Aww Not Bam Carlson Again?

I can remember the 1975 125cc Mettet race, apart from the near win, Kent Anderson the reigning World Champion introduced himself to me, after I qualified 2nd quite close on time. I also saw (and felt) what a works Yamaha was like in the race. I liked Kent straight away, he was approachable, funny, spoke English like a native and swore like a front line infantryman. He made his company so comfortable I resolved that when I am the World Champion I would be as cool as him, in fact when I meet anyone famous I treat them like an ordinary “Joe”. I’m certain it is what most want anyway, although I am equally sure there are those who want to be treated like a queen but Fuck them!

In the 1974 event the 125 was a 2 leg race I won the first leg and was dead chuffed with myself. I also led the second leg right up to the run to the flag, the uphill long, long straight, I loved Mettet for those straights, the speed and the 14000 rpm that was held for soooo loaang you thought it would blow up or seize when you flicked it down a gear for the super fast corners. I loved those 5th gear curves as well, massive balls were required, whatever you were riding. God alone knows what size goolies were needed on a TZ750 for the left-hander after the start/finish line though?On a 125 it was a very exhilarating flat out laying on the tank. On a 250 it was ” right THIS time I won’t shut off” but a benefactor would mysteriously tap you on the shoulder just before the apex and say very softly ” it’s all right son, close it, try it again next time”. When you got through it you would swear and shout “you bastard leave me alone will ya! Just wait, next time I won’t listen to you”! What a race track, what a thrilling race track!

By 1975 I’d recovered from the “pop” that blew one of my exhaust pipes off it’s cylinder leaving me with almost no power for the last kilometre to the flag, I managed to loose all but 10th place as I crossed the line. The heart break was difficult to deal with, not just for me but Sue as well The combined results made me 6th. No room for the star of the show on the rostrum this time, the British national anthem was played however but for Neil Tuxworth, my friend and rival, ouch that hurt!

I led the 1975 race right up until the last same kilometre as before, when Kent came past like an absolute missile, I dodged into his slipstream and my rev counter nearly bent the needle and the side waft as he came past was palpable. I couldn’t stay in his draft however and he won by about 50 meters. It was a salutary lesson from a works bike, I did get a “works bike” 7 years later, it was a works Armstrong and typically, due to some British standard that I am still unaware of it had to be slower, only a bit mind, than the standard production bikes. Not when you are on a works Yamaha though, I guess they hadn’t heard of BS——– whatever it was, and what’s more even if they had would have said “Fk that”!

After the race Kent told me he had been trying to use his slipstream and superior power to “suck” a friend and fellow Swede up to me and hopefully passed so he could finish second, but his compatriot just wasn’t committed enough, so Kent thought If he didn’t get his finger out and pass me when he did, he could have been beaten by a Clive “who”? The fellow Swede was miles behind me at the flag, his name I believe was Hallberg? 4th was yet another Scandanavian, in desperate need of a haircut, whom I was to meet again a couple of years later. He went by the name of Pehr Carlson, nicknamed Bam, I don’t know why? maybe he was known for throwing tantrums like “Bam Bam” the flintstones baby, who knows. When I met him though he was a real cool dude very relaxed and quite a nice bloke ( for a Viking that is)!

It is a shame Mettet went the same as all exiting fast exhilarating places, they get emasculated eventually. It wasn’t long before they added a shitty chicane before the start and finish, this one took us through an industrial estate on poor quality tarmac in an effort to reduce the entry speed into the left hander I mentioned earlier. I shouldn’t complain, I know, I had my only Belgian win on this particular layout 4 years later. This wasn’t without drama either. I led this race from the start until I crossed the line for the penultimate time when my engine cut out! I was freewheeling round the now legendary downhill left hander when Bengt Johansen ( yes another flaming Swede) came passed! For some unknown reason the engine caught again and I set off after him, accompanied by all the fury I could muster, when I came by Sue who was lap timing on the opposite side to the start line, she was wondering “what the”? The other laps I had passed miles in front, now second? I got Bengt though, in that industrial estate, justice was done!
The crystal vase I won that day, recently (Dec2011) broke and in doing so slashed my finger open. What’s all that about?


I like Americans!

Yep I like Americans on the whole. I know we take the piss out of their brashness and their noise but they are a nice bunch of people. I’m talking about middle class, employed America of course, not the south LA gang bangers or the blood suckers in the lovely ( too good for them anyway ) capital. Middle class America is kind generous and well mannered.
In our neighbourhood drivers will often stop and let you across the road with a pushchair, it’s almost embarrassing to me , a Brit . We are good at pedestrian crossings, well, pretty good. These folk though have us licked, in the road manners stakes.
The 4 way stop for instance is a delight to use, no need for stop lights or a round about, just the rules and manners to obey them. Imagine that!
In England we would be smashing into each utter right left and centre at a 4 way stop like these. ” well your honour she hesitated a millisecond and I was late for me dinner, it’s not my fault she drives like a cnt”. Take him down!

