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Stranger in a strange land

The Southwest Impreza Club meets at a bar in Phoenix every Thursday night, and since I wanted to do some activity that I wouldn't ordinarily do, I swallowed my intense fear of strangers and showed up. I didn't know what to expect; I wasn't sure if I'd be explaining what a "modification" is, or if I'd be enduring scowls because my car was so dirty. I even half-imagined that someone would ask me to give them a ride in my setup. Ha ha.

It turns out that of the 15 kids who showed up, none of them gave my car a second look, and not just because it was dirty. You see, my Subaru was the only one in the parking lot that was 4 years old. Also, it was the only one with more than 80,000 miles. Also, it was the only one that put less than 300hp to the wheels. Also, it was the only one that didn't have any plexiglass or LEDs in the engine compartment. And it was definitely the only one that still had all 6 stock stereo speakers. Oh, and it also had the quietest exhaust. The quietest by far.

After some dutiful engine revving and and stereo-listening, we adjourned to the bar, where the various characteristic insanities of each of the club members was revealed. Oh, and were they ever crazy. After a couple hours of sipping Sprite and not saying much to the stream of bullshit that was spewing forth from the mouths of everyone there (which increased in force with each beer), I quietly asked a couple of the guys "So, do you guys autocross or do any driving events or racing?" This query resulted in a dismissal of autocross as "way too hard", and then a bunch of kill stories about how this one dude totally walked this Dodge Charger this one time, even though there were 4 people in his car and he was totally like in top gear and was barely trying. And while there was much talk of software, exhausts, and intakes, neither suspension nor tires were mentioned the entire evening.

At the end of the night I finally asked someone "so, where are there some roads around here with some curves, like where do you go for canyon runs?". After some scratching of heads someone said "South Mountain Road has some turns, but it's not open at night." And that's when I realized that none of these people ever turn. They only talk about street racing because what on earth else is there to do in a city that's made out of a giant grid of straight streets?

I slunk back to my hotel in disappointment. Apparently there aren't "turners" in Phoenix.

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