The track announcer at a stock car race introduces the field before the green flag waves. He calls out the driver’s name and informs us about the sponsors of the car. For example: “Starting on the pole and driving Number 24, the DuPont Chevrolet, Jeff Gordon.” This is very neat and simple, and half the people in the grandstand boo very loudly while the rest cheer at the top of their lungs. But sometimes the sponsorship gets out of hand. On July 3, the announcer at Daytona International Speedway had to salute the driver of the D.H. Griffin Companies/Quality Turf/Buffalo Wings & Rings/Indiantown Marina Dodge Charger—ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Patrick Sheltra! My brain had shifted into neutral long before the wings arrived.
Some hazard in all this nomenclature is foreseeable. Nowadays, with our diminishing cultural standards, product names are getting dicey. The other day I was startled by an Interstate 94 billboard for poopycredit.com. However, I admit the ad’s efficacy. Not only did I get the message but also remembered it and am now passing it along.
I received another start earlier this summer when the track announcer at Michigan International Speedway hailed Darrell Basham, of Henryville, Indiana. Whether I would want to start a race alongside anyone named Basham is one question. As a shoemaker assumes the name of his trade, did Mr. Basham earn the name by his behavior on the track?
Beyond this, my credulity was strained even farther when the announcer said Mr. Basham was driving Number 34, the Anti Monkey Butt Powder Chevrolet. Someone nearby in the press box did a quick search on her laptop and assured all it was not a joke but a real product, as a website attests. I have since learned that monkey butt is a condition that affects motorcyclists, the operators of heavy equipment, passengers on interminable flights to Australia, and the riders of horses. Why, John Wayne could have persevered through many decades with an undiagnosed case of monkey butt. It undoubtedly must have affected his performances. No wonder he was so taciturn!
As a motorcyclist, I might have endured monkey butt myself without the benefit of this antidote. Before it happens again, I must stop at Tractor Supply and buy a six-ounce bottle of the powder. And I’ll be sure to pick up some Lady Anti Monkey Butt for the missus. Better yet, at the next race, maybe I can just have a little talk with Mr. Basham about getting fixed up with a couple of cases of each product. My Christmas shopping would be all taken care of. I just hope he’s not offended enough to live up to his name.