Edgar Jes­sop

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Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS - Edgar Jes­sop

He con­tin­ued,

“What these chap­pies do is to take a per­fectly func­tional mo­tor­cy­cle and trans­form it into an un­gainly and al­most un­ride­able de­vice which has no pur­pose other than to fol­low a straight line, and even then, with much cau­tion re­quired. These chap­pies have even de­vel­oped their own form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, which seems to be an amal­gam of jive, Ca­jun, Yat and traces of His­panic.”

De­spite his dis­taste for the trend, the gu­vnor nev­er­the­less saw a com­mer­cial op­por­tu­nity, as well as an out­let for sur­plus un­der­car­riage struts from his fac­tory in Mozam­bique where the spec­tac­u­larly un­suc­cess­ful Spag­forth Lead Bal­loon bomber had been built dur­ing the war. What he pro­posed, and in­structed his en­gi­neers to de­sign, was a pro­duc­tion cus­tom mo­tor­cy­cle, us­ing the Spag­forth Mar­moset as the ba­sis. The task of test­ing the new ma­chine, to be known as the Grom­met, nat­u­rally fell to Edgar Jes­sop, and the pro­to­type was shipped to New Or­leans for Edgar to be­gin his as­sess­ment ride in what was con­sid­ered to be the ma­chine’s nat­u­ral habi­tat. First though, Edgar un­der­went a crash course in the di­alect, which in­cluded spend­ing days on end at the lo­cal cin­ema, the Gig­gleswick Odeon, watch­ing re-runs of Easy Rider. Now with a newly-cul­ti­vated Viva Za­p­ata moustache, Edgar pro­nounced him­self ready, and an­nounced to his col­leagues in a south­ern drawl, “OK man, time to, like, split. You dig?” Many weeks of stren­u­ous test­ing fol­lowed, Edgar strictly fol­low­ing the cus­toms of the lo­cal peo­ple which in­cluded con­sum­ing vast quan­ti­ties of grain al­co­hol, and dress­ing ac­cord­ing to the fash­ions of the per­ceived mar­ket. He mo­tored serenely through the United States for many weeks un­til he ar­rived in Blooper, In­di­ana, paus­ing at an en­camp­ment on the out­skirts of town. Here half-naked young ladies with flow­ers in their hair cul­ti­vated small plots of veg­eta­bles, while the men­folk tended to wag­ons and tents. He was warmly wel­comed by a chap in white robes and gold chains who in­tro­duced him­self as Lord Flat­fish, leader of the Tem­ple of Aware­ness. What was in­tended to be an overnight stop be­came an ex­tended stay, par­tic­u­larly when Edgar mis­laid his trousers and a re­place­ment pair could not be found. As a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion of his role, he took it upon him­self to ex­er­cise his con­sid­er­able charm amongst the wom­en­folk who he took for rides on his Spag­forth. Lord Flat­fish even in­vited him to be­come a mem­ber of the Tem­ple of Aware­ness and re­named him Moon­beam. Edgar may well have drifted into a new life of peace­ful thoughts, de­tach­ment from ma­te­rial pos­ses­sions, and sex­ual lib­erty had it not been for the ar­rival of a pair of bur­ley gen­tle­man hired by the gu­vnor to in­ves­ti­gate the where­abouts of the com­pany’s pro­to­type mo­tor­cy­cle and its star test rider. De­spite Edgar’s protes­ta­tions that he was, “Like, cool man,” and not at all keen to ac­com­pany the men, he and the Grom­met were bun­dled onto a freighter which sailed im­me­di­ately for Bri­tain. All traces of his short but las­civ­i­ous dal­liance with the flower peo­ple were ex­punged by large doses of peni­cillin dur­ing the voy­age home. The Grom­met was con­verted to a fron­tend loader and mar­keted as the Spag­forth Ne­penthes, af­ter the flesh-eat­ing plant of South­east Asia.

Edgar Jes­sop mo­tors into Dog­patch, Mis­souri on the pro­to­type Spag­forth Grom­met dur­ing his Amer­i­can odyssey.

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