A dull sounding thud and Chainsaw feels warm blood trickling down the nape of his neck, everything slows down like a twelve frame a second cartoon, he turns around and looks at Toads headless body lying slumped across what left of the platoons Kit. He looked up at the sunset through the clouds of cordite and started to hum the melody from Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze, while the din of battle gathered around the group at the levels of a Fillmore west Grateful dead concert. Chainsaw, refocusing his attention, picks up the radio from Tanks pack and yells into it “we are pinned down here and we are surrounded over”.
“Ok baker gives us your map reference.” Said the rather pompous operator. Chainsaw screamed above the rifle fire “No way, last time I gave you gave you those, you gave the fucking fly boys the wrong coordinates and wiped out half of the platoon over. The R/O replied in a miffed voice “Hold your position and we will send in reinforcements, over”, Chainsaw replied in a sad voice as he could see the VCs making ready to charge. “No time for that, we are completely fucked over”. The R/O sounding like a strangled cat, replied, trying to recover his pompousness “No obscenities over the radio Captain, you know the regulations over”.
Chainsaw, looking around at the hopelessness of their last moments, Tank and Sprocket, his highway compadres, their rifle barrels glowing, dancing like fire flies, spitting lead at the unseen enemy from the trench of no return, was suddenly overcome with raw anger as he was staring down the barrel of infinity “oh I’m so very fucking sorry, see you in hell mother fucker, over and fucking out.”
Chainsaw looks around at the madness and bedlam moving towards them, his mind tries to escape and takes him back to when the gang first started. His father, Ron, who owned the garage, was shot by Spit, leader of the Slaves of Lucifer, for spilling a bit of petrol on the tank of Spits custom shop chopper, he remember looking up from the old army Harley he was restoring as Spit looked at his father with a withering glare as he apologised. He watched helpless as his father started to reach for the rag in his back pocket to wipe the mess off the breasts of the demon airbrushed onto the tank, but Spit just pulled out his .44 and shot him in the chest. Chainsaw looked on in horror as the whole crazy cameo took on a cartoon like reality. His Father dropped like a sack of spuds, dead before he hit the ground, His hand, still on the nozzle of the pump gave an involuntary squeeze on the trigger, petrol spurting out all over him. Spit looked down on his handiwork, smiled, took out his lighter and lit his cigar then bent down and lit the petrol, he laughed as the body was engulfed in flames, he kicked his Chopper over, and it roared into life. the twin stack exhaust belching fire. He kicked the hog into gear and released the clutch, then rode off, as if it was a normal day.
Chainsaw dropped his tools as the gun went off, by the time he had made it to the garage door; his father was lying on the forecourt, his body a mass of flames. Chainsaw hits the cut button on the front of the building with his hand to seal off the petrol. The nozzle was glowing red, as Chainsaw started to spray his father’s body with the extinguisher, the heat was incredible and the smell of burning flesh, not unlike a hog roast. It filled his nostrils with an acrid stench. Bear his brother who had seen the whole macabre play out as he was riding into the garage. He accelerated onto the forecourt, the big panhead chopper roared like thunder as he watched Spit ride off. He pulled alongside what was left of his Father as Chainsaw finished spraying with the extinguisher they both just looked at the burnt and blackened body.
At his father’s funeral, two old school buddies turned up, no words were needed, they just moved in. Together with Bear and Chainsaw they started renovating the motel and Bike shop. Tank and Sprocket started customising choppers, Chainsaw converted part of the building into a diner. Some whores arrived one day and made a proposition on the motel and Diner and they too moved in.
The local Sheriffs dept did their job and there was no case to answer, as there were no witnesses. Chainsaw went to the court and witness after witness said Spit was with them at the time of the murder. Spit winked at him from the witness box. Chainsaw left the courthouse and checked his mirror and saw the Sheriff shaking hands with Spit, slapping him on the back and laughing handing him an envelope. Chainsaw rode off with Bear and vowed to kill them both one day.
The sheriff pulled in the garage the next day and said to Chainsaw. “Very sorry for your loss Chainsaw, I hope you won’t be taking this any further, for if you do we will come for you”. Chainsaw just looked the sheriff up and down and turned on his heel and walked away as the red mist of rage gathered around him like a cloak of raw fury.
