Go Kart Errata

As the weekend winds down I have some random thoughts:

  • When you drive a full sized vehicle many miles at 65 MPH to a recreation venue where the entertainment is to drive a little toy at 30 MPH… you truly grok what it is to be an American.
  • Every go kart track is a hold out against chickenshit helicopter parents, greedy liability lawyers, and Al Gore. When they’re gone, we’re all dead.
  • “Go Kart” is a safe way to give children a chance to drive. I have mixed feelings about this. The traditional method was called “bale hay and don’t come back until it’s done”. The latter is probably better training for life.
  • If something breaks on a “go kart” you get out and walk away.  Given a lifetime of vehicle maintenance, abandoning stuff is a delicious freedom. There should be an amusement park for adults where you rent a decrepit car, drive it until it breaks, and then get out and leave it in the middle of the road.*
  • One of a kid’s rites of passage is standing on tippy toes long enough to convince the disinterested pierced teenage stoner at the ticket counter to let you drive the “big carts”. I think it should be something cooler like killing a bear with a spear but I don’t get to make the rules.
  • Sometimes, despite your best intentions, you don’t get to go fishing.
  • Being a modern man sometimes means blowing cash to entertain children who should be home stacking firewood.  Being a dad sometimes means letting a kid pass you and pretending to be shocked at his/her driving prowess. Being a Curmudgeon means you’ll let the punk pass and then pin your bumper 1/16″ inch behind them for twenty laps. It’s good to let ’em know the old man ‘aint dead yet.
  • You are not allowed to hammer other go karts into the wall. The temptation was stronger than you think. Maybe that’s just me.

I hope you all had a great weekend. I also hope the fish appreciate being spared this time.


* There is a venue like this, the ride is called “road trip” and the park is called “the whole world”. In my youth I figured any car that cost about one monthly payment and and lasted two months or more was a “win”. Alas getting in the rut of returning with the vehicle in which one left is a natural part of the aging process.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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10 Responses to Go Kart Errata

  1. Robert says:

    “The temptation was stronger than you think. Maybe that’s just me.”
    Nope, not by a long shot. Words like “pay” and “banned” may be uttered.

    • Jerome says:

      I got kicked out and banned from a go cart track back in the late 90’s. Track was wide enough for 2 easily and on the last straight there was a passing lane on the outside about 200 yards long. A guy tried to pass me using it, I kept it hammered, and he ran out of road and wiped out hard. Somehow I got the blame for his stupidity, great life lesson there

  2. Tennessee Budd says:

    Hell, I’m 49 & have never yet driven a go-kart, although my ex’s Festiva was close. We were too broke when I was a kid. Driving the pickup or tractor pulling the hay trailer wasn’t exciting, but it was training, at least. Driving Dad’s Chevy Luv to the dump at 12, now, that was a hoot. Few people have probably ever said driving a Luv was fun, but at 12, shit, you’re easily amused.

    • Robert says:

      I bought a Chevy Luv as used with only 400 miles on it. I loved that truck. Unless it rained, in which case it was absolutely terrifying if you needed to use the brakes as you would swap ends even being careful. Who needs a go-kart for excitement?

  3. Bruce says:

    A couple decades back I was working for a grocery store that managed to land a contract to supply a forest fire training camp down on the reservation. Every Monday morning it was my job to drive the company van down and offload food. Once you hit the last town the road was littered with old POS cars and trucks, just parked by the side of the road. It was almost two months in before somebody told me you could ‘buy’ one at the local junk yard to drive for the weekend. When it gave up, you walked from there. They’d just leave it, the junk yard would collect them up and ‘sell’ them again next weekend.

    Still driving my first car, I’ve had it for twenty five years now. Do you know how much money you can spend on a truck and not equal a car payment?

  4. cspschofield says:

    What I don’t get about people, cars, and money, is why the hell would you buy a brand new car and only drive it for three years? There are people who do this. I’ve met them. They seem sort of normal, even.

    I could understand buying a new car every three years, and keeping the ones you really liked, so that they accumulated. THAT would make some kind of sense. Pounding tens of thousands of dollars down a rat hole every three years? That’s in-freaking-sane. What the hell do you get out of it? What could you POSSIBLY get out of it that will cause you more pleasure than, say, lighting that money with a Bic, one $10 bill at a time? Never mind finding a really good courtesan and trying to wear her out over a weekend?

    It shows how successful you are? No it doesn’t; it shows that you are an easily duped dolt!

    I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

    • fjgumby says:

      Hey, don’t talk sense to them!
      If people didn’t play the “new car every three years” game, where would all the slightly-used cars come from?
      The idiocy of the status- and novelty-seeking crowd subsidizes the sensible lifestyle of the hey-it’s-good-enough bunch.

      • Good point. Someone has to take the depreciation hit and it ‘aint gonna’ be me!

        In a similar vein, I’m still pissed that “cash for clunkers” (i.e. debt for destruction) blew a hole in my supply chain for parts and vehicles.

    • Rick C says:

      What you get, or so I’m told, is that you’re always driving a new car. That matters to some people.

  5. MaxDamage says:

    “And thou shalt smite thine enemy, even unto the wall, growling and gnashing thy teeth. And he shall grow small in thy mirrors.”
    Book of Undulations, 12:9

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