We have identified a new disease
probably caused by a virus among race car owning people. It has
been in existence for a considerable amount of time, but only
recently has science identified this disease, and begun to study
it. We call it Acquired Racing Obsessive Syndrome (AROS). At
first, AROS was originally considered to be psychological in
origin, but after two young researchers suddenly decided to become
car drivers, we realized we were dealing with an infectious agent.
Epidemiologists have identified three stages of this disease
and its typical symptoms. Here are the stages and the symptoms,
as we know them today.
You have early symptoms (stage
1. You think a race within 300
miles is close by.
2. You begin to enjoy getting
up at 5 a.m. to load the car and hook up the trailer.
3. It is fun to spend several
hours a day repairing the race car.
4. You think you're being frugal
if you spend less than $3000 a year on new parts.
5. You can't remember what it
was like to own one torque wrench.
You definitely have the disease
(stage 2) if:
1. When you look for a house,
the first thing you check is how many cars you can fit in the
2. Your racing fuel bill is bigger
than your family's heating bill.
3. You spend as much on mechanics
as family doctors.
4. You have no money because
of racing cars.
5. You have to buy more than
one truck a year, because you keep burning out the 7 year, 70,000
mile warranty going to races.
6. You have more pictures of
your cars than of your family.
7. Your idea of a fun vacation
is to hit a National circuit.
8. Most of your conversations
revolve around the cars.
You are a terminal case (stage
1. You wake up in the morning
and find out you put the kids in the garage and the fire suit,
helmet, and gloves into the beds last night.
2. You know each car's number
and points position, but can't figure out who that stranger in
the house is, and it turns out to be your spouse.
3. You keep telling the kids
to pass the tools, and wonder why they won't, and why they keep
objecting to the crew member labels on their school clothes.
4. You cash in the kid's college
fund to campaign the race car.
5. You've been on the road so
long you can't remember where you live.
6. Your family tells you, "It's
either the race car or us!" and you choose the car.
Do you have this dreaded disease?
Well, there is some hope. In the course of our research, we have
found most cases seem to stop at stage 2, and remain chronic.
We have with great difficulty, managed to acquire several stage
3 AROS patients. They are currently in our isolation wards where
we are studying them to gain a better understanding of this disease.
It is a sad sight, seeing these formerly vibrant people as they
shuffle back and forth in their rooms in an repetitive motion
of accelerating from wall to wall, only to turn, stage, and launch
again, all the time making revving and screeching noises in an
effort to coax passers-by into a match race. Merely saying the
word "Nationals" can send them into an uncontrollable
frenzy. Unfortunately, there isn't much hope for these cases,
but with time and research, we hope to further understand this
disease and come up with a cure. We are now attempting to isolate
the causative agent, and may be able to develop a vaccine in
An interesting sidelight of this
disease seems to be that exposure at an early age has an infectious
effect. Several people with AROS at stage 1 have close family
who show signs of the disease (children in the Jr. Drag Racing
League and wives or girlfriends in D.R.A.W.) It is thought by
some of our researchers that this may be due to environmental
effects, to an age-related immune function, or may be due to
an affection-related syndrome. The people with AROS at stage
2 and 3 have close family members that show no signs of the disease,
and are thought to be immune. This is possibly due to the memory
deficit induced by the disease. In laymen's terms, the afflicted
don't even remember that they have close family members or functions
â they only remember their crewmembers and
What can be done to prevent this
disease? Until a cure is found, prevention is the best measure.
Avoid tracks advertising chassis certifications -- it may be
the cars carrying the disease. Leave town on the days the Drag
Review or National Dragster are delivered in the mail. If you
inadvertently come into contact with an AROS afflicted person,
take a shower -- preferably with "Fast Orange" soap.
If you are living with one, take comfort in the fact that if
you haven't succumbed yet, you probably are safe. If you have
to, take two "whiffs" of "Nitro" and call
us in the morning.