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The Indianapolis 500



I lived in Indianapolis for five years before I made it to my first Indianapolis 500, but since then I've been to every single one. This year's -- the race's 101st running -- was my fourth in a row, and though I no longer live in Indianapolis, I will be going back every single year I possibly can, for as long as I can. It is without a doubt my favorite holiday and my favorite day of the year.

Here's basically how a typical day at the Indy 500 breaks down (well, my typical day at the Indy 500):
  • Assuming you're staying in Indy, you leave for the track at about 8:00 AM
  • Traffic depending, you get to your parking spot by about 9:00 AM
  • 9:01 AM start drinking
  • 11:45 AM leave for the walk to the track
  • Noon, get settled in for all the pre-race festivities ("America the Beautiful," "Back Home in Indiana," and the "National Anthem")
  • Noon - 3:00 PM watch cars go whizzing by you at 200+ MPH
  • 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM work on getting back to your car and clear of anything having to do with the 350,000 people with whom you've just spent the day
  • From 5:00 PM to bedtime you will walk around in an exhausted stupor, maybe drinking a few more beers, until settling down somewhere comfortable to "rest for a minute" and passing out
Granted, each Indy 500 experience is different based on whom you go with, but this is generally the outline of the day. 

This year my buddy Mike and I:
Displaying IMG_20170528_091531589_HDR.jpg
Me and my new friend Sue

  • Helped a woman park cars on her lawn (still haven't seen our commission)
  • Met and became "best friends" with just about everyone who crossed our paths
  • Gave out free beers like they were life-rafts on the Titanic (and still had enough to get and stay consistently hammered over the course of 8 hours)
  • Took a rickshaw to the track, bypassing the ugly walk
  • Ate enough grease-laden fair food to raise our cholesterol levels for the next three years
  • Oh yeah...watched the actual race
  • After which apparently Mike stole one of those "for rent only" stadium seats
  • Apparently we sang Billy Joel songs on the drunken walk back to our car
  • ...which had a dead battery, just as it started to pour rain...
  • ...and which was jump started by a kind hearted Latin American man who saw us in distress from across the street and bounded across the traffic with small jump starting device and started our car, leaving before we could even say Thank You or offer him a beer. Thank You, whoever you were...
  • Ate some fried chicken given to us by a girl who asked us for permission to "use our bathroom" ....inside what was not even our house.
  • Spent a good hour+ trying to navigate the back roads of Speedway, Indiana because I "know there's a quicker way out of here" 
And there you have it, folks. Another classic day at the Indy 500. If it doesn't take a year off your life, you've done something wrong. 

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