Sunday, August 22, 2010

A superstar, by the sink, in Welkom

Chris was on the Silverado Brake Pads team. They sponsored him. And they paid for his travel on the circuit. He was 33, and him and his wife had just separated.

So he quit the investment firm and went on the tour full-time. Well, actually there were only seven stops on the track racing tour that time anyway. So he just added East London, PE and Welkom.

The Silverado sponsor meant he also got to appear in their magazine ads. It was him in his racing leathers, next to his bike, and holding a Silverado brake pad under his arm. The big, shiny one. He actually had three. The one under his arm and there were two on the ground in front of him.

So the tour gets to Welkom. It’s the Friday night before the race, and they’re at the track testing till late. He was third row in qualifying, so they had a few things to sort out.

They only get back to the hotel at 11. The whole place is closed, so they head to the Longhorn. But it’s so late. As Chris and them get into the Longhorn, the okes are packing up. You just check all the chairs are on the tables. There’s a hot blonde barmaid behind the counter, so Chris figures he might as well try. They all full of oil from the track, but the ous are famished, hey. He has to ask.

Tunes, “Hi, I’m really sorry, but I have to ask. I know you guys are closing, but we’re really hungry. Maybe you can just make us some take-aways. We’ll just have six burgers to take away… If it’s possible.”

And the girl says. “Normally I’d have to say no, but for a famous motorbike racer… I’ll make an exception.”

Turns out she’s actually the manager. And she’s seen these brake-pad ads with Chris in his leathers. She keeps the kitchen open, lets them sit there and finish their chow, and then Chris still shags her in the kitchen afterwards. By the sink. He just tunes the guys to go back to the hotel without him. She says no fine, she’ll give him a lift.

After they were finished she did give him a lift to the hotel. She was very cool about it, just giggling to herself a bit.

The next day Chris came third.

He came second in the championship that year. The next year he did his CFA and went back to being a financial adviser. These days he just does mountain biking. For fun.

And the next year, him and his wife got back together. They been married 18 years now. They just took that one year off.

But that night in Welkom, Chris got a little taste of what it feels like to be famous. Maybe that’s all he needed. Maybe it was just something he was wondering about.

That night, in the kitchen at the Longhorn, there by the sink, Chris felt like a superstar.

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