By Mike Garrison
A Moment with Mike is a weekly opinion column where LiveRC’s Mike Garrison gives his take on hot-button issues, general topics, and conversations within the RC industry. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LiveRC.
I’ve never been a very brave person when it comes to breaking rules. I’m the guy who leaves the tags on new pillows because in the fine print it says, “Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law”. I have no idea why it is breaking the law or what happens if you remove the tag from your pillow, but the tag says not to, and I’m not brave enough to find out what happens if I do.
Around the house we have rules as well. For example, after flooding the kitchen my wife’s rule is that I am not allowed to operate the dishwasher without adult supervision. Another would be after my wife used my new soldering iron, left it on while sitting on a roll of solder (which then melted into a giant mess of plastic, solder, and burnt pit mat) my rule for the safety of our home and well-being she is not allowed to solder ever again.
I love my wife, and she lets me get away with a lot. The only thing I am strictly forbidden from is mowing the yard. When wiring my R/C car, I will spend hours and hours trying to route my wires as clean and neat as possible to give it a professional look. When mowing the yard, she will spend hours and hours perfecting the mower stripes throughout our entire 3-acre yard (including the parts no one will ever see…as in parts I don't know that I've ever even seen). After leaving one squiggly line nearly two years ago on the far edge of our property, I was banned for life from using the lawnmower.
Monday night we had plans to go to our local track and do a little practicing. I raced home from work, packed all of our R/C stuff, and sat in the driveway waiting for her to get home and go. As the clock struck 5:01pm she was 1-minute late, and I immediately called to find out what the hold up was. As she answered the phone I could hear she was STILL at work typing and working. She explained that she had lost track of time and had at least 30 minutes left on the project she was finishing before she could leave.
A grown adult husband would say, “Wow honey, I’m really proud of you! You’re working really hard and doing great at your new job. Take your time, I’ll see you shortly!”
Instead what I said was, “What?! Can it wait until tomorrow? We are late to the R/C track!”
Disappointed and pouting I hung up the phone and rolled back towards the house. My dreams of practicing with my R/C car for the night were crushed…or were they?
As I rolled back into the garage something shiny caught my attention on the workbench. It was the forbidden key to the lawnmower. I rolled back outside and began looking around our perfectly striped yard, and the gears began to turn slowly in my head...
I am huge fan of “real off-road” with gnarly, rough, loamy, FUN tracks that only seem to exist in distant memories. Many of these tracks of yesteryear started as simply grass tracks. The cars racing on them formed the bumps, loamy lines, berms, and dirt “groove” around them. How were these created you ask? A lawnmower.
Despite my better judgement I climbed aboard the lawnmower, and used the forbidden key to fire it up. I headed out to the side of the yard, dropped the mower deck down to its absolute lowest setting, kicked on the blades, and began carving out a 1990's-style R/C grass track smack dab in the middle of Britani’s super-stripes.
I worked quick as I knew that I would only have a few battery packs to run before she made it home to see it and kill me. I raced the mower back to the garage, frantically found the biggest knobby tires I could find, grabbed my E-Buggy and hit the track. I had completed almost a full battery pack when I heard the sounds of our truck slowly pulling down our gravel driveway…she was home. At this point I knew that the end of my life is near, so I chose not to turn around, and I continued driving my R/C car while I still could.
I heard the truck door slam, and the sound of flip flops walking towards me. They stopped, turned around, and began walking back towards the house. Where was she going? Was she going back to get a kitchen knife and stab me? Was she mad enough she was just going to pack her bags and leave? What had I done!?
As the nightmare of thoughts poured through my head, the sound of flip flops returned. She was walking towards me again, and this time she wasn’t stopping to turn around. Too afraid to look at her, I kept driving and pretending I didn’t know she was there. As the steps got closer and closer I began to tense up and prepare for whatever wrath she was about to unleash on me.
That’s when she walked up beside me, stared at me for a minute and said, “Honey, I love you…I love you wayyy to much.” To my surprise, she flipped the switch on her radio, threw her car down on the track, and there we sat in between the perfect stripes in our yard racing each lap after lap until the sun went down.
I don't break the rules very often, but this time I'll admit I'm guilty of going grassroots.