From the desk of David Brozik (CFO, DB Scholarship Fund)
Thanks to everyone who has submitted an essay the past two weeks, your talents are immensely appreciated by me and the viewing public. This week's entries are no exception, hands-down the best yet!
For both of you who've been living in the dark the past two weeks, here's your job that everyone else knows. Read the following essays, then click on the voting doo-dad at the bottom of this page. The winner of this week's contest will win $25 of my hard-earned karaoke money (to be made tonight at Gibbie's in Morgantown, come on down to High Street at 10:00 p.m.) and the third seat, out of four, for the Grand Finale Essay. The Grand Prize Winner receives the 'Suitcase Full O' Swag' with donations from: Racer X, Throttle Jockey, Pro-Action, Ogio, igotfumoney.com, Moto Tees, Cernic’s, DVS Shoes, Moose Racing, FMF and Thor.
This weeks elements were: sludge, cramp, NASA, Andre the Giant, Rubic's cube, espionage, no-handed-lander, muffler packing, shock, turkey leg, Steve Stackable, hitch, porkchop(s), Thailand, and platypus.
Voting starts now and ends this Friday at Noon (EST). This week's winner will be posted to Racerhead, along with TWENTY elements for next week's contest. Enough jibber-jabber, LET THE VOTING BEGIN!
Did I ever tell you about the time I went to the Motocross race in Thailand? No? Are you sure? Well anyway, My buddy worked at NASA and he was suppose to go over to Thailand and find out how they make things so cheap. His espionage mission required a disguise, as do all secret missions. We were talking about it and decided that it would be a perfect cover if I posed as Steve Stackable to race in the Thai Outdoor Nationals sponsored by Giant Panda Trailor Hitch Co.
When we first stepped of the plane we knew we were in for trouble. First of all, everyone was half our size. (Great, two people the size of Andre the Giant, way to be inconspicious.) We checked out some factories and cut eye holes in newspapers, and did the whole spy thing, but nobody cares about that. We were then headed off the the track. The fine folks at NASA said that they would get a ride lined up for me, so I figured it would be a Harley Davidson or something, but it turned out to be worse. I was suppose to race a living, breathing, frightening, full sized elephant! The Outdoor Nationals, turned out to be kind of like the Outdoor Games we have here in the USA,(sorry,I mean in West Virginia.)
I didn't know how to corner an elephant. I might as well have tried to do a rubiks cube blindfolded. OK, OK, so I am entered in an elephant race in Thailand. Kind of scarred. If I wreck I am crushed to death, if I lose, everyone will know that I am not Steve Stackable. I decided that maybe I should get some tips on how to ride one of these. My buddy and I split up to see what the other teams were up to.
"Did you see anything?"
"Yeah "STEVE" they are feeding their ele's some grass and stuff. Maybe your ride is hungry? Did you see anything?"
"Not really, I saw one team that had a Platypus seat on theirs. What is my seat made out of?
"We dont have time for that, the race starts in 20 minutes, lets get your ele some food."
We decided that if everyone else was using grass and weeds as fuel, we could one up them by feeding ours porkchops and turkey legs. It seemed to work, because I got the hole shot and pulled away. I lead the whole race. I dont even remember much except it was really bumpy, next time I will do some shock testing, and then coming up this hill on the last lap, my ele started losing power. It was sputtering and missing. I was thinking that it might have gotten a cramp or something. I crossed the finish line doing a no handed lander, just as sludge started shooting out of the exhaust. I guess when you feed an elephant pork and turkey and then make it run, you can expect to buy some new muffler packing if you know what I mean!
Several days ago while grilling pork chops and a turkey leg on the deck, I heard a ruckus that would have silenced a gate full of 450Fs.
I looked up, awestruck to find a man attached to what appeared to be a hang-glider, spinning uncontrollably down the street in an array of colors like a large Rubik’s cube. Finally he came to a halt in a ditch, causing something that resembled muffler packing to fall around him.