Chainsaw was close to his father and went into a quiet depression; his friends noticed this and even the whores couldn’t shake it from him. Tank and Sprocket were in town, where they saw a poster outside the army requiting office and decided he needed to get away, so they signed him and themselves up for a stint in Vietnam. The thinking being, a good war is always the right way to get depression out of any ones system. Leaving Bear behind to look after the Gas station Chainsaw and his highway hounds set off to Vietnam for ole Uncle Sam.
A grenade exploded about 30 feet away, the concussion jolting Chainsaw away from his reverie he turns to Tank. “Tank, how many rounds you got left, “Fifty sixty” said the six foot eight bundle of muscle, Sprocket the smallest of the group said ‘bout the same” in his lazy Appalachian drawl, “howsa about you Toad” he said sighting up a VC. He turns around and looks down into the trench. Chainsaw points with his rifle to Toads head, gazing up at the group with a stunned look of surprise, he looks down at the head and says with a chuckle, “He can’t talk right now; he ain’t what you can call connected anymore. Well guys, this is it, we either surrender and take it up the ass or...Tank looks up from Toads head and says, “nice knowing ya Chainsaw, you too Sprocket”, Sprocket, mesmerised by the look on bloodied face staring back, wondering if he will look as surprised if he gets it, drags his gaze away, “Goes for me too”.
Chainsaw looking at them for an extended time “we sure as fuck have had a great time, hey boys, shall we go out with a bang”? Tank looks at Sprocket who nods, “Yeah, let’s give ‘em a real fright and fuck ‘em over. Sprocket laughs “Lets rock’n’roll, but first, one last joint for old times’ sake, shame no beer, but we will endeavour to persevere”. He reaches into his top pocket and starts to pull out the makings, when heavy machine gun fire and grenade explosions comes booming from the left like a bass vocal from a Doo Wop band and a Banshee voice screaming “die you gook mother fuckers, ha ha ha, ha ha ha, Yabba dabba doooo, fuck you all and die” . And then nothing.
A silence so loud, it collapsed with a deafening roar onto the trench of no return, leaving the trio dazed and confused. A grinning face and two white eyes surrounded by cordite black appeared over the lip of the trench “You Septic Tanks can come out now, Skippy the Killer Kangaroo has monstered the Gooks, any you blokes got a joint or a nice cold beer. Sprocket starts to roll the joint from the makings he just pulled from his pocket “Good Golly Miss Molly” whoever you are, you can have the biggest sweetest joint right now.”
The grinning face says “Thanks”, his speech speeding up into an incoherent babble. “The acid and speed ball cocktail is levelling off a bit, ahma gunna need to keep my edge up, those gooks might come back from the dead, ya just never know, I had this gook, he just wouldn’t lay down and die ya know, I emptied a whole clip into ‘im and he just kept on a comin’ at me so I skewered him with the pig sticker, well, that quieted him down quite a bit.” Chainsaw looks up at the stoned face peering down on them, he had the grin of the
Alice in wonderland Cheshire cat, the grin said “well howsa ‘bout it, a beer or a
Joint, have you got one or both” Chainsaw looks up at the manic face covered in mud, blood and powder exhaust, “Umm sorry to interrupt the speed rap but, who the fuck are you”.
The grin said “I’m Knucklehead Pete,” as he slides down into the trench of no return, Chainsaw steadies him as he trips over Toads body “I’m Chainsaw”, Sprocket leans over and passes him the unlit joint, “I’m Sprocket.” Knucklehead nods, takes it and pulls out his skull and crossbones Zippo, click and the flint conjures up the flame demon, Knucklehead takes a long hard toke.. Shhhhhhhhhhip mmm nice puff man, local is it. Sprocket smiles “well we like it, there was a pause as Knucklehead blew out the smoke. So, how come your here, in this shit hole”.
Knucklehead feels the weed fairy gently caressing his inner sanctum, he shivers and turns to Tank holding out the joint, Tanks says “Tank” and takes the joint, Knucklehead nods, he begins slowly exhaling the sweet smoke of heaven and says. “I lost my patrol about two Klicks back over the ridge. We stopped for a rest, I went behind this tree for a shit, just as the acid and speed ball was a kickin’ in, fuck me I dropped this monster fart, then all hell broke loose, For a second there, I thought it was my fart that blew the platoon away, but we were being ambushed by the VC. I hid inside the tree, fuck me it was ripe, someone ought to shoot the ration caterers. It was a right pig shoot, they took them all out, those that were still breathin’, they pig stuck, I guess they were aiming to do the same to you guys, I followed them, bided my time and then when I was high enough, I hit ‘em end of story.
