Putz & Pans....
|"Jim, it's not a 'sketti pot.' It's called a dutch oven. And just what are you doing with it?"
"I, uh...I'm needin' it for...a...thingy....that I'm...doin."
".........Oh my God! Are they racin' at Bristol again? No-no-no-no-no-no! Put it back!"
(sigh) I was hopin' she wouldn't remember the last time I borrowed a pan to make these picks. During the spring race, I brought one back that was missing about half of its space age teflonic polymer and titanium coating. Asunta beat me with a big oriental fryin' pan and then kicked me outta the house. I don't really understand what happened; The guy on TV put a diamond-tipped jack hammer to the skillet, and still flipped a fat free egg over....Easy! How could me and my d-...
"You're not usin' the new stuff. You can take one of the old pans that you've already scarred up, or you can take a wok."
...............(?) For fear of lapsing into some Abbott & Costello routine, I ask her to spell that last part. Was that another choice of cooklery, or a threat? Or both?...And is cooklery a word?
I'm tryin' to stay on Asunta's good side. Ya see, I got me a birthday comin' up, and I'm tired of gettin' socks. If I can keep from pissin' her off for a few more days, I might be unwrappin' a few of my favorite things this year. (Provided she found the list that I stuffed into her purse.) My 'raindrops on roses'?....Tickets to next year's night race at Bristol. And my 'whiskers on kittens'?....The spring race.
"Asunta, are you talkin' about this bright copper kettle?"
"No, I said the wok. That huge, round-bottomed pan....The one you keep emptyin' boxes of Crunch Berries into."
"My cereal bowl? Too late. I've already poured the milk.....What's this thing, though?"
"That's an oven roaster. My folks gave it to you for your birthday a coupla years ago."
(...For my birthday? Hmm.) "Does it have a non-stickular surface? Do we use it much?"
"No, we tried it once for the holidays. Remember Jim, you cooked some sort of fowl dish in it."
"...........Hey Abbott. Mind if I borrow this'n?"
This roaster thingy is perfect. Oblong, and rounded on the ends. With nice, high sidewalls. Now I just gotta fill it full of die-casts and work the voodoo. But before I start swishin' this thing around like a 49'er pannin' for gold, I need to remind ya'll of a coupla things.
First off: It's Bristol, my brethren....and sistern. The night race. Do NOT miss this'n. It's always the most exciting night race of the season. Big fireworks show after the race. Big fireworks show during the race. 3 hours of bangin', smashin', spinnin', and retaliatin'. And that's with or without Jimmy Spencer. All at a half mile track filled with a half a billion people.
Second off: I got me a birthday comin' up.....Just wanted to make sure everyone here got that.
A quick survey shows that lately, quite a few Winston Cupcakes have had candles in 'em. Kenny Wallace just turned 38 on Thursday. Robin Pembertoe's turned 45 last week. Casey Atwood will spend his 21st birthday behind the wheel. And Ray Evernham pins the tail on the donkey Sunday. Matter of fact, a majority of the drivers on our list celebrate their birthdays in August. Did they get any of their favorite things? Will they? Let's see how things pan out.
Kim & Paul - Mark Martin (Jan. 9, 1959) has celebrated the checkers at this oven roaster a coupla times. And all in all, he's celebrated 15 top fives in 29 starts here. But, everyone knows that Viagra and celebracy don't mix. Happy Fourthday, Mark.
Mollie - AJ Foyt's (Jan. 16, 1935) and Ron Hornaday's (Jan. 13, 1951) birth-a-days are pretty close together. Do you suppose they exchange gifts?.....Or gunfire? Ron qualifies 3rd but spins the tail on the donkey's car and the Foyteen finishes 17th
Pam - Matt Kenseth (Mar. 10, 1972) delivered his highest finish of the year with a fourth last week at Michigan's pizza pan. He'll blow out the candles and make a wishconsic run at this Bundt pan, but can only deliver a 15th...Speakin' of deliveries, how's your little Bundting of joy coming along?
Michael Waltrip (April 30, 1963) unwraps a provisional for this race and starts from the wrong end of the field. Lookin' at his finishes over the last 5 or 6 weeks, it appears he was also born on the wrong end of April. A 26th for Mikey tonight. No foolin.
