Last year my niece’s husband BJ built and entered a car in the local demolition derby, earning second place from a pool of over 100 entrants. After breaking his back in a construction accident last year, he was told by his doctor that his days of demolition therapy are over.
Not one to give up so easily, this summer he worked with his brother, RJ, to build a demolition derby car for the county fair. RJ has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with a side of Tourette’s Syndrome for good measure. i’ve only met RJ twice, and both times he’s been happily medicated, and content to work quietly in the kitchen on creative appetizers and pastries, pursuing his dream of becoming a chef.
DQ and BJ also told me that RJ is a repressed homosexual, apparently afraid to come out of the closet because his hardcore blue-collar family would tease him mercilessly.
daisyfae: C’mon, just because the guy likes to cook you think he’s gay?
DQ: He lives with two gay men and was just arrested for solicitation at the men’s restroom of the county park.
daisyfae: Well… there’s your clue….
As for the Tourette’s? They generally know when he’s off his medication because he launches rude and inappropriate text messages. The last time it happened, DQ felt compelled to go on the offensive.
DQ: I’m at the store and I got a text from him that just says “Pig”. So I wrote back “Queer”. He wrote “Whore” and I replied “Peter puffer”. That shut him up!
daisyfae: Holy shit! He doesn’t have Tourette’s Syndrome! He’s got Tourette’s Text Syndrome!
While awaiting the installation of Mom’s pacemaker last week, DQ and BJ were telling me tales of their adventure with RJ and the demolition derby preparations. Preferring the kitchen to the garage, he’s obviously not the demolition derby type, and has been extremely nervous since the beginning of the project. To the point of developing explosive diarrhea. When he called in response to an ad in the paper to buy the car? He got the shits. When he went to pick it up? Massive Hershey Squirts. In order to work on the car, he had to buy an industrial bottle of anti-diarrhea meds just to keep it under control.
At this point? We’re all giggling our asses off in the cardiac cath lab, awaiting Mom’s procedure. Last year for the demolition derby, BJ was sponsored by a local welding shop, so they had t-shirts made up for the 30-plus folks who went to cheer him on. My suggestion for this year? Get sponsorship from “Depends” and make the shirts white with a brown stripe up the back.* Name the car “RJ’s Choco-rocket”**…
As always, there’s a dark side to every tale from The Park, and the story of RJ and the Demolition Derby is no different. When we were done laughing ourselves silly, DQ went on to tell me more about RJ. He lives with two men, and one of them is abusive. They’ve seen RJ with bruises and bites on the back of his neck, and recently had to have substantial rectal reconstruction surgery due to even worse treatment. RJ is not particularly bright, and it seems that at least one of the room mates is into the rough trades.
RJ also has a bit of a violent streak, which has come out when he’s taken a holiday from his medication. Three years ago, he hit BJ in the side of the head with a hammer – full swing into the skull. Walked up to him, hammer behind his back and popped BJ upside the head. No warning. Apparently BJ, who has led the RJ teasing brigade, is the first target whenever the violence emerges.
daisyfae: BJ, don’t you think you might wanna stop teasing him? i mean seriously, he hit you in the head with a fucking hammer!
BJ: Oh, i can handle it. He’s pretty slow. I was just caught off guard that time.
daisyfae: Well, i ain’t eating any more of RJ’s appetizers at the next fucking picnic…
* Yeah, i know. Real mature. Sue me…
** DQ was certain that RJ would bail out, and that BJ would defy doctors orders and drive anyway. Never mind the fact that he’s currently laid off and has no medical insurance coverage. On the day Mom came home from the hospital, DQ was freaking out because BJ had taken off with his back brace and driver’s license. The good news tonight? RJ drove successfully last night, after eating enough Imodium to plug him up for a month. Round two is tonight. i wished them luck. But poor RJ is going to be shitting soup cans for the rest of the summer…