Chainsaw looked in awe at this big Australian. “Thank fuck you did” he said, “We were just about to go over the top and go out in style, thanks a lot for doing what you did, you must have chrome plated balls.” “Thank Mr Owsley For his excellent acid” said Knucklehead “and the US Medics for cooking up the
Speed, we buy it by the Kilo, quality shit man”. “Where’s your CO and Base” said Tank, All dead I guess, lamented Knucklehead, “last I heard they got whacked about eight hours ago. We got a transmission, asking our co-ordinates, then nothin’. “Wow”, said Tank, Chainsaw, I’ll call in let em know we’re still around” Ok?. Passing the joint back to Knucklehead.
Chainsaw nods to Tank and looks quizzically at Knucklehead and asks. “Where you from Knucklehead”. Taking a long toke and blowing out the genie, Knucklehead replies, a hint of nostalgia in his voice, “Sydney, in OZ, I was a Biker, well I still am, I rode alone, sometimes with the Bad ass clubs to a bash, but I mainly rode alone, better that way, no one pushin’ me around.
Sprocket taking the joint from Knucklehead “Funny about that” he says. “We ride too, we have a place in Colorado up in the Rockies, Small town truck stop, Six Whorehouse cabins out the back, bike shop ‘round the side.“Cool, nice, girls?” said Knucklehead. “Only the best” said Chainsaw, “what are your plans after you get out”. “Well I cain’t go back to Oz” he replied, “Cops want me for not paying alimony on drug deals, plus I shot one for trying to steal my Bike, so I joined the Army to hide out and three weeks basic training later, I was here, serving the American and Aussie Weapons industries.
Could be, I guess I will hide out here in a Saigon whorehouse and try and get a lift to the States. Chainsaw nods “When does your tour finish.” “Six hours ago, we were due back at two it must be about eight, I was going to sign up for another tour, to avoid being shipped home, you know, cops!. I also thought about trying to make it into Thailand ‘cos I cain’t go back to Oz. Chainsaw turns to him and says , “Join us, we have three days left on this tour, we don’t have a gang, but we ride and we have a good business going, bringing in good dollars. We joined up to do our bit, fuck knows why; it seemed like a good idea at the time eh guys. Tank laughs “Blame Sprocket, he’s just brimming with great ideas” “Aww Fuck you, here we are” “We had to get outa town “said Chainsaw.
Knucklehead, looking at them through the haze of drugs, cordite and general
drugged brain addlement, looks up from Toads vacant stare, “Oh right. Join you guys, well I guess it sounds pretty cool, you got good roads in the states I hear”. Right in one, said Chainsaw and the cutest whores this side of Denver, you saved our sorry asses, this is a payback” Tank and Sprocket nod like two stoned fairground clowns. The Cheshire grin spreads across Knuckleheads face like a cat that found the catnip. “I haven’t got a bike” he said. “And I’ve spent all my pay on drugs and booze, but I’ve got a few hundred grand back in Sydney safe in a bank”. Chainsaw laughs “Not a problem we can sort something out”. How do I get through US processing.” The Cheshire grin dissipating.
“Ummm I got it, take Toads Dog Tags, he had no family back home and now he’s got no head, boom boom, no recognition problem”, said Tank. Sprocket pipes up “And the entire platoon is dead, save us three and you” Tank completes the round Robin with a “Who’s to know, and who’s gunna care any way vibe.”Let’s do it”, we’ll get his passport and ID, and when we get back, we’ll change the photo, a Media Sergeant owes me a favour. The radio crackles into life, like a death rattle from a waking corpse. “Ok Guys, choppers on its way” said the over important operator.
Sprocket, looking around the group. “Well”. The Cheshire grin returning to Knuckleheads face with a vengeance says. Let’s do it”. “Grab the Tags and swap uniforms, he’s about your size” said Tank undoing Spits webbing belt, I got the boots said Sprocket. “Aw fuck, brain, blood and bone Yuk” exclaimed Knucklehead pulling off the jacket. Well, whaddaya know, didn’t know he had any” said Sprocket. “That’s ok, it’ll wash, who was he.” said Knucklehead. He used to ride with us sometimes, he was from the next town and he happened to be in on the bet, Toad was a loner but a good guy. Knucklehead was putting on Toads uniform, “sorry to see you dead Toad, but thanks for the leg up.”
