Late night call from Sir Big Swinging Dick. He’s on of his Big Branson Ideas again. “Bernie'” he says, “Are you still worrying how to get enough spectators to that US Grand Prix of yours?”
I point out that it’s not me worrying about that, but Tavo Hellmund and the Comptroller of the State of Texas. But he’s not listening. Probably had a couple of Martinis too many at the Paddock Bar.
“D’you know what’s drawing the big crowds in California right now?” he blares. I must admit that nothing in particular springs to mind. The World Soccer Championship, perhaps? “Nope. It’s mooning.”
“Yep. Organised mooning. I’m not making this up. They moon trains. Gather at the tracks and wait till the train’s coming. At the signal they all drop their pants and moon the train. You know, full Moon? Two each, actually. Get it?
I get it. So what do you want to do, have people moon the drivers when they race by? Won’t they be going a little bit too fast for that?
Barely have I finished my memo to Boris Johnson, or my phone starts making orgasm sounds. That’s the ringtone I use for Sir Big Swinging Dick.
Good morning Bernie, he blares into the phone. I see you’re getting big time into street racing these days! That’s a great stunt you boys pulled in front of Westminster Abbey this morning. Mind if do the same in Las Vegas one of these days?
As a matter of fact I do, I tell him. In fact, very much so. To start with, I’m in charge of circuits and no one else is. Second, I know you keep going on about Las Vegas but let’s do Texas first, shall we? Let’s try and see if the US can handle one race, and if it does we can always go to two. And third, it wasn’t me who pulled that stunt, it was the Red Bull gang and they’re in for a lot of trouble. As will you, if I see any more unauthorised street racing. Is that clear?
Wohoho, Bernie, he says, no need to get all bonkers on me. It was just an idea, you know. Thinking out aloud. I still think the Vegas Strip is a splendid idea, though. Or else the streets of San Fransisco. I mean, can you imagine those F1 cars going down Lombard Street?
I hang up before I start to tell him where he can stick his Lombard Street fantasies.