Louella and the dog. For some reason, the wives of racers always say that this Jody’s Box is their favorite, They call it “The Look.” Here it is.


There is friction in the air. Bad vibes. Gender tension of the worst kind. “Luscious Louella,” the love of my life, has been giving me the look. If you’ve been doing the Bob Eubanks thing for longer than six months, you know what I’m talking about. It’s half stare and half glare. Why is she giving me the look? Beats me.

“Jody, did you notice that I dyed my hair red?” she asked Tuesday.

“Yes, I did,” I lied, “and it looks very attractive. I was going to mention it earlier today, but I was on my way to the garage to work on my bike and forgot.”

“What about yesterday?” she asked.

“I didn’t have time to work on my bike yesterday,” I said. “I was at Glen Helen all day.”

“I meant, why didn’t you mention my hair yesterday?”

“I was going to. In fact, I thought how nice you looked when I passed you in the driveway on my way to Glen Helen.”

“Did you think the red looked good?” she asked.

“Yes, I did,” I replied. “I thought it highlighted your coloring.”

“Jody,” she said. “I didn’t have red hair yesterday. I didn’t even have it earlier today. I just got back from the hairdresser five minutes ago.”

“And, I must say, it highlights your coloring even better now,” I replied sheepishly.

Then I noticed the look.

Okay, I’m oblivious to those kinds of female things, everything except “the look.”

“Did you feed the dog?” asked Louella. later that day.  “He likes to be fed at 5:00 p.m. sharp.”

“I meant to, but I noticed that I had a leaking fork seal, and once I got started working on it, the time slipped away. I’ll do it when I’m done out here,” I said as I kept wrenching.

“Jody, it’s 11:15 at night.”

“I thought it was funny when the dog ran in, grabbed my air filter and ate it,” I said jokingly.

Then I noticed the look.

Racing takes up a lot of my time. Well, actually, racing only takes up one day a week, but preparing for the race and recovering from the race take up the other six days. What Steve McQueen said rings very true with me: “Racing is life. Everything else is just waiting.”

Louella is very patient. She knows that my schedule is set in stone. Nothing can interfere with my racing. She is supportive and makes tremendous sacrifices. She goes to parties alone. She attends weddings alone. She spends weekends alone. She never makes plans for vacations. She is a motocross widow. And I am no saint. Because she gives me the leeway to spend every waking minute on motorcycles, I spend every waking minute on motorcycles.

“Jody,” said a pretty voice over the intercom out in the garage last Thursday. “Dinner is on the table.”

“Be right there,” I replied into the box.

“Jody,” said an irritated voice 10 minutes later, “your dinner is getting cold.”

“I’m on my way in,” I said with a tone of remorse.

“Jody,” barked the intercom a few minutes later. “I put your plate in the microwave.”

“I’m locking the garage door this second,” I said. “I’ll be in the house in a minute.”

“Jody, do you know that it’s now 11:15 at night. Dinner, was ready at five.”

“Oh, I thought the dog ate at five.”

Then I noticed the look—over the intercom.

It’s been a little icy around the Jody domicile. Crazy Dave said that I should take a weekend off from racing and take Louella somewhere. That seemed like a good idea, so I approached Louella about it.

“That would be nice,” she said with a smile. “We could go up to Oak Glen and pick raspberries this weekend.”

“I can’t this weekend. I have to test with Husqvarna at Cahuilla Creek,” I replied.

“Okay, my mom is having a big family party two weekends from now. We could load up the croquet set and spend the day with them.”

“Would that be on the weekend of the 16th?” I asked. “Because, if it is, I have to be in Las Vegas for a motorcycle show.”

“Okay,” she said. “You pick the weekend.”

“Great,” I said. “Let me check my calendar and get back to you. I’m pretty sure that I have a free weekend coming up in the month of December.”

Then I noticed the look.

I have vowed to be better about spending more time with Louella. I know that Louella is more important than any single race; but, I also know that you’re only as good as your last race. Yet, I constantly promise lovely Louella that I will be making time for her. She doesn’t believe me.

How do I know? I heard her on the phone with her mother the other day. “Oh, I’d love to come. Who else will be there? That’s great. Can I bring anything? Jody? No, he won’t come. I don’t have to ask; I already know what he’s doing. He’s going to finish 14th again.”

That’s when I shot her the look.


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