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Voices from the Heartland: If Nobody Else Is Going to Say Something, I Will!

Life is full of age old questions. Like… if you were walking around with your fly undone, would you want someone to tell you? Or, if the slacks you chose made your caboose look, well, as big as an actual caboose, would you want to know?

No question, fashion can be a tricky thing to master these days. You know how it is; every once in a while, as you are out and about, you see someone wearing something so outlandishly gaudy and hilarious that you have to wonder – does that person know how silly they look? And what do you do? Do you tell them? I mean, hey, if I look that silly out in public, I think I would want someone to take me aside and say, “Dude…” But over the years, I have come to learn that sometimes, the person in question does not realize their plight, while other times they do know – it’s just that they don’t care. Oh, well; at least they’re glad that you took the time to notice! The following story will illustrate that point.

Now, my oldest daughter sings in a rock ‘n’ roll band; and as any well enlightened father should, I always try to make it to most of her gigs. Such was the case a few months ago when a fashion faux pas flashed right before my eyes. My daughter’s band was well into their third set – much the same way my friend and I were well into our third set of pitchered beverages – when suddenly, a face appeared out of the crowd that caused my friend (sitting across from me) to receive a thorough “misting,” just as if he had walked through one of those “Cool Zone” misting fans often seen at racetracks throughout the country. Of course, those things don’t often “mist” with Busch Light at the track; I apologized, handed him a napkin, and pointed to the cause.

The face in question belonged to a young man, perhaps 10 to 12 years my junior. As faces go, the gentleman did not look like Brad Pitt; but by the same token, he was no Andy Dick. It was just your average looking, Caucasian guy; but it was the stuff on his face that was really far from average.

While covered with piercings – all of which I could have dealt with – what caught my eye was the man’s tattoos. How should I put this… they were over the top! The man’s face was covered with “art” that made him look like, well, like something straight out of a National Geographic magazine. I was in shock, I was in awe, and I was aware of what needed to be done; at that point, my evening took on a new mission.

Long story short, against the advice of both my friend and my daughter, I eventually made my way over to this gentleman and politely asked him if he knew how silly he, in fact, looked. I then stood back and waited for the expected response; but the answer, to his credit, was not what I expected.

“Yes. Yes, I do know how ridiculous I look,” said the man whom I later found out they call Spider. “What are you drinking? Let me buy you a beer.”

When I returned to my table looking a bit befuddled, my friend, who had anxiously been waiting to see if he should hightail it out the door, asked me about the exchange. When I told him that he should sit back down because “Spider” was going to buy us a beer, he asked me if I had indeed told him what I had set out to say. I assured my friend that I had and – as we consumed yet another pitchered beverage, courtesy of “Spider” – that, at least, he did in fact know how he looked.

The point of all this is that we have a similar situation that has been occurring among the ranks of NASCAR drivers for a few weeks now, and I think that someone should say something. Whether this person knows what’s happening or not is anybody’s guess; but after my Spider incident, I’ve got no problem being the one to break the bad news.

While I realize that the driver in question is not known for his dashingly handsome good looks, he is known for being a very talented young driver, and I am thinking that maybe, just maybe, nobody has said anything to him about the fashion faux pas that he’s been committing. But I am not shy; I will be that person. So, if you are a fan of the driver I’m about to mention, please be advised that I am not picking on him; I am merely pointing out what others are thinking, but have just been too shy to publicly say.

Kyle Busch – those sunglasses you’ve been wearing for a few weeks now – run them over! Get a different style! They make you look ridiculous. Just so you know.

Here’s to hoping he takes it as well as Spider.

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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