Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tongue That Rat (Part 3)

Part 3 – The Main Event!

Scrujette made a champion emergency department and trashy magazine reading companion. The only consolation in waiting four hours to get your ankle x-rayed is that you should be unbeatable in the pub trivia celebrity rounds. Jackpot at our local was up to $1100, which is roughly the amount I spent on establishing my wrist was in fact broken, weeks after waiting for the ankle x-rays. If only I’d stuck my wrist under at the same time. Oh well, at least the ankle wasn’t broken!

To the Arena Miss Jette, and don’t spare the horses! No time to bum a ride with MGE or The Mariah I’m afraid.

Our timing was perfect and we arrived just as the cavalcade rolled round the corner. The choons were blaring again. Passing cars were honking. The competitors looked splendid in their eccentric attire donned especially for the event.

The aptly named Arena of Scrapey was several abandoned asphalt netball courts bordered by a cemetery on one side, and trees on the other. Just off a main arterial road, and remarkably close to the city centre, it was surprisingly private, whilst still in the full view of passing motorists.

Amongst almost all of the usual suspects from the night before, was a bunch of fresh looking competitors interspersed with the odd observer. There were even more bikes. Will was the only attendee from a renegade bike gang, who had foolishly (or was that wisely) chosen not to attend.

The crutches they’d given me at the hospital proved useless with a sore wrist. Victor Two Stroke (who, incidentally, had only just received his rat name hours earlier) suggested I try his pixy tall. “Roger Dildo. In and Out! We have a winner!” I proclaimed.

My day had just got infinitely better! I was going to ride at The Supreme Overlord Gravox and Mudbutt Monkey’s Tallbike Convention!!

The first event was a boat race relay on freak bikes. With six to a team, each member had to down a tinnie over the course of their three laps before they could pass the batten on to the next rider.

Gravox looked on in astonishment as one of his T.o.F. compadres thought it would be quicker to down his beer on the starting line before embarking on his laps. It proved a poor tactical mistake.

Despite a late come back from Gravox’s team, and a spirited effort from a second T.o.F team, the race was never in doubt and Dogga celebrated with a victory lap for Rat Patrol Oz.

Blinkered Figure of Eight racing was next on the cards. Yes that’s right – take your pick of vision imparing head dresses from the Ned Kelly helmet, to a Horse’s head, to a skull with slits for eyes, and, well, ride as fast as you can around the figure of eight course trying desperately not to career into your fellow competitors at the cross over! Insane? Yes!

SkidMark belted out “Around the World” as the racers flew around the music and MGE.

There were heats and finals, but the spectators were the real winners, all of which were in absolute hysterics during every race. There was shouldering in the cornering. There was tallbikes slicing between seemingly non-existent gaps between choppers at the cross over. There were juicy prangs!

Pat shredded his beloved flame pants and took some bark off for good measure. Several others ate tarmac. But Flighty took what everyone thought would be the stack of the day, leaving 20 metre long gouge marks, and a fair bit of skin on the arena . Little did they know he would spectacularly outdo himself later that night!

The disco derby turned into more of a Gang-up-on-Gravox type affair. While Skeletor, and Trixiboy plugged into MGE and belted out some riffs, everyone on the arena scooped up cones and threw them in the path of Gravox and his tall. Skirmishes broke out left, right and centre. Mayhem rained.

Then came the much anticipated Tallbike Jousting! Now Rat Patrol Oz had never quite plucked up the courage to joust before, which was not to say we weren’t chomping at the bit for it.

Two Humps was in fact literally frothing at mouth. Gravox couldn’t decide whether it was a result of the fervour with which Humps had approached the day, or if he was indeed mad. Either way he figured he’d prove a worthy opponent.

It was an epic match up. Three passes and it was even stevens. Each had landed blows, but been unable to unseat their opponent. On the fourth Gravox’s lance seemed to ricochet off Two Hump’s shoulder and thud firmly into his throat. Gasping for air, Humps proclaimed he had by no means had enough. I’m sure he was now frothing even more at the mouth.

Gravox, bloodlust in his eyes, cranked the tall up to ramming speed. Two Humps, like a wounded bull, charged as hard as his constricted lungs would allow. Gravox’s lance found the centre of Humps’ chest and sent him crashing to the ground. Round 1 to the Tongue of Fire.

The match ups continued, with the experienced Tonguers take out more than their fair share of victories. But perhaps the most notable joust of the day actually ended in a draw.

Bloody Mary’s tallbike Yo Mama with it’s elongated, suspension rear was considered an unfair advantage and certainly not of international jousting standard. Not to be perturbed, he mounted Two Humps’ steed and lined up against ToF’s Evil K on Ramondo (code name The Falcon).

The first three passes were uneventful with each rider waving their lance round like a fairy’s wand. Then something clicked.

Each rider approached with determination and speed, their lances equidistant from their bodies. Like a well rehearsed precision stunt driving team, they struck each other identically, fair in the chest. Both flew violently through the air in opposite directions.

Mary landed hard on his feet and rolled. Evil K’s fall was ‘broken’ by MGE. Mary tried to get to his feet, but was having trouble putting weight on them. Evil K began untangling himself from the wreckage and guitar leads. The crowd was in suspended hysterics, not knowing if it was OK to laugh. Sure enough, it was.

The setting sun on the Arena of Scrapey marked the end of the official proceedings, but the day was not yet done. In a gesture which would symbolise the unity of two tribes, Mudbutt suggested I should attempt to ride under Three penny whilst he was in the saddle.

I had nothing to loose. It would not be me falling over three metres if I made a balls up. Many had thought about the feat in the past, but none thought it quite possible, nor did Mudbutt place enough trust in anyone to condone an attempt.

I lined up my crutch, Two-Strokes’ pixy tall, and started sussing out the situation. It was doable, especially on this bike. A chopper would be too long, and you’d never get the whole bike through no matter how slow Three Penny was travelling. But it was going to be real tight! If you didn’t get your back down enough, it would hit the main frame and send the rider tumbling. If you weren’t going fast enough, Three Penny’s rear wheel would collect the rear wheel of the passing bike.

I lined it up a few times and pulled out at the last minute. Mudbutt slowed Three Penny to a near stand still. Limp looked on in anticipation from Skylab. Then at good speed I lined it up, dropped over the bars to get as low as I could and hoped I didn’t collect the frame. Sure enough I popped out the other side without touching, and in that moment, with no words uttered, a bond was formed.

The last remaining thing to do was to convince the pizza delivery guy ride a bike, which wasn’t too hard to do, and he left with a big smile and a story none of his workmates would be able to digest too easily.

We all headed back to HQ to digest the memories of the day, and for what would prove to be an unforgettable evening!

Part 4 – Pomp, Ceremony, Nutcases, and Humps - coming soon


Blogger The Supreme Overlord Gravox said...

Love your work

7:34 AM  

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