The dull wop wop of the chopper could be heard over the din of the dawn chorus. “Here comes the Chopper, throw a flare Sprocket, Roger, our position is by the open clearing” said Tank. “Is the area clean” said the R/O. Absolutely Spotless”. Winking at Knucklehead, said Tank. R/O crackled “Ok coming in, any dead to take back? “ No, there is nothing left of them, they all copped a shell said Tank” The chopper appeared over head like a floating walrus and gently landed, kicking up a fuss of leaves and jungle stuff.
Denver airport, all bright shiny and new. The jet begins its descent; Knucklehead looks out on his new home, swing low chariot taxi down easy ,right up to the terminal gate. “Well what a breeze” said Knucklehead! “I passed
through the US processing like shit through a needle, we are all mustered out
and here we are”.
The roar of a V 8 pick up, pulling a trailer full of Bikes, pulled in, just as the gang walked out into the chill Denver morning. The driver, in the standard red neck issue dirty frayed baseball cap and red plaid western shirt, leans out of the pickup window and said “You boys just gotta be CST”, I was told to deliver these here choppers”. Chainsaw walks over to the driver, while the others walk over to the trailer, that’s right, here’s our Ids. Tank, undoing the tailgate points out a custom rig. The big grin leaps across Knuckleheads face as he looks at the Chopper, the purple air brushed petrol tank, with its fantasy figure of a half naked Valkyrie draped across it. The chrome everything and the powder paint black frame, and added bonus of the two-cylinder, 45 degree, push rod actuated overhead valve V-twin customised Knucklehead engine, the fish tail exhaust pipe and Breezer and handlebars.
“What the holy fuck” burst out of knuckleheads’ grin, it’s a fucking work of art. “Toad was an artist said Sprocket “spent all a his time arting stuff, his cabin was full of stuff, his guns, everything, he was a real nut for it”. “This hog belongs to you” said Tank, “as a token of our appreciation for saving our sorry asses , after all, you are, as far as the US of A is concerned, you are Toad. So here it is Charles Knucklehead Wilson”, with a huge bow and a sweep
of his hand “Your hog Sir Knucklehead”, clearly overawed by the sheer beauty of the bike, was standing stunned “I don’t know what to say”. “Sprocket walks up and puts a hand on his shoulder, he says softly. “Just ride it, that’s all you have to do, that’s what Toad would of wanted, you are with us now and as far as we are concerned, after what you did for us back in Nam this is small pickins. Chainsaw walks over “Ok, saddle up and let’s go home” the four jump on their bikes simultaneously, kicking over the huge engines. They roar off, away from the airport and away from the from the world of stupid straights and back to normality, back to Bikerdom.
For years we humble servants of the eating public have been held up to ridicule by all and sundry as being difficult, temperamental, bad tempered, irritable, prone to knife throwing, pot throwing, and all around culinary legends. Remember that the Chef is humbly working away in the kitchen under enormous pressure, putting together dishes that would be fit for a king, and you, the undeserving public, have the gall to criticise us, be warned, by sending in these endless complaints that you voice just loud enough, so you can be heard in the next town whilst trying to impress your girl friend with your culinary expertise and the beleaguered waiting staff with little moans like, “oh the Mousse was a bit heavy” or too light or the gravy was not reduced properly to much heat maybe, or not as nice as my mums, how about, tell the chef that the pate in the Rossini was a little grainy and I don’t like grainy pate. This is good but have you got mushy peas and so the list goes on.
So, after many years of working as a Chef, I have collected these stories from my long-suffering colleagues around the world, of what they have done to customers and employers that have upset them. All the chefs will remain nameless for good reason, as the last laugh, must always be had by the Chef.
So remember that when you walk into an establishment to eat, whether a roadside cafe or a top class restaurant, tip the chef well, keep sending back the compliments, because outlined below are what we can do to you if you don’t.