“Whew! Now that’s what I call a no-hander-lander!” shouted the man as he untangled himself from his apparatus. He was tall and muscular, and wore an overly tight shirt emblazoned with a large star and the letter “S.” His shiny belt buckle displayed the same insignia. “Steve Stackable,” he said, removing his goggles and gripping my hand firmly. Surely this man thinks he is a superhero, I thought. I asked what happened.
“I was just gliding along when out of nowhere I got t-boned by a platypus! Darn thing sent me into a spiral and I couldn’t do anything but hope for a soft landing. Lucky I found this sludge pile!” He wiped off his goggles.
Steve spoke so quickly I had to pause to process what he had said. “You hit a platypus? Up there, in the sky?”
“Sure did. Thing was so big I swear Andre the Giant would be no match for him.” I asked the crazy man about his glider.
“I’m testin’ a prototype for NASA. They need it to spy on Thailand or some place. There’s big bucks in espionage.” He flashed a blinging necklace with the “S” logo. “You should look into it.” Steve had now thrown himself into a handstand in the middle of the street. “Workin’ out the cramp in my neck! So, I need to get back in the air quickly. Where’s your nearest cliff?”
I explained that Braptown was flat and had no cliffs. I thought about how else I could help Steve accomplish his mission.
“What if I towed you down the hill on my dirt bike? I’ll grab a rope and hitch you right to it.”
“Dirt bike!” Steve’s eyes widened. “Why, I used to race those back home in Texas. ‘Course that was long ago. Matter o’ fact, I was one of the first to use a forward mounted shock!”
So I did have something in common with this character after all. Excitedly, I showed Steve my bike. “That’s purty,” he said. “This’ll do just dandy. Put ‘er in top gear and I’ll run full speed!”
I told him it was a fast bike. “No matter,” he said. “Soon as I catch a little wind I’ll be up and away!”
Soon we were ready. As I was about to dump the clutch, Steve pulled something from his pocket, handing it to me. “One of my action figures,” he said smiling. “It’ll bring you luck. Now, twist that throttle, son!” And so I did. Wide open; the only way Steve knew.
Every year at Mini O’s an old man ventures from campfire to campfire telling little known stories about some of the past stars of motocross. On one particular occasion he wandered up to the campfire of a group of teenage boys who were busy arguing about whether the strange looking creature in the nearby bushes was a platypus.
Slightly amused, the old man offered to resolve their argument if they would then listen to one of his stories. The boys looked at each other and finally agreed. The old man smiled and sat down on one of the mats made of muffler packing that the boys had spread around their fire so they would not have to sit in the wet sludge that covered the ground after an afternoon of heavy rain. He proceeded to explain to them that the creature in question was in fact an armadillo and rattled off several quick facts that he knew were of no interest to them. He merely used this as a distraction so they wouldn’t notice him helping himself to a turkey leg and some pork chops from the food that was slowly cooking over their fire.
As he ate, the old man began to recount the story of Steve Stackable’s first trip to Florida.
“It was many years ago on a cool Sunday in June when Steve Stackable competed in his first Florida motocross,” began the old man. “You’ll have never heard of the track. It closed a long time ago and NASA acquired the land. Anyway, as soon as Stackable arrived he ran into the local track bully. The dude looked like Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride, except he was originally from Thailand. I’m not sure why he moved to Florida but all I know is that he hated to lose. There was never a race the bully didn’t finish. He was so big that he could literally pick his bike up and carry it across the finish line if he had to. Rumor has it that the guy was so competitive that he once pulled all of the stickers off of a Rubik’s cube and glued them back on just to win a bet.”
Realizing the boys’ attention was waning, the old man decided to cut to the chase.
He continued, “Stackable was smoking that dude in all of their motos that day and even started showing off and did a no-handed-lander. Things were going great until the last moto when Stackable got a cramp and couldn’t maintain his pace and, much to the shock of everyone in attendance, the bully passed him for the moto win. No sooner did they pull off the track then the police showed up and arrested the bully on charges of international espionage and Stackable was given the moto win after all.”
With his story finished, the old man said good night to the boys and proceeded to hitch a ride on a passing golf cart to continue telling his tales.
