Self-disclosure time: Yeah, I’m a NASCAR fan. I don’t weigh 300 pounds, I have all my teeth, I’m not porking my sister/cousin, and I guarantee I know more about postmodern social theory than you do. That being said, I realize that I am not the target audience. I am not the demo. I am not the person who is expected to buy all of THIS garbage. Going through this list, you will realize that whoever IS buying this stuff, they are quite possibly the most terrifying people on Earth.
NASCAR Romance Novels: There are over a dozen of these things. They all have ridiculous, racing-related-yet-still-vaguely-erotic names like “In the Groove” and “Dangerous Curves.” One of them, I swear to God, is about a caseworker from a bowdlerized version of the Make-A-Wish Foundation who helps a dying child meet a smolderingly sexy yet jerkish and unattainable NASCAR driver. Then they hook up and fall in love. The Make-A-Wish caseworker and the driver, not the dying child. That’d just be unrealistic.
The most ridiculous part? Since NASCAR teams, drivers, sponsors, etc. all have their own licensing deals, the novels take place in a weird alternate NASCAR dimension with no Jeff Gordon, Dale Jr., or any of the other actual real-world drivers that target audience would actually be fantasizing about.
NASCAR Honey BBQ Chicken Wings: You know the drill –frozen chunks of processed bird, drenched in sugary-sweet sub-KC Masterpiece, reheated at 350 for 25 minutes. We actually tried these here at the Hooper Household a while back, and they… weren’t entirely terrible. They tasted like they came from a particularly uninspired sports bar. The chicken wings are part of a larger family of NASCAR franchised foodstuffs – there’s NASCAR bacon, beef jerky, fruit snacks, Pop Tarts… pretty much any disgustingly unhealthy fat-person food you can think of, someone’s slapped the NASCAR logo on it (and yet, no NASCAR beets or spinach…). The best part about the wings is that they came in a bucket similar to those ice cream comes in, and the idea of BBQ Chicken Wing-flavored ice cream is simultaneously arousing and terrifying. Eat your atherosclerotic heart out, Ben & Jerry’s.
Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul: You know what makes my heart warm and my spirit tingly? A bunch of dudes hurtling at nauseating speed in a circle for hours on end. Touching and sincere stories about the sport that once nationally broadcast two pissed-off rednecks brawling at the finish line, and where one mistake can take dozens of lives in an instant. The sport where drivers’ wives used to carry pistols and bricks in their purses in case they had to threaten a promoter to get their winnings or fight their way through angry crowds on their way home. That’s good wholesome family values, right there.
Dale Earnhardt Junior Fan Barbie: “Barbie is dressed for a day at the track wearing a white zippered mini dress!” Lady, I hate to break it to you, but nobody wears a fucking white zippered mini dress to the stock car race. In fact, and I am being a giant pedant here, you technically are not even ALLOWED into the garage area unless you are wearing full-length leg coverings. I understand, Barbie, that you wore this adorable mini-dress the better to throw yourself on your hunky hero, Dale Jr., but you honestly would be better off with a pair of cheap and overly tight jeans, a tramp stamp, some of those god-awful thick highlights that trashy girls like, and a case of Bud Light. (Dale Earnhardt Junior Fan Ken sold separately; includes realistic beer belly, stubble, can of Skoal and three official Dale Jr. wifebeaters – one to dress him in and one on the end of each arm.)
Daytona 500 –The Cologne: The obvious joke here is “haw haw, you can smell like burnt rubber, cheap beer, and hillbilly sweat.” There are plenty of less-funny humor sites that might make or have already made that observation. Instead, let’s focus on their ridiculous ad campaign, which suggests that every day you can live the adventure and victory of the Daytona 500 by slapping some overpriced stinky water on your fat fucking face. They’re actually right, in a way; every day of your life, you will put on your Daytona 500 cologne and then you will proceed to do the same dumb boring shit over and over and over and over, going in circles for your entire miserable life until you finally die and Jesus rewards you in Victory Lane. Man, maybe I should write for Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul…
Hallmark Keepsake Ornament –Santa’s Racin’ Sleigh: Oh, look. It’s Santa Claus. In a sleigh. That’s also a race car. Like many odd NASCAR-themed tchotckes, you can tell it’s a race car because it says “NASCAR” on the side. The perfect gift for your NASCAR lovin’ grandma, that lady in the office who “jes LUUUUVS Dale Junior,” or your obnoxious Jewish hipster friend who’s like, really into ironic stuff. Hilarious and true fact: This ornament was designed by a guy named “Dill Rhodus,” who has also sculpted ornaments featuring Brett Favre, Boba Fett, the U.S.S. Enterprise and something called “Unicorn Fantasy,” which is almost as retarded a name as “Dill Rhodus.”
Honorable Mention: NASCAR ABCs and NASCAR Counting: I guess NASCAR is as good a way to teach adults kids the alphabet as any, but NASCAR 1-2-3s is a recipe for total disaster. “One… two… DALE SENIOR WOOOOOOO… four…”
Look at that stuff, man. Now imagine the person to whom all of these items appeals. Terrifying? Here’s the worst part –these people vote, and their vote counts the exact same as yours.