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Well, I did it again! I got my white trash fix for the year at the annual county fair demolition derby this past weekend. Really, can you think of any single event that is more white-trashy than watching spray painted clunker cars smash each other to smithereens? Nope, I didn’t think you could. And before you get all up in arms here at my use of the term “white trash”, let me assure I mean it in the most loving, accepting, non-derogatory way possible. In fact I am including myself squarely in the white trash category for this one night a year. I even toyed with the idea of sporting a tube top, short jean skirt and cowboy boots, but fortunately for those sitting around me, I decided I was about 30 years past my prime for such an outfit. Unfortunately, not everyone  had that same moment of clarity, but I suppose that just adds to the whole white trash mystique and atmosphere. I mean what would a demolition derby be without women with saggy breasts wearing tube tops and men with beer bellies wearing wife beaters?

Now I’ll tell you that in years past at the mere mention of demolition derby time approaching, my children’s reactions would range from hysterical laughing, to sad looks of pity reserved only for parents who have obviously lost their marbles. But each year through a bit of bribery, some coercion, and perhaps a little white lie or two, we somehow manage to drag a few new kicking and screaming kids with us. And each year by the end of the smash ‘em crash ‘em night, they have been desensitized and brain washed into becoming demolition derby converts also. It’s not my proudest accomplishment, but it helps me to feel better about my own once a year white trashiness.

This year, I set my heights high in bringing yet another child into the demolition derby realm, my 23 year old soon to be high school English teacher daughter. Let me tell you a little bit about this daughter. Her idea of a fun, light-hearted summer read would be any proper English novel that could star Emma Thompson in the lead role of the movie version. She is a tree hugger, save the whales, recycler.

She folds her tee shirts in such a way that the pictures face out, and then places them in her drawers in a color coded fashion so she always knows the exact placement of each and every shirt. In fact when I called her just now to ask her to snap a pic of her drawer and send it to me, I interrupted a movie she was watching with her roommate. Was it some silly girlie romantic comedy that typical 23 year old girls would be watching? I think you already know the answer to that. It was a movie about Tolstoy. Need I say more?

I finally wore her down, though,  and she agreed to go, but only as a mocking haughty observer, not as an active participant in the demolition derby fun. She swore not to have a good time, and the entire first round of smashing and bashing she held fast to that promise.

She cringed at every crashing sound, worried that the drivers would be injured, and looked with disdain at the cheering derby fans. By round two, she didn’t seem quite so disturbed about the whole thing, and by the third round, she had succumbed. She was shouting, cheering  and even fist pumping along with the rest of us.  She experienced her first ever white trash moment and she had embraced her inner redneck. Ahhh…another success. Another kid brought down to my level.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the whole sport of demolition derby, and I use the term “sport”  loosely,  let me just explain what happens.  A bunch of old beat up clunkers with paint jobs courtesy of a few cans of spray paint, enter an arena barricaded with concrete barriers and then proceed to crash and bash into each other.

The top few cars in each heat move on to a grand finale round where they pummel each other until there is only one car left running. The winner gets bragging rights and enough prize money to go home and fix up his/her car to do it all over again.

I found myself a real bonafied demolition derby expert on the internet at who accurately describes it as,  “Kind of like a WWE cage match, when you think about it. There are just a few rules in the interest of safety and fair play, although in my experience they tend to be enforced just about as rigorously as in the WWE.”

Here’s a clip of the final championship round at this year’s Utah County Fair. Embrace the white trash in yourself..take a look. No one will even have to know.

Will I be returning next year?  Absolutely. Will my English teacher daughter be returning? For certain, and maybe I’ll drag a few more of my kids along as well.  Come on…stranger things have happened.

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