This is one from Australia. A new manager of a hotel and his family kept on going into the cold room and taking six chocolate mousses each night after the Chef and his brigade had gone home. If they had friends over, up to a dozen mousses would go missing. Every morning the Chef would have to assign a staff member to make up more mousse, or horrors, the head Chef would have to make them up himself.
A week of this went by, and the Chef was beginning to get a little peeved. On this particular morning all of the staff were nursing hangovers of biblical proportions, after the Sous Chef’s birthday at a bar in the next town, and that morning the Head Chef had to remake a dozen mousses. Chef was not amused,
he had the chocolate melting down in the Bain Marie, the cream all ready and the eggs separated. He fitted the blades into the hand blender to begin whipping the egg whites, and as he turned the blender on, out came pieces of the cockroaches that had taken up residence for the night, as this was in an hotel in the north of Australia where ‘cockies’ are a part of life. The Chef looked at the Sous Chef - he nodded, he turned to the Saucier - he nodded, as he looked around to the whole kitchen staff, they all nodded their approval.
After he had finished the mousse, he kept them to one side, and that night he put them to the front of the tray. Sure enough, that morning all of the roach mousses had gone. When the family came down that morning the manager and his wife came into the kitchen and said ‘Chef, those mousses we had last night’. All in the kitchen fell quiet; the Chef turned from his Bombe Alaska and said ‘yyyess’. ‘Chef’ the manager said in his pompous voice ‘never before have I, I mean we’, looking at his wife ‘had a taste experience as good as that mousse we had last night, especially the crunchy chocolate pieces,’ interrupted his wife. ‘Thank you’ said the Chef graciously, ‘I’m glad you liked them, I’ll make them that way in future for you if you want’. ‘Would you?’ said the manager. ‘I’d be delighted’ said the Chef.
In a hotel up in northern New South Wales in Australia, the local police had had other units drafted from the capital Sydney to take out raids on the local hippie farms for Marijuana patches - most were just out of Cop College and out to change the world.
All of the kitchen staff enjoyed a quiet puff as did the whole town, including the local cops who resented the incursion by the out-of-towners with their smart city ways and technology, but had no choice with the new commissioner’s war on drugs.
It was a busy day in the hotel restaurant, and all of the newcomers were ripping it up at the bar and at the tables. The local cops, all three of them, were at their usual table playing cards and had just ordered their usual rump steak with mushroom and onion sauce. One of the out-of-towners, a little worse for wear, started to mouth off how he dragged this hippy out of his tin shack and shoved his pistol in his mouth and forced him to tell him where his patch was. All of the out-of-towners joined in with their own tales of terror perpetrated against the locals.
The local Sergeant was getting a little tired of all this and beckoned the already sexually harassed waitress to come over and ask if the Chef would like to join them for a drink. The Chef came out and sat down to a beer. ‘Chef’ said the Sergeant, ‘can you fix these young pricks including their uppity boss who are upsetting my town?’ ‘Sure, Sarge’ said the Chef.
The loud young cop saw the waiter bring the rump steaks on sizzle platters to the local cops, all smoking and the smell got to him, and he yelled ‘ hey fellas! we’ll all have one of those,’ so the order went out to the kitchen, and after the kitchen and waiting staff had all spat on or urinated on the out-of-towners steaks, the chef put a strong laxative into the mushroom and onion sauce. All of the police were sent back to Sydney after the raids failed because of sickness, and the little town got back to normal.
This is one from the north of England. At a seaside hotel, a party of three families were always causing trouble, especially their eight rowdy children, who were always poking fun at the Chef because of his size, which was very generous, even by traditional Chef standards. On this one occasion, the children had been taunting the Chef, and their parents had ignored the problem, by treating all of the hotel staff as their personal servants. It was ten o’clock in the morning, and after a disastrous breakfast with food all over the place, the family had gone off to the beach until lunch, with instructions for real hamburgers for lunch on their return.
One of the waiting staff came into the kitchen, where he heard the Chef muttering from the food prep area, and a slapping sound. He edged closer and peeked around the corner, and there was the Chef, saying ‘that’s for you little Bobbie, you prick’, slap slap, ‘and that one’s for you, little Susan, you little bitch’, slap slap. There was the Chef without his jacket, standing in front of a tray of hamburger mince, grabbing a handful and rolling it up into a ball, and putting it under his arm pit and slapping his arm down twice to flatten it out. That was, in my eyes, sweet!