It was only my second time flying. The first being a trip to NASA with my family. This was a little bit longer of a flight though: St. Louis to Thailand, with an assortment of layovers. Why was I going? I don’t know, maybe it was to see a platypus exhibit at the Thailand Zoo. That’s not the point. The point is much greater, much more important. It was a matter of national security. It was espionage.
My flight left at 7:20 p.m. out of Lambert in St. Louis. I passed the time at the airport reading a new issue of Racer X with Nate Adams on the cover doing a no-handed-lander, and a turkey leg the size of a trailer hitch. You know the kind, the ones you used to get at Renassaince Fairs on your grade school field trips. Anyway, I board the plane and take my seat in 23E. Just my luck, middle seat again.
The plane takes off after what seems like hours on the tarmac. I turn on my iPod, listen to some Eddie Money (“Take Me Home Tonight” in case you were wondering) and try to get some shut-eye. It’s a long flight, and I don’t want to listen to the guy next to me whine about how he didn’t get any peanuts.
I must have slept for an hour at least, because when I wake up the food cart is going up and down the aisle. Chicken or pork. Chicken, and a Captain and Coke. Not to my surprise, I look up from my chicken and see a man arguing with the flight attendant. He looks just like Steve Stackable, and he’s pissed, waving his Rubik’s cube in the air like a weapon because his porkchop came with some gravy that he said “looks like engine sludge that I drain out of my CR 250.” “Nice”, I think, “another rider.” I wonder what he’s doing in Thailand.
Then I catch a glimpse of what he’s reading. Soldier of Fortune. That’s right. The magazine for hit-men. What happened next was unbelievable. A man the size of Andre the Giant, and not much better looking, comes barreling down the aisle and attacks the Stackable look-alike with nothing more than a soda can and a blanket. He kills Stackable right there on the plane. Everyone was in shock. Thank God Andre the Giant was a CIA agent, otherwise that would have been completely out of line. He went on to explain through a voice that sounded like a two stroke that lost it’s muffler packing, that Stackable was a spy for the Thai government and that he couldn’t let him report back to his superiors. I think to myself, “What the hell just happened?...”
I wake up to the shock of the plane rebounding after landing, with a cramp in my side. From what, I don’t know, but there’s a Rubik’s cube sitting on my lap, and Eddie Money’s ringing in my ear.
What you’re about to read is TRUE and none of the names were changed to protect the innocent…
Our story begins “on any Saturday” evening. Jim stared in disbelief at the messes that were once his most prized possessions.
Unfortunately for Jim earlier that same day, he again blew off his buddies Saturday night bike prep ritual to chase Platypus and Porkchops at the local Thailand club. Which as you’ll learn turned out to be a disaster for Jim.
“BOHECA”…cried Ken as he snapped the 10 mill seat bolt off his “no- handed-lander” prepped YZF…
”Hey Bob, where’s your easy out set”?
“Third drawer from the bottom” I replied.
“It’s not there hose head”, said Ken.
“Sure it is…third drawer, right there between my NASA calibrated torque wrench and Andre the Giant action figure…are you blind”?.
Then upon further inspection I realized in fact my easy outs were gone, as was my two dollar, ten pound Harbor Freight persuader…thank god Hulk Hogan was still guarding the metrics.
This could mean only one thing…that no good, tool borrowing but not returning, cramp in my nether regions Jim has struck again. Why on earth I ever give him the combo to the garage door I’ll never know.
“Un-hitch the trailer Ken, we’ve got a tool run to make”.
So off we go to Jims place and as expected the trusting fool’s left all the doors unlocked.
A quick search turns up the easy out set…but by that time the espionage had already begun.
Every screw driver on the premises was carefully placed in the refrigerator…then sealed in for freshness thanks to the Ken’s screw gun and six, 4” drywall screws.
Every ounce of alcohol was hidden in the one place Jim would never look…the dishwasher.
A pair of shoes left innocently laying in the middle of the hall-way we’re now a permanent trip hazard thanks once again to Mr. screw gun.
A dried out Turkey leg found in the freezer wedged perfectly hidden out of sight inside of the toilet trap, surely able to defy all plungers for the next few months.
The sludge from the bar-b-que grease catch can was spread onto the base-board heating fins…which he would surely find come winter time.
