Chicago Jon Sees Stranger Things...

Much like the town of Hawkins, Indiana, setting for the Netflix show STRANGER THINGS, we had an alternate universe over the Labor Day weekend. Only Clermont did not turn into 'The Upside-Down', it simply DID turn upside-down, where the simplest miscue on track turned into a total disaster. We shall experience this with 'alternate-universe' Chicago Jon who is simply Jon T. this weekend. Adding to this bizarre turn of events are the presence of a daughter, and a grandson, adding to the STRANGE-NESS. Daughter Brie was a viral star 5 years back, being one of the Alpha Chi Omega girls at the Arizona Diamondbacks game, who couldn't stop playing with their phones. Grandson Hunter is never called that because of his resemblance to Bart Simpson’s friend Milhouse. Even Brie calls him that. [Cue eerie techno-music now.] The setting is Friday afternoon, during qualifying for the U.S. Nationals...


Jon T: "Come on gang, this is going to be great, it's qualifying for Top Alcohol Dragster!"


Brie: "Why do they have a category for alcoholics? That's a bad message to send to children, like, TOTALLY!"


Jon T.: (sighs) "No, not ALCOHOLICS, alcohol dragsters, that's the fuel they burn."


Brie: "Speaking of burn, Milhouse, let me put some SPF 125+ sun-blocker on you..."


Jon T.: "Jesus, let him get a little tan why don't you? He looks like Casper. Maybe if he didn't spend all day inside playing VIDEO GAMES..."


Brie: "They improve his digital skills, I don't want him growing up like SOMEONE I know who thought 'cut & paste' involved scissors and glue. Like, SHUuuu!"


Jon T.: "Nevermind, hey, here comes Chris Demke -- he's a real good racer. Hey, Milhouse, when this guy wins, he wears a gorilla mask. It's pretty cool!"


Milhouse: (looking up from his phone for the first time) "Wuuuuuu, there's a gorilla driving the car??!?"


[After the burnout, we hear Alan Reinhart inform the crowd that Demke has oiled the track, and it's a good time to hit the concession stand.]


Jon T.: "Hey don't worry, the Safety Safari knows how to bang this right out. Milhouse, here's 6 bucks, go get yourself a lemon-shakeup."


Brie: (sticking her index-finger in her mouth) "GAAAaaaaa!!! Like, why don't you just hand him a five-pound bag of SUGAR!! Is there a STARBUCKS here?"


Jon T.: "WHAT? Are you KIDDING me? This is a DRAGSTRIP! Just have a soda or an ice-cream cone, something. They'll be running cars any MINUTE!"


[Actually, in SEVENTY minutes, as it is the worst oil-down Jon T. has seen in the modern era. Thirty years ago, some rice-hull ash and the jet dryer and racing would be only 15 minutes away. Now, with synthetic oils, it takes, well, a "lot longer".]


Brie: "GAAAAWWWD, this is more boring than that Diamond-bags game! Thanks for bringing us to THIS, Daaaahhhhd!!"


Jon T.: (grinding teeth in frustration) "O.K., for ONE, it was DiamondBACKS! And you grew up in Illinois, why do you talk like a Valley Girl? And what was wrong with the name we gave you, PATTY??? Why'd you change it to a dorky flavor of CHEESE?! That oil-down was just a freak thing. Look! We're getting ready for more racing. Hey, Milhouse, this guy is called The Professor, they are going to have a race called Back To School!"


Milhouse: (again, looking up from his phone) "Wuuuuuu....I have to go to SCHOOL? I thought we were going to Applebees after this thing..."


[Warren Johnson spins the car out, crashes into the wall, and again the Safety Safari will be on track for over 45 minutes.]


Brie: "THAT'S it! What’s the next town over? I need a Double Grande, iced, sugar-free, vanilla Latte with soy milk, STAT!! After that last fiasco, I'm SURE we'll have time!"


Jon T.: (struggling) "But...I know it sucked, but they'll.... Brownsburg, it's five minutes that-a-way...." (pointing)


Brie: "Thanks, Daaahhhd.... (talking to phone) ALEXA, give me directions to Brown-bag...."


[And they would have plenty of time to get their specialty coffee drinks, as the WJ cleanup lasted perhaps 45 minutes. On race day, FOX TV and quite possibly event sponsor Chevrolet mandated that sportsmen categories be run after the pros, to ensure no more lengthy delays. Nevertheless, long involved oil-downs from Bob Bode’s freak fire and the concussion-inducing explosion experienced by Justin Schriefer, coupled with a Factory Stocker slamming the wall, STILL pushed TV out of their window. Reportedly, watching the broadcast evoked memories of an old episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show where Ted Baxter has no election results to report, and the FOX announcers basically ran out of stuff to stall with. And so, in 'Alternate Universe US Nationals', Brie and Milhouse are having soy-burgers at Applebees, and Jon T. was last seen wandering around the oval track at IRP, yelling at the sky, "MIND-FLAYER!!" 



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