A MOTORHEAD'S CHRISTMAS LETTER

Well "HI" everybody!  Gosh, it's probably been about ten years since Cindy and I did one of these.
We have been receiving your Christmas letter every year and have never responded. We thank you. By way of making up, we thought that you might like to hear about our year.  No point in recapping the past twenty years since almost every year is the same as the one before and this year is certainly no exception, so here goes:

January:
Judas Priest! Is there a more dispiriting month than January? I mean, if you’re lucky it starts on a drunken high at midnight on New Years Eve, a hangover the next morning, and downhill from there. Motorsports on TV isn't worth watching. Except for watching the aging drywall millionaires at Barrett-Jackson spend ten times what they should for cars they should be too terrified to drive. It's mystifying, but hardly satisfying.  There is no racing on TV. Anyway, it's just a horrible month and I have no real news from it. Oh yeah, our absolute-best-dog-ever "Muffie" passed away. And, oh yeah, Cindy's mother passed away on New Year’s Day, her (Cindy’s) birthday.

February:
A fine month! A false harbinger of Spring perhaps, but a beginning. Daytona Bike Week, Daytona Speed Weeks, Daytona 500. Something for everyone.  I dug out one of the bikes and trailered it down with a couple of other guys. We got drunk and robbed in a titty bar. We watched the Daytona 200 in a biker bar on a Saturday afternoon where we rooted for the Honda team; that was a mistake. All in all, just a hell of a great trip! Surviving February makes a man proud every dammed year. Oh yeah, one of our kids had her third kid. Great looking kid, nose like mine. I think Cindy was with them. I know she was in the pictures.

March:
Just not a great month! It's a gossip month! Who's gonna drive what for who. Who cares?! Just get on with it. Had a couple of warm days and wheeled the bikes outside to clean them up and air them out. Found a scratch on the tank of the Triumph. God I hate that! I mean it wasn't really noticeable, but it was right down to the primer and I had to take the tank off and fill it in, then buff it out with #4 compound, and then #3 compound, and finish it off with #1. So it took me about two weeks before I could put the tank back on but it looks good as new now. Oh yeah, the orphanage next door blew up in the middle of the night. Gas leak. Hell of a fire.  Not to worry friends, the fire singed the garage doors but never got through to the cars and the bikes. They are just fine, thank you. I was naturally very worried.

April:
Who the hell needs April? Can't drive, can't ride and nothing to watch on TV. Me and a couple of the guys went to a titty bar and got beat up and robbed. Judas Priest, we got to stop doing that. Being robbed I mean! Oh yeah, Cindy and I lost our jobs at the button plant. They're moving to North Carolina or China, I can never remember which. Damn! I hate the way my memory is going!

May:
Now were talking! Racing begins on TV. Watch the F1 race from some godforsaken place where they race at three in the morning. Is that civilized? I have a huge logistics problem with this middle of the night racing. Question is: When to start drinking, equally important, where to watch the dammed thing?  Forget about home, unless you are divorced or have a TV in a remote garage, you don't have a chance of having a few close friends over for a brew and a race in the middle of the goddam night! So me and a couple of the guys settled on a new "niche" bar that just opened down the road. It's a blind titty bar. New idea. No lights, except for the reflection off the TV screen. Everybody just feels their way around with their hands or their canes or their goddam German Shepherd dogs. I had to tip the bartender 20 bucks to put the TV on NBCSN channel.  I was getting used to being felt up and poked with what I hoped were canes. It wasn't all bad. Then a blind guy's goddam German Shepherd put its front paws right up on my knees and looks me right in the eye. Now I like dogs so I reach past my beer to pet the pooch. But the pooch growls at me and shows me all these big white teeth and then proceeds to piss on my leg. I wanted with all my heart to kick that son-of-a-bitch dog right square in the nuts, but he just kept looking me straight in the eye, and pissin’.  He was a big dog and it took a while. Judas Priest, I hate that. Oh yeah, my Uncle Pete got arrested by the Border Patrol for trying to smuggle Mexicans into Arizona.  He was driving my '82 Buick Century station wagon, the one with the 350 engine that I punched out and stroked to about 384 cubes. I had redone a Turbo 400 transmission and put in a nitrous bottle. I guess he was doing just under 120 when he hit the border and the immigration people heard him coming and just got out of the way.  They did say that they heard high pitched screaming from the back of the wagon as it flew by. I guess that the terrified Mexicans had been breathing the nitrous fumes and between that and Uncle Pete's driving they figured they were all gonna die. Anyway, thirty odd miles later, when they finally caught him, those migrants were falling out of the back of that wagon and kissing the ground and the rocks and crying and whimpering. I saw it all on TV. It was horrible. But the old Buick looked really good.  It's a sad story to end the month on, because I know that I'll probably never get that car back now. I really wish he hadn't done that.

