The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Flaming Inferno O' Love

When you think of think of NASCAR, what do you think of? Perhaps you think of illiterate redneck drivers who crash into walls under the adoring eyes of Budweiser-soaked fans who pay hundreds of dollars to swelter in the scorching sun. Perhaps, you think of the episode of “The Simpsons” where Maude Flanders is accidentally killed at a motor car racing event when a flying t-shirt knocks her out of the stands and onto the cold hard concrete. Or perhaps you think that most NASCAR fans attend the races as a way to blow off steam after a long and hard night of burning crosses on front lawns.

However, anyone who thinks that NASCAR fans can be simply stereotyped like that is dead-wrong. Indeed, if nothing else NASCAR fans are romantics at heart, just as content to sit at home and grow lovesick while reading Pablo Neruda as they are to give off bloodthirsty yelps while watching Dale Earnhardt VI explode in a fiery wreck.

I remember fondly the first time I attended a NASCAR rally. I met a girl, a Vassar graduate as I recall. She and I exchanged lovelorn glances at each other for a while, before I decided to approach her. Once contact was initiated, we spent a halcyon night, debating Melville and Emerson’s dueling views on humanity, while drinking Miller High Life and hoping that Jeff Allison would beat all those “fucking losers that try to steal his shine!” Such bittersweet memories…

But now finally, a stroke of marketing and sociological genius has occurred. Some brilliant soul has managed to reconcile the difficulty that many NASCAR fans have had in trying to find good literature that appeals to both their desire to enjoy Emily Dickenson as well as Allison Duncan (who’s only like the sexiest NASCAR driver ever…well save, for that Mario Andretti Jr. fellow, he’s dreamy…sigh)

The final solution is here my friends (no, no THAT final solution) and I for one am ecstatic. That’s right, a licensing agreement has been struck between Harlequin Romance novels and NASCAR, and first offspring of this divine duo hits stores this Tuesday (all the fellas’ out there take note: this is the Valentine’s Day gift of the century).

According to a story in USA Today, the novel, a racetrack romance entitled “In the Groove” by Pamela Britton, goes on sale Tuesday — just a few weeks before the Daytona 500 on Feb. 19. Two other NASCAR-themed love stories will be published this year: “On the Edge” by Britton in September and “A NASCAR Holiday” by Kimberly Raye, Roxanne St. Claire and Debra Webb in November.

And lest you not think that these two fan bases are sizable check out these numbers: NASCAR fans buy $2 billion in licensed products annually. Harlequin devotees bought 130 million books last year.

According to the article, the plot concerns down-on-his-luck NASCAR driver Lance Cooper and ex-kindergarten teacher Sarah Tingle. They meet when his car hits her. She gets a bump on the head. He's driven to distraction. When he looks at Sarah, Cooper "feels like he has been shocked by a loose spark plug wire."

The article also has a quote from Britton illuminating the incredible appeal of her magnum opus: "NASCAR drivers are heroes," says Britton. "The books' appeal is that you can put yourself in the heroines' shoes."

Though, the book doesn’t actually come out until next week, I’ve obtained exclusive excerpts from the text. I’ll warn you though, it’s sure to get any NASCAR fan in heat within minutes (or as they might say, “ready to bone.”) And you best believe that Britton puts you in the heroine’s shoes, however tacky they may be.

“In the Groove,”
Chapter 2

When I awoke after the accident, I had never seen a bump on my head so large. But then again, there was something else that was incredibly large, and it was right in front of my eyes. Intrigued, I grew closer to my hero, NASCAR hero, Lance Cooper.

“Is that a can of Pennzoil in your pocket or are you just happy to have run me over,” I said coyly, licking my lips and batting my eyelashes seductively.

“No, it’s a can of Penzoil,” he remarked shyly, removing the bottle of motor fluid from his pants, delicately cradling it in his palms. But there was another fluid I wanted desperately and I’m not talking orange juice.

“What were you doing lying in the middle of the road?” he asked me with concern.

“Bird watching,” I said with a smile. He and I both knew the truth: that I had been gazing at him with pair of binoculars and dreaming of the day when I could take a ride in the backseat of his stock car and swing an episode. [ed. note: I believe Britton is cribbing plot details from Back to the Future, but I am not sure]

“I think you’re purty,” he said, letting his teeth glow, grabbing his mustache and twirling it with his fingers. Then he offered me a bit of his chewing tobacco and before I could even say ‘yes,’ he tucked it into my lower lip. When I felt his hands touch me, it was like being swept into a ring of fire, not unlike that in the Johnny Cash song, but much much hotter.

“I think you are a very handsome man, Mr. Cooper,” I said. “And I love that adorable uniform that you are wearing. It’s so colorful, so many sponsors, so very very sexy. I’ll bet that racing cars aren’t the only thing that you know how to ride.”

“No, I also know how to ride a tractor. I grew up on a farm,” he said crisply.

I knew even then that I liked him. I just wished that he wasn’t so damned literal.

“I’ll going to be blunt with you, Lance. I want you to take me.”

“But the race starts in 30 minutes?” he said anxiously.

“I don’t care…this race starts now!! And my engine is already started!” I said forthrightly.

I pulled him towards me, pressing his lips against mine. There were more sparks than a car veering out of control and exploding in a burst of a million bits of shrapnel. God, he was hot.

And the race begins, how many of these romance novels will you collect? I’ve already got “In the Groove,” pre-ordered from Amazon, and you best believe that I’ll be collecting all 17. Because let’s get real, be you man or woman, straight or gay, black or white, human, alien, or even if you’re David Gest (I have no idea what planet that freak comes from), nothing says sex and romance like NASCAR. Once I got that special book, all I’m gonna’ wanna’ do is zoom, zoom, zoom and a boom, boom, NASCAR style (with a little bit of Wreckx N-Effect thrown in).


At 8:27 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I won't laugh at NASCAR. That cash machine will probably be publishing more books in five years than Oprah endorses.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

And they'll probably be more truthful


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