Reagan & Doc - The #09 Smirnoff Ice car makes its debut and will be piloted by another Aprilian enigma. Geoffrey Bodine (nee Geoff Bodine) celebrated his birthday on April 18th, but as far as his actual age, we'll not know that for a few weeks....When the carbon dating results get back. Bodine's been gone too long, and ain't got the skillet takes to finish this race before sun-up. 67th place......okay, 37th.
Reagan - Bobby Labonte (May 8, 1963) has received a coupla belated birthday presents from Rusty over the past few races....Most notably, that 7th place standing in the points. LaBobby exchanges it for a 13th today.
Doc & Jeff - Tony Stewart (May 20, 1971) came in second at this party last year, but hadda lousy 25th at the spring race this year. If he can avoid all the other drivers that are tryin' to pin a tail on him, he may snag an 8th tonight.
Dave - Sterling Marlin (June 30, 1957) finally dodged a bullet at Michigan last week. Cooked everyone's goose with his Vol-iant effort. He stays on Target with a Ganasstically red paint job tonight, but it's a little late to start any siege on the points race now. Marlin has his cake, and ekes it to a 10th.
Stacy & Carl - For Jeff Gordon's (August 4, 1971) 30th birthday, he gotta Brick and enough money to buy Microsoft....For MY 30th birthday, I gotta rock. And enough money to buy a few more rocks. Kinda eerie how parallel our lives are runnin, ain't it? Jeff's got 7 top 3's in the last 11 races....Make that 8 for 12. A 3rd tonight.
Kathy - Kurt Busch (August 4, 1979) shared his 22nd birthday at Indy's cookie sheet too, with party poppers and a top 5 finish. But the celebratin' had pretty much stopped with a party poopin' 43rd at Michigan last week. He'd best sharpen up before the green drops on his sponsor's race. A dull 31st from Kurt.
By the way, Kathy hipped me to a movie called The Mexican, starring the most beautiful 1969 El Camino a man could ever (blow out candles and) wish for......
I did mention that my birthday's comin', didn't I?
Andrea, Lori, & Tony - Rusty Wallace (August 14, 1956) is home. He has more wins at this pressure cooker than anyone else out there. Nine, including both stops last year. And unless Gordon crashes the party, it's pretty much a given that this race is Rusty's annual birthday present. Happy belated, Russell. 1st..
Ted - Steve Park (August 23, 1967) shares a birthday with "Herman" Wallace. And like Kenny, Steve could turn out bein' the joker of the deck. He's been strong here for the past two seasons, settin' a qualifyin' record, and scorin' 3 top 10's. He might just be the sleeper of the group today?........Wake up, Steve! Wake Up! A 14th.
Sue - Jerry Nadeau (September 9, 1970) has a birthday comin' soon, and he's Delphinately needin' somethin' to celebrate. He's still outta the top 20. Atlanta is months away. And Bristol's no cupcakewalk. Hey Jerry, do you know the muffin pan? A drury 24th for Nadeau.
Deshanna & Parker - Dale, Jr. (October 10, 1974) got caught up in a multi-car casserole at the spring race, finishin' 31st. It's been a slow climb since, but he's back up to sixth in points. Now, before anyone gets all excited and starts plannin' a secret party for this race, ya might wanna check the startin' grid...Junior starts outside of Jimmy Spencer....SURPRISE! A 21st.
"Okay, Asunta, I'm done with it. Do I need to put it in the dishwasher, hand wash it, or just wipe it out?"
"Does it need it? Are your little cars' wheels that dirty?"
"No, but I did have the 26 car in there. And there's no tellin' what mighta come outta that little diecast."
"C'mon, really, Do you honestly believe that you can spin those cars around in a pot, and then read 'em like they're tea leaves?"
"Hey, this predictin' stuff ain't easy. There are other things that go into these predictions too. Stats...Weather...Engine builders...Water hose installers...It's more than just duck cookers and gold pannin' and fate. 50% of this stuff is mental, ya know?"
"I'm beginnin' to think you are too, Jim...."