Right, let’s make up for lost time!!
Phil was on a roll today, he’d bought some fuel from the remains of a petrol station and had stunned his friends with some really confusing shit and to top it off, he hadn’t taken the brick off the accelerator for an hour or so now.
And then, they saw it, the Gryphon Gear Corolla, broken and desolate by the side of the road, flanked by the GG team.
Phil removed his sunglasses out of respect and shed a single tear at the death of a Toyota.
It was a few miles before anyone spoke again and soon the team was feeling quite chatty by Humboldt, in fact, by the time they swung by the botanical gardens for their POI photos, the team was at each others throats, with a tired Ken stoking the fires of discontent with vigor.
‘‘So what’s the deal with this macho-man bullshit?’’ he muttered
Phil smiled. ''I go places, I see things and I know people"
“And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“No idea pops, but he’s got this strange presence over people, he keeps talking about “Erwin Baker” and stuff like that” complained Jason.
Ken smirked, he had a fair idea of Phil’s game now, but he was content to let this little story continue for a little while longer.
“So, aside from arguing, when are we stopping next?” asked Simon as the big boat bounced over a kerb and scrapped back onto the road.
“Did we just bottom out on normal road junction?” asked Jason
“Must be all the weights in the back” said Phil
“Not to mention all of those bricks” muttered Ken.
The team was wearing down now, the once luxurious seats were feeling harder by the second and these seats had stopped being luxurious in 2003.
Big Redwoods towered over the car which offered a short reprise from the awful car ride before their sightseeing was interrupted by a small knocking sound.
“What’s that?” asked everyone in the car at once.
The car continued on-wards but the sound became faster and faster before it stopped and everything was silent.
“OH” exclaimed Phil “That’s the fuel gauge trying to move!”
“Are we out already?” asked Jason
“We must be! And look! There’s a station right up ahead, we’ll stop there and be back on the road in no time!” continued Phil, being excited about doing his “Erwin Baker” routine again.
The Bamford heaved to a stop at the browser and Phil, flanked by Simon, walked into the petrol station, Phil seemed preoccupied with checking a small piece of paper with a long list of names and places on it.
“We’d like to buy some fuel” smirked Phil, walking to the nearest counter, leaning onto it and lowering his sunglasses all at once.
“Erwin Baker sent us” he continued.
The attendant glowered at him.
“Did I say it wrong?” Phil asked, who had turned on some sort of tap and was suddenly sweating like crazy now.
“You’d be looking for Justus, he left here yesterday after the cops found out about his little back-door operation”
“Can we ignore that this happened and we just paid for some street fuel?”
“I don’t think so”
Simon, meanwhile had gone to the other attendant and paid for the fuel which Jason had pumped, he sidled over to Phil and handed him a piece of paper, Phil took a single look at it, swore something awful and he bolted for the door as Simon walked out behind him.
“Sorry about my friend” he called out to no-one in particular “He forgot his meds today”
As the Bamford slowly eased away, the first attendant was trying to prove to their co-worker that those guys were part of some underground league of hooligans.
“And I’ll prove it! Look at this note!” they yelled, thrusting the paper to their co-worker
The other attendant read the note and started laughing “Are you sure?”
The coworker handed them the note which was written in big, bold letters.
“KEN THINKS YOU’RE GAY”
Phil had almost explained his bizarre actions to the team but he kept pausing, claiming he heard a train horn in the distance, Simon had agreed with him, adding that he’d heard school bells that morning.
Eager to get some rest, Ken had directed the team to stop in Petaluma at the cheapest motel in town and, looking pretty similar to the last motel, the team went to book in and were met with a young woman at the desk.
She was an attractive sort of girl with long blonde hair and a public relations smile.
“Hi, I’m Lucy, Name please” she stated, with so little enthusiasm that it actually hurt Ken to hear it.
“That with a C or K?”
“Ken or Clark?”
“Never mind, sign here, name, city of origin, etc.” she muttered, pointing to a red book on the desk
Ken signed his name and hometown before handing the book to her, she read his name, several times before suddenly perking up.
“Are you really from Silverstone?”
“Yeah, that’s where my factory is”
“You’re THE Ken Clark? From Bamford?”
Ken smiled “I certainly am!”
“OHMYGOD” she yelled “My dad would LOVE to meet you! Follow me, please, you have to see this!”
Ken gestured to the boys outside and they walked to a small shed around the back of the motel whereupon the woman threw the doors of the shed open to reveal a big British super car.
“My dad’s out of town, but you have to sign the dash for him and get some photos of you in the car, he’d love that!”
“Yep” chuckled Ken “That’s one of ours, 1970 BA Shark”
Ken and Lucy spent the next half hour pouring over things like track width and quad exhausts while Phil was busying himself by making his famous Tomato and Sausage Casserole on his little gas burner.
(I won’t tie up the thread with the recipe, but it’s good, PM me if you’re interested)
And soon the five of them settled down for a nice meal in the car park of a cheap motel in the middle of West Coast America.
Phil explained to her the details of the race and all the adventures he and his mates had been on so far, from Simon making a speedometer out of a mobile phone to Ken’s methodical part checking and Jason’s misadventure on the ferry the previous morning, it was pretty clear that despite Phil trying to wing-man for everyone else on the team, Lucy was becoming increasingly interested in the young Englishman and shortly after dinner, Phil and Lucy went off walking.
“Well, where does that leave us?” asked Ken as the couple strolled down the footpath
“Time for some sleep I think” yawned Simon “After all, we’ve got one last shot down that freeway and we’re going to make damn sure we at least finish”
“You know Simon” laughed Jason, slowly standing up from a chair he’d made from bricks and suitcases “I think that’s the most you’ve said all weekend!”