Rem­i­nisc­ing

NZV8 - - NZV 8 COLUMN/STARIGHT TALK -

last month about the guy who did the con­dom-up­his-nose-and-out-his-mouth trick re­minded me about an­other funny thing that hap­pened at a rod run one night many years ago, back when I was happy to drink too much and stay up too late. It was back in ’93, when an NZHRA Street Rod Na­tion­als was held in Taupo, at a big re­serve just a few miles out of town, with 1000 or so hot rod­ders en­tered for the event. It was the usual deal for a big event — ev­ery­one camped there and the evening so­cial­iz­ing held in a huge mar­quee. And, of course, camp­ing at an event is a pretty good recipe for fun, be­cause no-one has to drive home. It was well into the wee hours of the Sun­day morn­ing, ta­per­ing off from a big Satur­day night, most of the hot rod­ders had gone off to bed, and it was just the ‘stay­ers’ still in the mar­quee — maybe a hun­dred or so — most of who had drunk enough to be act­ing the goat and were up for any­thing that would pro­vide a laugh. As you’d ex­pect, within the mar­quee, there were lines of tres­tle-type tables and chairs at which 1000 or so peo­ple had been sit­ting a few hours ear­lier but were, by now mostly empty. The ar­range­ment was groups of three tables, end-on against each other, with the last ta­ble up against the vinyl wall of the mar­quee. Like most things, it all started out as a bit of a noth­ing. One guy (bug­gered if I can re­mem­ber who 23 years later) — for no good rea­son that I can re­mem­ber — did a bit of a funny, show-off, half-ar­sed run to­wards one of the lines of tables and did a big jump at it and, rather un­gra­ciously, belly-flopped onto it and slid along the length of one of the tables on his stom­ach. Some­times, that’s all it takes … In an in­stant, some­one else, equally ine­bri­ated and up for a laugh, did the same thing. And then some­one else — as al­ways hap­pens — thought, I can do bet­ter than that. And so he gave it a longer run-up and lined him­self up for a longer, more shal­low dive onto the tables to cre­ate a longer slide. And he did — two tables long! In no time, a few oth­ers watch­ing on thought they’d give it a shot and joined in the fun. There’s one thing about drunk hot rod­ders — they quickly get bored and al­ways want to do some­thing bet­ter than the next guy. So, the run­ning and div­ing at the tables be­came the fo­cus of many, and, in no time, the more ath­letic guys were slid­ing the full length of the three tables that had been ar­ranged by the event or­ga­niz­ers. More tables were quickly car­ried across to cre­ate a longer ‘slide’, and, now, with a length of five tables and more rod­ders keen on show­ing ev­ery­one else their vastly su­pe­rior skills, we had a proper com­pe­ti­tion go­ing on. An­other thing about rod­ders is that, as well as hav­ing a very com­pet­i­tive side, they’re also very in­no­va­tive and al­ways look­ing for a way to not only do some­thing bet­ter but also to do some­thing dif­fer­ently. “We need some lu­bri­cant,” some­one stated with great au­thor­ity. “Yes, we do,” was the con­sen­sus, and then a con­ver­sa­tion kicked off about how we might achieve this. At the op­po­site end of the mar­quee was an area that was closed off by some par­ti­tion cur­tains where the cater­ers stored all of the sup­plies re­quired for feed­ing three meals a day to 1000 or so hot rod­ders. Within a cou­ple of min­utes, a cou­ple of the guys came run­ning back from the caterer’s sup­ply room, look­ing as glee­ful as could be, with a whole lot of four-litre con­tain­ers of mar­garine in their arms. Per­fect! And that’s about

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