Thursday, January 13, 2011

There is no question of not going back: The Mini Chronicles Grand Finale

                 When I was living in London, I had the goofy idea that the ideal urban automobile would be a balls out, no prisoners, no back seat  Mini Cooper Rally Racer. Scary fast, nip through slivers of space, park anywhere.  

Perfect for London
             My little monster racer, Bogus (a bogus replica of a real race car) was great until I had to sell it.  Had to. I was leaving London to live in San Francisco.  In twelve hours.  We pick up the story where we left off yesterday.

             UPS show up shortly after I catch my breath and the guys from C&CC (The Britsh Hot Rod Magazine) arrive a half  hour later.  The tech expert on Minis says yeah that bolt is a bitch to get at, you really have to take the head off.  Although if they have buggered it up the engine ought to come out.  But what the hell, we've come all this way.  Lets go see it anyway, they say.

    So we head back to the fruiter where I left it, a jug of gasoline sloshing in my lap.   The fruiter says the bobbies came by twice but he managed to get rid of them. 
      To the amazement of the C&CC guys and myself Bogus starts.  And it’s so excited I’ve come back for it, it ups its idle to 90 MPH.   I can't believe my luck.  It runs.  You better follow us, they say.

    On the way back, just to be sure, I stop at the petrol station and while I am putting a extra couple of gallons in the tank I realize that in my confusion and anxiety I left my briefcase with my passport and my plane tickets to California on the pavement next to the fruiterer's stand.  

    By this time my hatred for the little fuck is pure, white, incandescent.  Nothing to do with the lost briefcase.  A miracle might happen and it might still be there.  My hatred is for the delicacy with which the little fuck has to be driven lest it's motor tear loose of its moorings while it is screaming at 6,000 rpms and we charge off into a herd of oncoming traffic.
      My hatred is that Bogus has chosen this day to go berserk.  It knows that I am trying God Help Me to sell it and it has its teeth in my neck and its claws in my back, and these guys are not going to want the little monster. It is broken and I am going to have to find someplace to store it and spend thousands to fly back from California in a couple of months when it will still be broken and unsold and I will re-live this day.  I have the feeling that Bogus is on the verge of doing something really surprising like exploding.  

    There is no question of not going back.   I have to go back just on the off chance that my case with my tickets and passport is still there.  I hope Fryatt was paying attention because there are a lot of turns and I don’t see  their car anywhere.  Hope they are not lost.     
    Roar, screech.  Amazingly the briefcase is still there.  

   And when I scream helplessly back to my house, I engine screaming at a steady 6,000 rpm, the C&CC guys are there.  AND FRYATT STILL WANTS THE CAR.  Although, naturally, you understand, since the engine has to come out they'll take it for four grand not four five.  These men are my brothers.  I love them.  Although only on the condition that I do not ever see the car ever again.  That they tow it away.   And they did.   

Footnote.  I talked to Fryatt a while back and he said Bogus had a good life with a new and more powerful engine and was on the cover & several articles until it was kidnapped and bludgeoned to death, its parts sold on the black market.  But now there is a Bogus 2 alive and well and living in London.  

Bogus 2 under construction
      It might even be for sale for the right price.  If you buy it, don’t, don’t, don’t ever try to sell it.

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