A tale of utter merriment, by Billy (Real Name changed to protect the guilty)
Billy was up very early on Monday morning and he hurriedly gobbled down his ready break for he was very exited as today was the day that he and his friend Johnny were going to the Motorcycle Live Bike Show at the National Exhibition Centre near Birmingham.
Billy pulled up outside Johnny's house in his big blue car and waited patiently for Johnny to finish getting dressed. Eventually Billy got impatient and went to knock on Johnny's door. "I'm just coming" he heard Johnny shout and that was followed by some giggling, "what you laughing at" enquired Billy as he opened the door just in time to see Johnny turn off Babe Station on his TV "oh nothing" replied Johnny sheepishly while wiping his hands on the curtains. "well come on then or were going to be late" retorted Billy sternly.
Johnny skipped down the drive and scrambled up on to the passenger seat and sat swinging his legs "rgh thal e ge thow den" said Johnny "what did you say" asked Billy "I said right shall we go now then" replied Johnny after he had stopped licking the side window and turned to face Billy. "Yes just let me help you get the seat belt fastened and we can go, I think you really ought to be sat in the back in your big blue seat but seeing as it's a special occasion you can stay in the front as long as you don't stick your fingers up at any nice policeman" Billy warned. With that Billy opened the door to let the clutch out released the handbrake and the two friends set off on their journey south down the M1 motorway.
Unfortunately they didn't get very far before the first traffic jam and then the next one followed by another, the traffic got busier and busier and Johnny was not at all pleased "this is all your fault for making us late" growled Billy but Johnny wasn't listening he was busy trying to put the handbrake back together after he had unscrewed the knob on the end and a big spring had shot out and ricoshet around the car. "I wish you wouldn't fiddle with things you nearly had my eye out with that" Billy said crossly "now just leave it alone I'll fix it later".
Johnny was bored he had finished playing with the radio and making all the car windows go up and down in time with the music and had scrambled into the back seat and was curled up fast asleep on the dog blanket, he had twisted one corner round his finger and was sucking his thumb with load slurping noises. Billy was pleased to have some peace and quiet and carried on making slow progress down the motorway with thousands of other people all going nowhere very fast.
As Billy crept slowly past a coach of old ladies in the inside lane he noticed a look of utter disgust and disbelief on all their faces, Billy was a little confused by this and took a look round to see what they were all pointing at. Johnny had woken up and was standing on the back seat with his trousers round his ankles and his bottom pressed hard against the side window. Oh how he laughed in his best Sid James voice. "Johnny come and sit down here in the front were nearly there now" insisted Billy. "Haven't you brought me any cwisps and sum pop or owt" asked Johnny hopefully, "no you should have brought your own" replied Billy gruffly "now just let me get parked and we can go to the show".
Billy skilfully parked his big blue car in between two large vans and gathered up his belongings. Johnny was trying to climb over the fence surrounding the car park, "oh no you don't we have to go buy our parking ticket first young man" stated Billy as he caught hold of Johnny's collar and led him towards the ticket office. Billy bought his parking ticket from a man he happened to know was called Dick Turpin and the exited friends ran and skipped their way to the exhibition hall. Billy is much older than Johnny and has to go to the toilet much more often so while he did that Johnny went to buy his ticket. Billy had already bought his ticket on his laptopamabob and saved £3.00 clever old Billy.
Now they had their tickets they just needed to find their way into the exhibition and after taking several wrong turnings and almost ending up in a cat show the two boys had made it and were in Motorcycle Live. Johnny ran to the Norton stand and pushed an old gentleman out of his way as he clambered up on a big red bike.
"I like this one" said Johnny enthusiastically as he made engine revving sounds and laid flat out on the petrol tank winding the throttle fully open "yes it is quite nice but a tad too expensive for most normal people" observed Billy. A rather large man in a uniform was scowling at Johnny and running his fingers up and down his truncheon, "come on Johnny there's plenty more to see" called Billy as he made his way to the Triumph stand. "This is much more like it" stated Billy who was now smiling as he sat on board a Rocket 3.
Johnny wanted a turn and Billy helped his friend up on to the seat now Johnny was smiling "this is easily the biggest thing I have ever had between my legs" shouted Johnny at the top of his voice, "you need to get out more old chap" a fat man with a beard retorted and there was much laughing and merriment amongst all the other motorcycle enthusiasts who were crowding on to the stand. "Come on Johnny let's find something more your size" said Billy "what about this one with the nice L plate on the front", Johnny sat on the Husqvarna and swung his legs back and forth unfortunately he couldn't touch the ground and looked a little upset that his lack of leg length meant he couldn't ride a learner bike.
"Never mind Johnny there are plenty more bikes here to choose from I'm sure we will find something more suitable shortly". "Stop calling me shorty" retorted Johnny who had his fingers stuffed in his ears and was rocking back and forth on the floor. "What about this nice yellow one"
"come on Johnny stop sulking you know you like Vespa's it suits you fine" stated Billy who was sat on a Piaggio MP3 which the nice salesman actually classed as a trike and could be ridden on a normal car license, with a 500cc engine and loads of luggage capacity coupled with normal bike handling it could sell very well once you get used to the odd looks.
