirteen dollars out on the counter and, all of the sudden, she had the look of discovered revelation and picked up one dollar from the change pile. I was trying not to just stiff ’em so I slowly and plainly mentioned to her that two eights was sixteen and sixteen from twenty was four. Her eyes almost quit moving for a couple seconds before she snatched the remaining twelve bucks off the counter, dug around in her cash drawer and returned with four dollars and a raised-eyebrows questioning look. I gave her my nicest smile and wandered into the track. I hope the racers were not counting on the gate proceeds, if any, for any of the prize money.
We could hear a heat race in progress
while approaching the ticket booth and entered the grandstands to
find a seat just in time for about five laps of old stock cars
roaring around the track before it started to rain and the heat was
called. It turns out the weatherman, in this case, was dead accurate
with the skies opening up exactly as forecasted. The officials tried
to dry the track but when cars got back onto it to attempt a race,
they were mostly spinning and proceeding in unintended directions.
The races were called for tonight. The track announcer indicated
there would be races tomorrow night and those attending tonight could
pick up free tickets for tomorrow on their way out. We waited until
the line of folks standing in the rain shortened up and headed out to
get our tix for tomorrow. As I approached the ticket booth, I was
again obliged to deal with “Ol Swirly Eyes” and when I picked up
my tickets, I asked if these new tickets would get me into
tomorrow’s races. She ground her teeth for a second before stating
unequivocally “I dunno.”
We walked back out to our truck in the
drizzle. Fortunately, we didn’t have far to go.