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Anatomy Of A Photo: Front Row Seat At The Gun Show

Anatomy Of A Photo: Front Row Seat At The Gun Show

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André had spent the last ten years working underground, yet he had only just turned 24. His face, skin hardened and cracked from a cocktail of sweat, coal dust and intense labour, gave him the appearance of a man decades older. He had grown up quickly, but had aged even more rapidly in the physical sense. Wearing a bandanna fashioned from a handkerchief to conceal his premature hair loss, the other miners would often tease him, nicknaming him ‘the pirate’.

He needed a way out, an escape from the darkness that enveloped him day and night. His only friend in the mines, Rémy, had mentioned that a colleague drove the service vehicle for some of the bicycle races held in the region; André had a driver’s licence, and figured this could be his ticket to a new life. Rémy had other ideas.

He would always comment on André’s legs, a foible that didn’t sit well with André and made him uncomfortable around the other miners. Rémy would laughingly call him “Bouvin, Bouvin!”, a reference to the champion 6 Day rider who hailed from the next town over and would often be seen training on the undulating roads, rare for this country but more common around these parts. Typically, anyone spotted riding a bicycle would get the “Bouvin” call from Rémy, joker that he was.

Rémy was resolute in his defiance; André wasn’t cut out for driving a service vehicle. No, he should be racing the bicycle, Remy insisted. He had witnessed André ride the 20 miles each way, every day to the pit on his crude one-speed bike, rusted and squeaking and tyres nearly flat. He would get André a better bike from Bouvin’s uncle, and enter him in the criterium raced in the centre of town as part of the cheese festival held every two weeks. Reluctantly, André agreed on the proviso that he be able to wear his Sunday best leather loafers, carry a flambéd rabbit in his jersey pocket, and that any cheese won would be split 60/40 between them. Rémy came through on all counts, and the rest is history.*

 

*Historical facts may not be historically accurate, or factual. Clarification welcomed.

 

// Anatomy of a Photo // Folklore // The Hardmen

  1. Those guns are amazing!  They’re like the German Paris guns.

  2. @Cyclops

    Those guns are amazing! They’re like the German Paris guns.

    Seriously! Michelangelo would be proud to have sculpted those in marble.

    Is that whipped cream or silly string that’s being applied to the cassette?

  3. @Bespoke

    @Cyclops

    Those guns are amazing! They’re like the German Paris guns.

    Seriously! Michelangelo would be proud to have sculpted those in marble.

    Is that whipped cream or silly string that’s being applied to the cassette?

    Cheese Whiz – Rémy discovered that as it melted in the heat from André’s BFG’s it turned in to the perfect high speed lubricant. Rémy went on to invent WD40 and the trouser press.

    Tragically André caught myxomatosis from the partially flambéd rabbit he carried with him that day – following a two year convalescence he joined the Foreign Legion to forget and subsequently forgot so well that he ended up with a new identity as a mad accordion player in a Peruvian bistro in Glasgow.

  4. Some would think that the mechanic is applying chain lube. Little so those people know that Andre was putting out so much V that the chain was heating up and needed to be cooled down so that it wouldnt melt off the bike.

  5. And all the local mademoiselle used to secretly call Remy, “Monsieur Doigts de Plaisance” (Eng. Mr Pleasure Fingers).

    Check out the fat digits hanging on the car!

  6. @RedRanger@the Engine

    That was neither lube nor coolant.  It was a crude mixture of cheap Calvados, cocaine and morphine, applied in a futile attempt to put the chain out of the misery of having to channel more V than it could handle.

  7. Brett, you are genius.

    @Marcus

    Monsieur Doigts de Plaisance

    You too!

  8. @Nate

    @RedRanger, @the Engine

    That was neither lube nor coolant. It was a crude mixture of cheap Calvados, cocaine and morphine, applied in a futile attempt to put the chain out of the misery of having to channel more V than it could handle.

    Nice catch. Why it’s called a “speedball.”

  9. @the Engine

    @Bespoke

    @Cyclops

    Those guns are amazing! They’re like the German Paris guns.

    Seriously! Michelangelo would be proud to have sculpted those in marble.

    Is that whipped cream or silly string that’s being applied to the cassette?

    Cheese Whiz – Rémy discovered that as it melted in the heat from André’s BFG’s it turned in to the perfect high speed lubricant. Rémy went on to invent WD40 and the trouser press.

    Tragically Andr̩ caught myxomatosis from the partially flamb̩d rabbit he carried with him that day Рfollowing a two year convalescence he joined the Foreign Legion to forget and subsequently forgot so well that he ended up with a new identity as a mad accordion player in a Peruvian bistro in Glasgow.

    I call bullshit! It’s common knowledge that native Peruvian music is ill-suited to the accordion.

  10. @PeakInTwoYears

    @Nate

    @RedRanger, @the Engine

    That was neither lube nor coolant. It was a crude mixture of cheap Calvados, cocaine and morphine, applied in a futile attempt to put the chain out of the misery of having to channel more V than it could handle.

    Nice catch. Why it’s called a “speedball.”

    In a later race, Remy unfortunately inhaled too much of his own evil brew. The subsequent lack of concentration caused him to be known thereafter as Monsieur Main-Gauche.

