Girl Racer-Stupid Sunday

When I was in my early twenties, I loved car racing. Not watching it on TV, or watching cars go around on some track. I raced.

People laugh when I tell them I was racing in an ‘85 Micra. But she never let me down. Sure, a four-banger, but with an aluminum engine and body, there was no excess weight. Lots of forward juice, but no ballast. Dumb.

I was stupid a hundred times when racing that car. I raced the clock (17 minutes was my best time from Metrotown to home at 21st and Dunbar. That was crazy, though. 24 minutes was more relaxed at midnight) or I raced real people. I’d pull up beside some guy in a hot car, with his girlfriend sitting shotgun. I’d gun my engine.

The guy would look over, and I would smile. The girlfriend would scowl.

We’d start off. Invariably, the guy would haul ahead, because he had the better car (I’m in a Micra, remember?) but I was always swerving into the parking lane to pass, I had split-second passing timing, and I didn’t have a shrieking girlfriend in my car. All those girlfriends, I apologize to you. I was a bitch.

Many of those impromptu races, I won. But I made a lot of stupid moves that could have killed me or someone else. I could have died a dozen times. All those guys who gave in to their girlfriends’ screaming to slow down? They were acting way smarter than I was.

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