"Let's see if we can blag a coffee" said Billy "ooh yes that would be nice I'm spitting feathers" stated Johnny and with that they were greeted by a nice lady on the Suzuki stand who directed them to the hospitality lounge, "goodness me that lady wouldn't hurt herself if she fell over would she Billy" "I think her air bags have gone off already spluttered Johnny", Billy inserted his eyeballs back in their sockets and picked his tongue off the carpet "yes she was very well equipped" spluttered Billy as he wiped the saliva from his mouth poor Billy doesn't get out much either !
After a coffee and a friendly chat the two friends found themselves at the MAG stand and engaged in friendly banter with two fat bearded gentlemen who rode Harley Davidson motorcycles listened to Jimmy Hendrix music, smoked funny cigarettes and kept banging on about their right to toss off their helmet, how we laughed "the day will come when we can all toss off our helmets, we can even toss off each other's helmets for as long as we want to" volunteered Johnny. Johnny was getting impatient "where is the Royal Enfield stand" he demanded "you said it would be here", "and it will be somewhere" reassured Billy "we are sure to come across it eventually but in the meantime come and look at all these nice Victory motorcycles they do look rather splendid if slightly impractical for general day to day use".
The two friends then visited stands by BMW, Honda, Harley, Kawasaki and Yamaha and sat on as many bikes as they could. Billy liked the big cruisers and the sports tourers and the adventure bikes best but poor Johnny couldn't get his leg over any of these so sat on the sports bikes and big scooters instead.
He also tried an electric bike for size but said he wouldn't want to carry an extension reel around with him all the time as he would keep getting to the end of it and pulling the plug out the socket. "Whatever is the matter now Johnny" asked Billy, Johnny had thrown his coat on the floor and was stamping his feet "it isn't here is it and you said it was and you lied and I hate you and I'm not your friend anymore so there you baldy old fat git" stammered Johnny his bottom lip quivering and a tear rolling gently down his cheek. "Whatever are you talking about Johnny, oh yes, the Royal Enfield stand, why I do believe I can see it over there" Billy pointed. "Yippee thank you Billy you're my bestest friend I ever had" Johnny blustered as he ran in the direction Billy was pointing. Billy eventually caught up with Johnny who had clambered on an Enfield Bullet and was singing a Mary Hopkins song about those were the days.
In the meantime Billy had sneaked away and was talking to a very nice lady in a very tight fitting cat suit she was very friendly and gave Billy a big hug.
Billy had to go back to the toilet again he smiled to himself as he recalled the earlier conversation about tossing off his helmet poor Billy he doesn't get out very much these days.
Billy returned to find Johnny running around the Royal Enfield stand being pursued by a portly gentleman with a moustache and walking stick "come here you little blighter I'll teach you to tell my granddaughter it doesn't really fly like in the Harry Potter films you unspeakable cad". "Come with me Johnny" shouted Billy "there's something over here I just remembered I wanted to look at". Breathlessly Johnny joined Billy on the Moto Guzzi stand. Billy was sat on the new 1400cc California
"I want one of these he announced positively I am going to ask the nice man how much it costs. I don't want one of these the nasty man has just told me how much it costs" muttered Billy
"anyway I thought you wanted a new helmet because you have worn yours out with constantly tossing it off" laughed Billy. "Yes I do and what's so funny about that enquired Johnny, don't you ever toss yours off anymore", "no not right often" laughed Billy. Johnny shrugged "yes well whatever I don't know what your going on about sometimes you silly old git". Billy helped Johnny choose a gaily coloured crash helmet, "that will do nicely said Johnny and it wasn't very expensive so I won't mind tossing it off every now and again" "no I bet you won't" grinned Billy, "lets fill in all these competition entry forms now and see if we can win something". "Only thing we will get is annoying emails from companies we have never heard of" muttered Johnny, "oh stop being so grumpy come on lets go round everything all over again in case we missed anything first time round starting with another cup of coffee from the nice lady on the Suzuki stand" said billy his eyes lighting up at the prospect of seeing her again. "Ok Billy but will you carry me" asked Johnny "my legs are getting a bit tired now" "no I won't carry you I think it might be nearly time for us to go are you sure you don't want to buy anything else" asked Billy. "Yes I want another crash helmet for my wife cos she might like to toss it off as well" replied Johnny hopefully.
After several more trips around the exhibition halls and getting on and off even more motorbikes Billy and Johnny were escorted to the exit by two big burly men who were both fingering their truncheons. "Come on then Johnny time to go" Billy and Johnny made their way back to the car park and gingerly found their way out of the complex and back to the motorway which was going just as slowly as when they arrived. It was a long journey back but by the time Billy turned off the motorway and pulled up at Johnny's house the two friends had completely solved all the world's problems and created a new political party called common-sense which would be affiliated to MAG if only they could be elected everything would be brilliant and we would all be free to ride whatever bike we wanted wherever we wanted whenever we wanted and wearing whatever we wanted. Utopia may only be a pipe dream but by joining MAG at least it was a step in the right direction.
They had enjoyed the bike show this year and said it seems to be getting much better than before the only down side is not the show itself but the difficulties experienced getting to and from the NEC and once there the rip off parking charge which had genuinely put many people off attending this event. So would we go again? Yes of course we would as problems getting there will soon be forgotten and memories of a great day out shared by two like minded motorcycle fanatics will prevail.
Billy and Johnny
<Footnote> Now Billy has reduced his doseage he is quite normal again ... well, normal'ish.