I do think we have them licked in the recycling department though. I know recycling and all that environmental stuff isn’t real, it’s all about appearance over substance. Wind farms for instance, what a load of expensive tosh that is, try getting the government to admit the science, no they prefer to see the bollox of it.
I like the recycle idea though, you remember the olden days of reusable milk bottles and the pop bottles we would return for the 3d deposit?

We now have to have an expensive recycling dump. I will say Derby’s is a far superior effort to the one here in Charlotte, It is signposted nicely “Mechlemburg County Recycling centre”. With a nice arrow pointing the way. No where, does it say, only suitable for basket ball players! This is a massive oversight
I took a pickup full to the top of all the Christmas and “the moving” cardboard all nicely flattened and collapsed to save volume. When I got into the dump, the “cardboard only” skip was 8 feet high! You can’t just chuck it in, you have to throw it up and over, jumping like those bevested lunatics with massive feet! By the time I was done I was breathing like a bull awaiting a sword thrust in The Plaza del Torros.

I tell you if it came to a recycling contest between Derby UK and Charlotte NC, the Americans would think they had turned up for a gun fight armed with a potato peeler.

The Supermarket Again

I’ve discovered in the supermarket another beer! It’s a porter, nice and dark and malty with very manly overtones as I was to discover later. Even it’s name “Pipeline” conjures up images of blokes welding and putting fires out on oil rigs.

I’ve mentioned before about the singularly daft laws individual states have, the Ohio one, where all hard liquor has to be diluted to a maximum of 22%proof. There is one in Charlotte that says all none adults ( that is anyone under 21!) have a 9 pm curfew unless they are accompanied by an adult. The idea is to cut down on trouble makers and vandalism. This has made picking up a child prostitute very difficult and forces the prices up! The council did not consider the hidden consequences of their actions here did they? We are run by fools and dolts.

The most odd one though is the fact that you are only allowed to buy “Pipeline” if you own a Harley Davidson! I only found out by accident aided by my lightening thinking.

When we reached the check out the lady first scanned my tinned fresh fruit, I insist on fresh,I’m not exactly a fanatic about it but it’s one of my little disciplines I live by. When she reached the six pack and wazed it past the scanner she suddenly said “got a soft tail sir” I momentarily panicked To be honest. I soon recovered though, I can think at the speed of light when under pressure, even at 10am before I’ve had a drink or two. My first thought was I’d somehow come out in my PJs , the rabbit suit one that Sue insist I wear with the oversize fluffy bunny tail, it’s to stop me sleeping on my back and snoring, (it works ok actually). My hand went with animal instinct to my builders crack area to check, ok good, my next thought was my medical problem, no she couldn’t possibly know about that, that’s when the HD connection came to me. Quick as a flash, from alarm to rejoinder must have been a maximum of 1.3 seconds, it probably seemed like a millisecond to her, she was after all only a checkout operator, not a retired fighter pilot, “yes” I lied, ” how did you know”? “You must have! To drink that stuff” she said, I was again stunned fancy having a law like that! It smacked of corruption and brown envelopes if you ask me.
I added a bit of depth and colour to my misdirection, whilst she sorted out the change, ” yeah it’s a 68 flat head” luckily I knew a bit of ” Hog” lingo ” scodda twin pipe n straight 1inch bars, with 4 on the floor” I was well into my mid Atlantic by now. ( i particularly liked the 4 on the floor part, I don’t know what it means, I got it off the Beach Boys “little Duce Coup”)
She gave me my change coupled with the look of the gorm I’ve seen before, when I engaged a Sainsburys checkout girl with the fuel consumption figures compared to the power out put of the latest Prius. It was then I realised she might be au fait with local retail law but she knew fuck all about Harleys!

I swaggered out of the supermarket like you do when you have pulled off a coup of this magnitude. Some people say I look a bit like Freddie Mercury from the back, maybe its the moustache? It could have been Freddie Frinton come to think of it? Anyway it was at at least a smug mince.

When I got back home Sue was giving the twins their scheduled lunch at 11-30. I was as dry as a witches nipple and ready for a lunch time beverage, it was loverly. Before I knew where I was I’d taken out the whole 6 pack. I was mighty angry then so I gave her a damn good hiding, she deserved it so don’t go feeling sorry for her. I locked the kids in the cupboard, I can’t be bothered with the little bastards! while I sent her to the supermarket for replacements.

I simply wasn’t prepared to risk other road users lives by driving after a 6 pack! That is the standards we all should strive to live up to in my book. I’ve developed a slogan that would look very good on a matrix system “Keep alive behave like Clive don’t drink and drive” I think that says everything, coupled with a classy personality people can readily identify with. What do you think?