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The 2CV Alaska Challenge
Bulletin No.13: IT AIN'T ME BABE
Calgary, Alberta. Tuesday 17th
"So, you're from England, Jose's Dutch and you're driving a French car to Alaska: how come a Calgary company are one of your sponsors..?" the reporter asked me. Hmm, good question, and I didn't have an answer, nor did I have an answer when the reporter asked me what the company, Nutri-Metics, did. I mumbled something about Jose handling that side of things and quickly changed the subject. And so we made it into the 17th August edition of the CALGARY HERALD, page 3 of the entertainment section. It's a pity the Herald didn't have a psychiatric section.
Yes, the No.1 car was playing-up again and we were only half way to arctic Alaska. Jose and I were beginning to wonder if insanity ran in our families. Back in London the 2CV Alaska Challenge had seemed like a bit of a laugh, but here in Calgary the brakes on the car were giving us a hard time. You'd hit the brake pedal and your foot would go to the floor. There was no pressure until you pumped the pedal two or three times. We checked the brake fluid level and it was ok. We checked the engine oil, for want of any better ideas, and all the while we could see the towering Rocky Mountains in the distance. The Rockies are only 50 miles (80Km) from Calgary...
Calgary. Rob was living here in 1987/88, during the four months leading up to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Rob was 23 years old at the time and was hopelessly in love with a Canadian girl, who wasn't interested. Ain't it great being 23 years old and stupid. Of course, Rob being a sane, well balanced individual took it in his stride and over the next ten years just wrote 8 novels, 5 collections of poetry and 58 short stories about it. Hmm, it's one thing being 23 years old and stupid, but 33 years old and stupid..? Of course, Rob's now 35 and is extremely mature and sensible, so mature and sensible that he's driving an old, beat-up Citroen 2CV with dodgy brakes to arctic Alaska.
And as for Jose, well, that's another story...