Coke Lot: Our Time at the Indy 500

We showed up to Lot 1C, "The Coke Lot", camping and parking for the Indy 500. Lisa hopped out of the car as soon as we arrived, set to meet the neighbors. There wasn't a person directing traffic at all. We just found an open-ish area and parked it there. Our neighbors were a group of guys (of indeterminate number, between 7 and 20) in a rental RV. Lisa approached, amping up her Indiana accent, "Hi, ya'll. I'm Lisa; we're going to be your neighbors."

"Want to play flip cup?" the guy asked.

"Oh yeah, maybe later."

"Want to have sex?"


Then somebody squirted her with a supersoaker. Welcome to the Coke Lot.

Before I get on with describing our time there - a great time in faux redneck, frat boy tourism - I want to acknowledge the fact that a man was shot and killed on the Coke lot, the night before we arrived. And another man was shot the night we camped there. I learned about these events from the news, not seeing or experiencing the altercations in person. It's a freaking bummer, to say the least.

Our experience there, thankfully, was less destructive. The Coke Lot is a grass field where 1,000 plus people camp, party, and are left entirely to their own devices. It was a blend of Cool Party and Post-Apocalyptic Nightmare Complete with Roaming Bands of Pillaging Thugs. One of the provided forms of entertainment was walking around and getting sexually harassed. Catcalls and projectiles were a thing. Lisa liked to shout back at people as we were walking around. One heavy-set guy in a tank top was yelling at women through a bull horn re bleached ass holes. Lisa shouted back at him that it's just that he's been hurt by a woman and that it was going to be okay. We were all a little sad for a second.

It was my estimate that, of the people acting this way, about fifty percent were acting horrible recreationally, because it was the Coke Lot and there are No Rules, and the other fifty percent were just shitheads. It wasn't upsetting to me so much as fascinating. I have no inclination to yell abuse at strangers; I don't think it would be fun. And the guys shouting "Want to have sex?" confuse me, too. I mean, I suppose it's the least amount of effort necessary for putting it out there, just in case there's a chance, and it comes without the sting of rejection because it's ridiculous. But it's delivered tauntingly, which I don't understand. It's like saying unironically "Want to take a little time to (at least try to) make one another feel good and potentially forge some kind of connection?" and having all your dude bros be like, "Ah, diss!" (Fine, I don't really speak dude bro.) "You just got that guuurl!"

Random abuse was available to more than just women, though, I should mention. "Queer!" and various racial slurs were thrown around a bit, as well.

Other than the horrible things, though, people were nice. We got drunk and walked around talking to people, making friends. I usually have a hard time talking to strangers, but the atmosphere made it super easy. We met some cool guys from Chicago, Mitch and I won a game of Beersbee, and drank some guys whiskey while talking to said guy til very early in the morning.

We had left the lantern at home, accidentally, which I had been worried about, but luckily (unluckily) the RV guys next to us turned on a spot light as soon as it got dark and pointed it toward out tent. They also blasted music until their speakers literally (I don't know why it wouldn't be literally) broke.

The next day, when we came back from the race, the Coke Lot was a terror. There were a lot of bodily fluids all over the place; various camping structures had been destroyed; fires were left unattended, and porta potties were knocked to odd angles. It was official: we are humanity and we fucking suck. I mean, people weren't roaming around wearing the flayed skins of their enemies, but if they were they'd have the right setting for it.

Our neighbors burned their trash for no reason. They filled the air with plastic fumes.

They packed up all 7 - 20 of them, said their goodbyes, and drunk as skunks drove their RV back to civilization. Actual monsters. If society collapses, they are the first sort of people we should be worrying about. This is a call: band together you decent or only recreationally horrible people; there are monsters in this world and they are armed with a continuous loop of Michael Jackson.

But, like I said, only having to live like that for one night, we had a pretty great time.

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