June.
June was a fine month. All the racing is in full swing. Oh yeah, here's some good news and bad news; Cindy got a new job as a city bus driver and on her very first day took the back end off a Harley that was parked just outside a strip joint. Talk about a weird coincidence. That was the very same bike I sold to a buddy of mine no more than two days ago. God, that was a neat bike, it was one of the new Harleys with the full disc wheels and the Porsche engine. When I got it off Ebay, it was silver, but I stripped it right down and put a candy apple red on it, and a flat dark red on the frame. It was beautiful. I loved that bike. Oh yeah, and Cindy lost her job at the bus company. Too bad cause we could have used the money and I think she would have been good at it.

July:
Well July always brings out the sensitive side in me. It's just so damned hot and humid, you can't ride a bike in leathers. And I look good in leathers.
So I drive the Vette. It's cherry, triple black, '87 convertible. Unfortunately, the air conditioning gave out in '95 and the refrigerant for it is no longer available so I can't get it to work unless I get a whole new system and it is simply easier to keep the top down and wear sun block. But what the hell, come September the car is killer neat. Anyway I noticed that Cindy seemed a might peevish of late so I planned a bit of a surprise trip to the Florida Keys for us and the Vette. We were one whole day out before I told her where we were going. Well, you should have seen her eyes! My God she was so excited she damned near jumped out of the car right there on the Interstate. She just couldn't say a word for miles and I know she was happy because I could see the tears in her eyes and hear her gentle sobs.  She always cries when she is happy. She had been begging me for years to go to the Keys and I had always resisted. But the other night, when I was surfing the net, I found what looked like a great biker's motel for dirt cheap and made up my mind to give the little lady her heart's desire.
It took a little while before she could speak without crying and I didn't push her. I'm not insensitive. I just kept my mouth shut except for the humming to the Eagle's tape in the deck and my singing the falsetto parts to "Witchy Woman"  You know the part, "oooh, oooh, Witchy Woman, see how high she fliiies, Oooh, oooh, Witchy Woman, she got the moon in her eeyees." . Ahhhh, oh ahhh, oh aaah ahh, ohhahhahaha. You know.  God I love that song.  "Well," I said to her, "This is as good a time as any, after all, no telling how long you'll be unemployed. She just didn't say another word all day. Just sat there looking straight ahead.  Probably thinking about how good the Vette would look against the white sand once we hit the Keys. Well it was a great trip. The Vette looked great and the wax job I gave it before we left held right up right through the whole dammed trip. If you are patient and go through the three step process, and finish with one of those micro fiber finishing cloths, you get a great solid shine that will last a month in any weather.
So anyway, the hotel wasn't quite as advertised but I didn't have a big problem getting used to it. I thought Cindy was a great sport too. The way she laughed and laughed when the lady at the Motel told us that air conditioning was broken and wouldn't be running again until next week. Well, you'd think that Cindy had never heard anything sooo funny. She laughed 'till she cried. That's one happy woman. I'm one lucky guy. And we never ran out of sun block. Quiet month really, not much to report.           

August:
Well August was a lay-low month. Cindy seems quieter since our trip last month and who can blame her. That was one to remember.
I got some new mags and a set of Dunlops for the Vette. I thought about putting on new heads, throwing away the stupid injection system and going back to carbs but, God, working on a black car in the August heat is simply deadly, so I just drank a lot of beer watched a lot of NBCSN and relaxed. August just flew right by eventually, except for Uncle Pete's trial of course, which was all over the local TV news. The Buick looked killer on TV and I personally would have like to have seen more shots of it showing the ET mags I had put on it. But those TV guys just seemed to dwell on absolutely every unflattering picture of Uncle Pete they could find. I really don't think he did much to help his cause by giving the camera the finger and trying to drop those bright orange "County Jail jammies" they made him wear. Orange is definitely not his color. They showed the lady judge warning Uncle Pete that if he didn't stop trying to pull his pants down he would be held in contempt. That seemed a little harsh to me but that feisty old bugger just gave her the finger and tried to reach for his drawstring.  God, I do wish Uncle Pete would give a little more thought to the impression he is leaving. What will people think of us? After all, everybody knows that was my Buick he was driving on TV.
      
