Hello. My name is Jeff, and I’m addicted to speed.
I learned to make that confession through two weeks of rehab in Northern California. That’s why I haven’t posted for a while.
At home in Las Vegas, my television was on the Speed channel too often. My Sirius satellite radio seemed locked onto 128 — the NASCAR channel — whenever I could get a signal.
For those reasons, I’ve been staying in Walnut Creek near San Francisco.
My niece and her husband forced me into an intervention where — thanks to by grand-niece, Peri, and her big brother, Avery — an overdose of races and motor sports news was replaced by near constant showings of "Hannah Montana" and "SpongeBob Square Pants."
When allowed to leave their house for unsupervised jaunts to a hardware store in the nearby town of Alamo, it was as though NASCAR didn’t exist. I never saw a flag flying the No. 88 or decals on cars proclaiming lust for a Cup driver.
Haven’t seen a NASCAR hat or T-shirt.
There were a couple guys from India working at a Shell convenience store wearing Kevin Harvick racing polo shirts, but they didn’t know who he is. Shell sponsors Harvick’s Cup car and wearing the shirts was mandatory. Probably free, too.
Walnut Creek is a wonderful community with towering trees, greenery and tons of bicycles. Deer, bluebirds and skunks frolic just beyond the backyard fence.
Each bicycle rider wears a helmet, which reminded me of racing. That’s when I realized this rehab venture wasn’t completely working.
At a couple of intersections in Alamo, pedestrians grabbed red flags stationed on each side of the street and waved them high as they scampered through crosswalks. Thanks to my racing background I knew to stop. That’s what red flags are for.
But I made the mistake of trying to set the clock on my car radio while under red. I was detected, punished and forced to drive through an adjacent parking lot.
We all know you can’t work on your car under a red-flag stoppage.
I couldn’t kick the racing bug no matter how hard my niece, Marci, tried coming up with various household projects for me to tackle.
I thought my habit had been kicked when I accepted her son’s request for his bedroom to be redecorated with a wall map of the world, wall mural of snow-covered mountains and a model of the solar system circling above his bed.
No car-bed for him. No colors to match those of his favorite driver’s race car. No big racing car number on his wall.
He’s too smart for that. He reads National Geographic and he’s 9 years old. His 6-year-old sister’s room is pink and purple, colors foreign to racing.
I still love my niece and nephew-in-law, Glenn, even if they don’t get Speed.
But our relationship could end tonight when his wonderful plasma big-screen is tuned to a meaningless Raiders-Cardinals preseason NFL game while one of my favorite races — Bristol under the lights — is on ESPN, a station his satellite dish picks up.
Maybe if I threaten to shoot up with a speed fix by sneaking off to nearby Sonoma for Sunday’s IndyCar race they’ll let me watch some of tonight’s Cup race.
And I’ll promise it will be my last time.
I’m hooked on speed. What else can I say.