I told a joke. To say it didn’t land that well, could be a touch of an understatement. You see, it has been said before that I can ‘lack discernment’. Mostly by judgey pricks, but that’s not the point here.
Before I get to the joke, perhaps a little background…
Spencer is the King Pin around INFO MOTO HQ when it comes to handing out jobs. I salute and obey. I’ve found that works best with Spencer.
His Majesty’s furrowed brow recently presented at the door of his office. Always a daunting prospect. I immediately closed nunsrunwild dot com and snapped to attention.
“Can you ride to Canberra with a squillion boys in blue? On your motorcycle. Don’t get into trouble, remember you are representing INFO MOTO. There’s a good lad.”
Who am I to argue in my dotage. He could put me out to pasture at any moment.
‘What the hell have I got myself into this time’, was the general brain currency sparking in the old Snaggy bonce. ‘I’ve spent most of my life hiding from the blue buggers’.
Still, it is my humble duty to forward the good of INFO MOTO, so I loaded Cicero the S 1000 XR and prepared to ride to Canberra, picking up the checkered bunch, who had left Melbourne that very morning.
Lakes Entrance on Victoria’s east coast was my rendezvous point for a run to picturesque tourist trap Merimbula where the gathered gang of enthusiastic enforcers would eat drink and be merry. Up next day, into Bega and on to Canberra, meeting up with a few thousand more bike-bound emergency services personnel converging from all parts of this wide brown land for a group ride around Parliament House. And me.
Yep. A whole stack of happy rozzers. There’s two words you don’t see side by side very often, but again, beside the point.
The Remembrance Ride has become a regular on the Copper Calendar. In fact, a great mate of mine and intrepid Adventure traveller, retired homicide squad leader Brian Rix and a hardy bunch of individuals set the whole thing in motion way back in 2009. They wanted to honour emergency people who had lost their lives. And continue to.
Indeed, police and ambos and firies from all over the country have since gathered for the Wall to Wall Remembrance Ride. It’s annual although Mr Covid respects no uniform and the ride had to be shelved for a minute or two over recent times.
Of course, that only served to make them even keener.
A ‘Snag Aside’: Did you know coppers can be pretty rowdy, humorous and even fun? No, neither did I, but that was to be just part of my happy education after the Remembrance weekend. I pissed myself and pretty frequently. Had something to do with them letting their guards down. And me not doing anything, much, wrong.
With an escort of patrol cars, dozens of R 1250 RS’s and a squadron of unmarked cars, all warning lights ablaze, basically offering carte blanche through towns, happy kids waving and speed limits, while officially completely respected, deemed let’s say, umm… ‘flexible’, I pretty quickly warmed to the whole idea. ‘I wonder if they’d accept a 62-year-old recruit with a pretty ordinary driving record into the bike squad. I shook myself and moved on from the idea, a little disappointed in myself.
The service to honour fallen members was a solemn affair, and while I have enjoyed a degree of flippancy in this piece – out of character, I know – I have to say it made me think deeply. These people do face serious risks and some of them don’t make it home. Have a think about that…
Oh yeah. The joke…
I walked up to a big, big bloke. I mean ‘Copper Big’. All shoulders, neck and semi-scowl. I leant in close, narrowed my eyes and said, ‘be careful around here mate. There’s f%#&ing coppers all over the joint’.
Gave me nothing. Zilch. Nada.
Anyway. I hope you dishevelled bunch appreciate my efforts. Fair dinkum, I take one for the team.
Senior Sargeant Snaggy.
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.