September:
It was a great month for racing on TV. The NASCAR guys were at The Glen, the motorcycle guys in Europe were still providing the best racing on TV. The F1 guys were glaring at each other, or not, while calling each other by their first names in the press conferences.  I had the Ducati out for a track day and scared myself whizless. If these dammed leathers weren't so tight I'd fit some "Depends" in there and avoid a degree of discomfort. But they are way too tight for that. I bought the suit used, hardy worn, but one size too small. I look really good in it but I have to be careful not to raise my arms or shrug my shoulders.  Me and the guys stopped at a bar on the way home. It was a Tuesday and we were the only ones in the place. Got home intact and with my wallet. Somehow, it just wasn't the same.
They found Uncle Pete "guilty" and he will be sentenced next month. The lawyer tells us that he could get anywhere between five and fifty years and if he doesn't stop trying to raise his finger, it will surely be fifty.  Oh yeah, Cindy got home from the sanitarium and she is just fine. Quiet, but just fine. She sure looked good. It must be the food over there.

October: 
Hey! The season is winding down. The cool weather is great for riding and the Vette loves this weather. Crewed for a buddy of mine who races Miatas. They do these endurance races for the little buggers and these guys get very serious about it. I was assigned to help with the tires and at first I thought that I should maybe have more responsibility or something. Then the little bugger comes in for a brake change and I see the guys working on it burning their hands, their arms and their legs. So I just put my head down and made sure that I didn't drop the lug nuts. You gotta be really serious about crewing to BBQ your body parts just to win a Miata race.
I put the new carb set up on the Vette this month. It really pulls now and I know that the stock rear end won't handle it. That's the thing about screwing with cars, you make one part right and the next part down the line needs your help. It's a bitch. 
Oh yeah, Cindy is much better now. She can look at the Vette without breaking into tears, but she refuses to ride in it. Just when it is running strong! Go figure.

November:
Everything came to an end in November. From the 20th on there was nothing on TV. Nothing. Very sad. For the final NASCAR race me and a couple of buddies went down to this new sports bar to suck back a couple and watch the race. When we got there, there were about 150 guys watching the goddam football game. We just got the hell out of there and we just headed back to my garage. I rigged up my little rabbit eared, black and white, sucked up a case of liquid courage and watched Jimmie Johnson win his championship. Uncle Pete got five years and the deputy Sheriff got my Buick. The judge said she had met with "Mr. Peter Slocomb" in her chambers and thought that "Mr. Peter Slocomb" could be reformed. Go figure. Oh yeah, Cindy started seeing a marriage counselor this month. I think that this is a good thing and that it will strengthen her. She is still a very handsome woman, even after four kids.

December:
This is usually a month of rest and gift giving. I unplugged the TV for the month and I was all set to relax when I noticed a drop of oil under the car. Right away I knew that it was the rear transmission seal and I started tearing that mother apart.  I rebuilt both the tranny and the rear end. I can't stand oil on the floor. Three days later it was fixed. So that brings us to about now. Everything is good. Not perfect but good. One of the bikes won't start and needs a new battery. It's always something, isn't it?  For Christmas I got myself some tools and motorcycle lift and some new soft Dunlops for the track bike. I bought the Vette a new air conditioning system. In retrospect I think it would have been nice on the trip to the Keys. It could have saved on sun block too. Speaking of Cindy, I got her a killer set of pearls for Christmas. Not like she hasn't been hinting for years. Anyway I got a really good deal on EBay on this set of real cultured pearls. And you know what's really neat? Each pearl has the outline of a little Chevy logo on it in red and, if you want, it lights up with this tiny little battery at the clasp. It's beautiful and I know she'll cry when she sees it.  
Oh Yeah, Cindy and I are both going to see the counselor. I have no idea why I should go, but apparently he feels that I could be part of her problem. Mystery to me. We talked for damned near two hours and I still don't see what I have to do with her problem. He says I should come back next month. And I might, cause like I said, January is a quiet month.
Cindy has planned this killer party for New Year's Eve. You should drop by if you are in the neighborhood. So, like I said, same old, same old. Looking forward to reading your Christmas letter.

Happy Holidays,

Frank and Cindy