Dear Street Machine,
How in the name of steaming Jeebus can you have a letters page in issue one? How does that work, then?
Ivor Titchypecker, via UnicornMail
That’s a damn fine question, Ivor, but this is the Street Machine letters page, hardly a suitable forum for sodding metaphysical conundrums. Or is it conundra? Answer that one, clever dick. DS, SM
Dear Street Machine,
Rod runs and car shows these days aren’t as good as they used to be. Eeeeh, I remember 20 years ago when we used to go ape on the cruise, party until the wee small hours and crawl out of our tents in the morning ready to get polishing. Nowadays nobody ever suggests a four-storey Moonie Mountain or a quick game of Catch The Axe after 17 pints; it’s political correctness gone mad, I tell you. What is the world coming to? Etc etc. (Letter edited on grounds of insanity)
Eugene Ormuscock, via Complete Fabrication
Another superb question there, Eugene, but I can’t help thinking that you’re looking at it from the wrong angle. Are rod runs truly not as good as they used to be, or is it just that you’re 20 years older, you grumpy old git? Back then, the reason you stayed up all night was partly because the only alternative was going back to your poorly-assembled tent to sleep on the ground, or on an airbed that goes down on you faster than [insert your own crude joke here]. Now, you decide that the band’s too loud so you retire to your centrally heated, twin-axle caravan to watch the X-Factor, then a quick mug of cocoa, do the crossword in your What’s On TV magazine, and you’re giving it Zs by 10pm. This is not what makes great memories of classic rod runs!
Yes, things have changed. Back in the day, if you drank your own volume in beer, shinned up the marquee support poles with your trousers around your ankles, then fell and hurt yourself, it meant you were a clumsy bell-end and your mates would point and laugh. Do the same thing now and Ambulance-Chasers-4U will tell you that you’re the innocent victim of gross negligence on the part of the organisers who didn’t TELL you that you shouldn’t attempt to climb a 40ft pole while pissed out of your skull, and you can sue the shirts off their backs.
We may have all grown older, but that doesn’t mean we have to grow up. Granted, our discs might slip at the very thought of a Moonie Mountain, and we may be past waking up in a gorse bush at 5am with very patchy recollections and someone else’s trousers on, but the events are much the same: organisers provide us with a place to camp, a field to show our cars, a place to party and, usually, some form of music. That’s all we need. It’s no good turning up to these events, folding your arms, sticking your jaw out and saying, “Right, entertain me.” That’s up to you. The show organisers can only give you the tools; it’s up to you how you use ’em. If you sack off to bed at 9pm, grumbling about the inconsiderate buggers nearby who are talking and laughing, you’re missing the point. However, if you wake up in A&E because you were trying to take the corks out of wine bottles using only your rectum then you have nobody else to blame, but at least you’ll have one of those stories that starts, “Hey, remember that show/rod run when…?”DS,SM.