69. Blazing Saddles.


“Nice bike, Lucifer.”
“Thanks, Scorcher.”
“I used to have one of those, back in the day.”
“Did you now.”
“Yeah. Good bikes, Jack Bobson’s.”
“Bob Jackson’s”
“What?”
The bike. It’s made by Bob Jackson’s.”
“I know. That’s what I said.”
“Right.”
“Looks like you’ve got a puncture there, Lucifer.”
“What makes you think that, Scorcher?”
“Well, you’ve got the tyre off, and your holding an inner tube and…”
“Yes. I’ve got puncture. You’re right. You not busy then? Nothing to do?”
“Naw, dead at the moment. As I were sayin’, I used to do a spot of ridin’, back in the day.”
“Oh.”
“Yeah, nothing competitive, like.”
That’s nice”
“Nothing too competitive.”
“I see.”
“Maybe a little race, here and there.”
“Aha.”
“I only rode the Milk Race once.”
“Here we go…”
“It were back in the sixties. I was doing alright, not winning, but not losing. There were some big names riding…”
“Like who?”
“Wot?”
“Who was riding? I’m a bit of a fan of cycling history, Scorcher. Who were the big names who were riding?”
“You wouldn’t have heard of ’em.”
“Try me.”
“Well, let me see, there was Eddie Merckx…”
“He never rode the Milk Race.”
“Who didn’t?”
“Eddie Merckx.”
“Who said anything about Eddie Merckx? I said Freddie Merts.”
“Oh yes. Of course. Freddie Merts.”
“Yeah. Heard of him?”
“No.”
“Told you you wouldn’t have heard of ’em. Any road, on the stage from Leeds to Blackpool I took off on my own. The crowds went mad, seeing a local lad having a go.”
“I’m sure they did, Scorcher.”
“Well, the crowds thinned out as we got into the countryside, and soon it was only me and this copper on a motorbike, cos my lead had stretched out so far. I was sure to win.”
“What happened then?”
“The copper got a flat. I stopped and offered to help, cos I knew a bit about motor bikes, what with having built my own and that…”
“Wait a minute. You’re saying you stopped in the middle of the Milk Race and offered to help fix a copper’s flat tyre?”
“Yeah. I had plenty of time. Anyhow, the copper waves me on. ‘You get off, son,’ he says. ‘You’ll win it for sure!’ So off I went.”
“Did you win then?”
“I rode on, as fast as I could, cross the moors, down t’valleys, but still with no sign of another soul on the road. After another hour, though, I saw a sign. I raced up to it, and guess what it said?”
“I dread to think.”
“It said ‘Welcome to Scotland’.”
“Fuck off.”
“It did! I thought, shit, what happened there? It turns out that my lead was so big, they hadn’t got the road ready for the race to come through, with no signs or diversions. I took a wrong turning.”
“What did you do then?”
“I turned round, o’ course! I got my clog down and legged it to Blackpool. I felt a right tit tearing down the Golden Mile.”
“Why? Because you were all on your own?”
“What you on about, ‘on my own’? I caught up with the bunch on the run in to town, but I was so knackered I only came seventh in the sprint. I should have pissed it.”
“Did the other riders take the mick then, Scorcher?”
“You fucking bet they did, Lucifer! Merciless, they was! They didn’t believe me that I’d taken a wrong turn and gone to Scotland…”
“Surprise surprise…”
“…but I soon shut ’em up. They went very quiet when they saw what I pulled from my back pocket to mop the sweat from my forehead.”
“Give us it then.”
“A tea towel that said ‘A Gift from Scotland’ on it. I nipped into a gift shop on the border there. The shortcake was a bit crushed, but those greedy fuckers didn’t turn their noses up at it!”
Scorcher winked at me.
“There’s a tale to impress you cycling pals with, Lucifer.”
“Oh, I’ll tell them all right, Scorcher. See you later.”
“Yeah, laters.”

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One Response to 69. Blazing Saddles.

  1. jack bobson says:

    fucking beauty

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