Have you or anyone you know won the lottery?
I thought so. No one ever wins the lottery. All the stories you read about hard-working couples from Mossy Nipple Bend, Tasmania, receiving a cheque for $80m and then buying each of their 14 kids an MG Ignis and then giving the rest away to greedy relos are fake news.
It was the same in Lonnie when talking to other competitors in Targa Tasmania. Many were surprised to meet the Sultan. Not surprised when I introduced him as my father but surprised that he really existed.
I know that the term Renaissance Man/Woman or Other has fallen out of favour of late. (Note to younger readers: Renaissance M/W or O is used to describe a very clever person who is good at many different things. It is named after the Renaissance period of history. Two of the best known Renaissance people from this time were, appropriately enough, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.)
Appropriately enough because, of course, Michael McMichael is not only the official nude portrait painter to the Windsor family (except two) of London, he is the Michelangelo of all the BMW service shops in Stepney, a wheel person of some note, the author of numerous books including the international bestsellers Sex in a Parking Station: Why It’s Wrong On So Many Levels and Don’t Worry: It Only Seems Kinky The First Time, and resident poet of the Corner Bar of the Kensi of a Friday night.
So, it came as a shock to hear from readers that they thought Mick had to be fake news given how much of a hard time I give him in this very column in both the newspaper and online versions.
In fact, reader No 6, legendary rally person John Doble, 1961 Volvo driver of Sydney, pinched the old bloke a few times to make sure he wasn’t a robot or blow-up doll.
Of course, Tasmanian competitors did make very unfunny jokes about us being from the North Island.
In fairness I do want to point out that (and this will be the first time he hears it) Mick did complain about my navigation on stage four of the rally. (I did recommend I should drive all the time versus 50 per cent but his hearing aid batteries had run out.) It turned out instead of stage four, I was reading and calling out the pace notes for stage five, which did cause some obvious issues.
In other news, this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix saw all 80,000 tickets sold out in 40 minutes because apart from sun, sex and the worlds – Disney World, Universal World, Sea World, Lego World, Kennedy Space Centre World, Gator World, Peppa Pig World, Holy Land World and our own personal favourite, Jimmy Buffett (author of our theme song here Why don’t we get drunk and screw in the tappet cover?) World – there’s SFA to do there. This may explain why this week Mad Max and Checo Perez bowled the first balls at the Miami Marlins vs Arizona baseball (a poor US imitation of cricket) game with most commentators suggesting the two should stick to car racing. I’m betting on a Chuck Leclerc, Mad Max, Hamo podium on Sunday.
Talking of Taylor Swift’s Getaway Car (No.38 on Billboard’s 100 Greatest Car Songs of All Time), can I point you to a few ditties on autos that you may have missed. Charting at No.38 is Ronny and The Daytonas’ GTO. You may think you know the surf rock number but have you really listened to lyrics like “three deuces and a four-speed/and a three-eighty-nine.” As Billboard says: “The three deuces were a reference to the GTO’s unique three double-barrelled carburettors, four speed described the car’s transmission while three-eighty-nine was a nod to the 389 V8 engine.”
Then there’s No.8, Ride Wit Me, sung with lots of grabbing of his nether region by American rapper, singer and entrepreneur Nelly featuring his good friend City Spud, an American rapper, record producer and armed robber. For a US video based on Smokey and the Bandit and featuring a Peterbilt 379 truck filled with non-men wearing limited clothing, a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, a 1971 Caddy Eldorado and a Ford F350, it’s a shock to hear the lyrics featuring the Indian-owned, British-designed Range Rover.
Early on Mr Nelly emotes: “When the sky’s the limit and them haters can’t get past that/watch me as I gas that 4 dot 6 Range.” The final mention unfortunately is made to rhyme with words one would only hear when the Sultan brings the back of the Beemer around to the front as the car heads towards the assembled media on a very tight corner.
Just time to mention the Noosa (South Yarra by the sea) 2022 Championship Hill Climb Series beginning June 3; Coopers Brewery adding a visitor centre, microbrewery and whisky distillery to its Adelaide global HQ; and the Bonhams Les Grandes Marques à Monaco starting Friday and featuring Jack Brabham’s own race-winning V8 Brabham-Climax BT3 Formula 1. Mention the Sultan’s name and it’s yours fully restored, ready to race for $750k.