Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Splat!

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Splat!

Article excerpt

SPLAT! Mud enthusiasts convene for a weekend of dirty, beer- soaked, engine-revving fun

PUNTA GORDA

It started Saturday morning a few outside of town on Bermont Road -- a procession of monster trucks, swamp buggies and high-powered racing machines affixed to trailers, all of them headed for the mud.

They came to the aptly coined Redneck Yacht Club -- a 2-square- mile playground open to off-road enthusiasts with $30 -- to romp through bogs of smelly water, to get their Jeeps and ATVs stuck in waist-high mud and to holler as the $100,000 racers shriek off a makeshift starting line and over obstacles.

They came, a few thousand or so, from Orlando to Plant City on down, with a few hundred vehicles. They came hoisting enormous confederate flags and wearing camo or nearly nothing, flaunting irreverence for both political correctness and the skyrocketing price of gasoline.

And they came with lots of beer.

The reason so many attended this weekend's "Swamp Cabbage" event seems at once obvious yet bizarre. The American addiction to velocity comes as no surprise to this state, and clearly there is fun to be had.

But what compels an average person or group of people to throw so much money into a machine and drive it through mud, going nowhere fast?

Before his group's mud drag racer heads to the wet soil, 60-year- old David Faulk answers the question directly and without reservation: "It's cuz we're crazy."

"He's actually writing that down," his friend, James Grooms, 18, interjects. "We're crazy."

Perhaps a mild sociopathy complements a talent for mechanics, or a thirst for adventure. But this is true of nearly any subculture or tradecraft whose collective character erupts in annual gatherings of like minds. Maybe we're all a little crazy.

Punta Gorda resident Don Amick approached the question with similar ease.

"I don't know if we can answer the question," the 66-year old said from the cab of his muddied Suzuki Samurai, fresh off some serious work to the body and key engine components. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.