A few days back, Nitro Circus executive producer Gregg Godfrey emailed to ask if I was going to be home on Saturday. After I said yes, he asked what time my son Rocko got up. I told him 9:00am and asked why. He replied with, "Travis and I have a gift for you ... and it's loud." Oh shit, I thought. Rarely does the arrival of a gift come with such a caveat. Worse yet, if that muscle hamster Gregg Godfrey says something is loud, it's going to be booming. What could it be?
Over the next few days, I tried to think of all possible loud gifts I could receive from these nuts. Explosions are loud, but they're iffy for gifts. Foghorns are loud, but they're about as practical as explosions. A drunken Jeff Tremaine is loud, but luckily he's in Hawaii at the moment. Failing to come up with any reasonable explanation, I resigned myself to surprise and waited for Saturday.
At 8:00am on Saturday the boys arrived. I stumbled out to greet Godfrey who is in the middle of my driveway. A cameraman and photographer stand next to him. He tells me to hold it right where I'm at and then reminds me, "This is going to be loud!" I said, "Something tells me my neighbors are going to hate me after this." He said, "Don't worry, I cleared it with all of them." Oh, fucking great, I thought, He wakes my whole street up at 7:15 in the morning, dropping my name and warning them of things to come—well, this is probably going to ruin my standing with the association.
I then heard a car's engine try to turn over a couple times in the early morning chill. Huh? They can't be giving me a car. On the third try the car starts, and just as Gregg promised it's loud—insanely so. It sounded like goddamned mechanized thunder and me living in a canyon only amplifies this cacaphonous eruption about 100-times. This was not only waking up my wife and kids but everyone's wife and kids for miles around.
Finally I saw what was causing this awful racket as Travis Pastrana burned rubber all the way up my driveway in a NASCAR stock car. I was laughing, shocked, nervous, confused and right before I shit myself Travis skidded into park and shut off the engine. WHAT THE F?! He popped his head out the window and said, "Look Knoxville, here's your gift!" Godfrey chimed in with the same thing.
Now I'm going to be honest: for an eighth-of-a-second I believed them. I thought the car was my gift! Ha ha ha... But just for an eighth-of-a-second. At a quarter-second I realized this car cost more than my house and the spectacle of Travis laying rubber up my driveway was the gift.
Just as I came to that conclusion another Nitro Circus alumni, Hubert Rowland, came walking up (I think it was Hubert who walked it up) with a brand-spanking-new 60 dirtbike with rainbow stickers all over it. This was my gift.
I can't tell you when I have been as touched. Just Travis and Godfrey hand-delivering a brand new 60 motorbike with personalized stickers all over it to me at the break of dawn was already one of the greatest gifts I have ever received by a country mile, but for them to load a stockcar onto a trailer, haul it to my house, offload it, burn rubber up my driveway, scare the living shit out of my whole neighborhood (heh heh), then give me the motorbike, reload the stock car back onto the trailer, and then have to drive it back to the garage and offload that sonuvabitch again—well that goddamn takes the cake. What an over the top, incredibly sweet, sweet thing to do. All-time. Thanks fellas, I won't ever forget it.
Sincerely and love,