The bedroom door, screwed to the floor slightly ajar, would surely prove to be a noggin knocker.
As if that weren’t enough imagine the shock on Jim’s face upon returning home from the platypus pork chop hunt only to find Steve Stackable sitting on his from porch. “If you don’t take your hands off my girl “twiz”, I’m going to stuff your mouth full muffler packing and twist your head like a Rubic’s cube.
Who was to blame, “Crack Head Joe, Steve Stackable, or was it another angry Mistress from his ER? The world may never know.
I was sitting in the garage with my Grandpa Paul, who was opening up a new bag of muffler packing.
"Justin, son, I have so many stories to tell you," he said to me.
"Okay gramps, let's here 'em."
First of all, he told me a story about taking my dad to races in the '70s, and seeing Steve Stackable blast around the track. Then he started feeding me crap about executing a no-handed-lander at the track the previous week. I reminded him that he was 60 and could hardly hold onto a coffee cup with one hand. Then it was on to a story about espionage in World War II. At that point, my mom had set some turkey legs on the work bench, so I grabbed one and gnawed on it while he finished up his story.
The next morning my alarm went off, and I opened my eyes and I could swear Andre the Giant was standing in my doorway. Then I realized it was just my dad.
"Justin, get up! We're going to the track today," he yelled at me.
I groaned, and rolled out of bed. I had a cramp in my leg, and my hair was standing on end. But I still hurried to get ready because I didn't want to face the wrath of my dad. When I was walking out to the truck my nerdy little brother yelled to me, "Justin, the new NASA rocket is launching today!" I could care less, so I hurried out the door.
Once we got to the track, I ran over to my buddy's truck to see what was going on with him. Turns out things weren't going well. He had some mysterious sludge in his engine, and his rear shock busted into a million pieces. Then he ran into the hitch on his truck (who knows how), and tweaked his knee. I decided to head back over to my truck before his bad luck rubbed off on me.
When I got back to my truck my grandpa and my dad were standing around, and my grandpa was jabbering on about some rare platypus that scientist found in Thailand.
After a hard day of riding out of me & my grandpa, we called it quits, and my dad slapped some porkchops on the grill. I grabbed the Rubic's Cube out of my gearbag (who knows how it got in there) and started messing around with it. I actually got all the colors lined up and everything. I was pretty dang excited.
After we got home that night, my brother had to show me the NASA launch (he Tivo'd it), and then I stole the remote and flipped on the motocross from Red Bud. The perfect end to a near-perfect day.
GNCC, a four-letter word, slash acronym that would mean pain, cramps, and a severe case of turkey leg. I thought a lot of ex moto guys do GNCC races why can’t I. Really what would it take a little bike prep, new muffler packing, a few clicks on the forks and shock, clean filter, and a fiver full of pre mixed fuel. Yeah I am as old school as Steve Stackable with my 1995 Honda CR 125 two stroke. Why a ten year old bike? Because it always starts with out a hitch and the feeling of a broken in steel frame is as tasty as stuffed pork chop with wasabi mash potatoes. I love the raspy ting of 125cc motor and riding an old bike is as intimidating as Canadian spy committing espionage. The set up on my bike is super easy, no training from NASA, the motor’s not a Rubic’s cube of valves, springs, and cams. I arrive at the race, do the usual sign up and survey the competition, pre evaluate how my race will go. Next thing I know I am on the start, engine dead, boom flag drops, kick-start, throttle, clutch, and shift I am off. Down the start straight a couple of corners and then heading for the woods, Boom a thunderous roar of a over bored 450F with a man the size of Andre the Giant, came inside of my line. He hits my front tire sending me into a quagmire of sludge, my front wheel sticks and stops my momentum. Now I am flying face first toward a puddle as deep as a Thailand rice paddy. No chance of a broken wrist on this crash, my face is about to do a no handed-lander. Finally I touch down like a wounded 747, skidding to a stop with a mouthful of swamp water. Seconds pass like minutes I am gathering my wits slowly lying face first, prone, like a sprawled platypus. All I could think was this looks so easy on Racer TV, GNCC my new favorite four-letter word.
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