  11. @Bianchi Denti

    @PeakInTwoYears

    @Nate

    @RedRanger, @the Engine

    That was neither lube nor coolant. It was a crude mixture of cheap Calvados, cocaine and morphine, applied in a futile attempt to put the chain out of the misery of having to channel more V than it could handle.

    Nice catch. Why it’s called a “speedball.”

    In a later race, Remy unfortunately inhaled too much of his own evil brew. The subsequent lack of concentration caused him to be known thereafter as Monsieur Main-Gauche.

    Mm. I did not know that.

    But that is the risk one takes, chasing glory behind a speedball on an 80km/hr descent, spun out and transitioning to the LeMan Tuck.

    Wait…wrong thread…

  12. Need to photo-shop those dogs onto my torso!!

  13. You don’t get guns like those with a compact and a 12-27. That bike looks like it has two gears, neither for climbing. They wouldn’t have much use for today’s climbers. Andy S wouldn’t even make a worthy Rémy. He has girl hands.

  14. Nice write up @brett. They sure don’t make them like they use to.

  15. @Gianni

    Andy S wouldn’t even make a worthy Rémy. He has girl hands.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EfW9znJYjw

  16. @Nate

    @RedRanger, @the Engine

    That was neither lube nor coolant. It was a crude mixture of cheap Calvados, cocaine and morphine, applied in a futile attempt to put the chain out of the misery of having to channel more V than it could handle.

    HA! Awesome, Nate. That’s great.

  17. Is this the Magic Spray? The Original Stick Bottle? Who knows…

  18. @the Engine

    @Bespoke

    @Cyclops

    Those guns are amazing! They’re like the German Paris guns.

    Seriously! Michelangelo would be proud to have sculpted those in marble.

    Is that whipped cream or silly string that’s being applied to the cassette?

    Cheese Whiz – Rémy discovered that as it melted in the heat from André’s BFG’s it turned in to the perfect high speed lubricant. Rémy went on to invent WD40 and the trouser press.

    Tragically Andr̩ caught myxomatosis from the partially flamb̩d rabbit he carried with him that day Рfollowing a two year convalescence he joined the Foreign Legion to forget and subsequently forgot so well that he ended up with a new identity as a mad accordion player in a Peruvian bistro in Glasgow.

    That sir, is incredibly humerous

  19. Fuckin’ Merckx. Those calves. I haven’t even read the article yet. Not sure I need to. Tho I will………..

  20. @the Engine

    Tragically Andr̩ caught myxomatosis from the partially flamb̩d rabbit he carried with him that day Рfollowing a two year convalescence he joined the Foreign Legion to forget and subsequently forgot so well that he ended up with a new identity as a mad accordion player in a Peruvian bistro in Glasgow.

    @Nate

    That was neither lube nor coolant. It was a crude mixture of cheap Calvados, cocaine and morphine, applied in a futile attempt to put the chain out of the misery of having to channel more V than it could handle.

    So many partial truth’s here.

    Like many jokers Remy suffered from an almost debilitating lack of confidence and on seeing the bike that he had acquired from Bouvin’s uncle he panicked thinking that André would more like likely be killed than pilot the thing to victory.

    His plan was brilliant, rather than a flambéed rabbit he gave André a greaseproof paper packet containing a confit lapin and on the last lap applied a generous application of the Calvados, cocaine and morphine mixture to André’s chain thinking that the resultant blue flame would spur his friend into a burst of speed that would propel him past his rivals and into local legend.

    Brilliant in every way apart from the planning and execution. In his panic, Remy had not taken into consideration that the cheese festival was held every two weeks at that time of year on account of the high temperatures to allow les fromagers to dispose of their rapidly decomposing stock on a regular basis. The same high temperature caused the duck fat in which the rabbit had been stored to liquefy and leak out of the packet.

    Having had several deep swigs of the Calvados mixture to steady his nerves, Remy was in no state to apply a safe amount to the chain. Instead he managed to empty the most of the remaining contents of the flask on the chain, rear wheel and seat stays.

    On the third attempt he successfully lit the mixture, which in turn ignited the liquified duck fat, his hair and the flask.

    Needless to say, André did not out sprint the rest of the peloton but crashed spectacularly into one of the cheese stands whilst Remy’s car narrowly missed the finish line gantry and the Mayor who was acting as the official time keeper.

    André never never rode a bicycle again and continued working in the mines where, to his face at least, he was refered to as Monsieur le Chamois Brûlé. Out of earshot, he was more cruelly known as le fissure cul brûlé.

    It was Remy who joined the Foreign Legion but after an accident involving gun powder in which he lost his left hand an eye he was discharged. He was last seen peddling his wares in the King’s Cross district of Sydney.

  21. LOL, really.

    BTW is it just me or is there something really odd about the angle of the chain in that picture ?

    It’s like he’s riding a 72 on the front – although with legs like that I wouldn’t be surprised.

  22. @ChrisO Something like this possibly?

  23. Guns like marrows!   Weaponry like that leads me to believe that his centre rear pocket is actually stuffed with cash representing the weeks winnings…

  24. So tell me again why pharmacology became so important at some point? Surely those guns would have been cultivated naturally in such an age? Or was this the result of flaying one’s legs rather than shaving….. glad that didn’t catch on….

    That is a very very intimidating photo.

    Nice work on the humour boys, brightened up my day.

  25. History is always as per the eyes and imagination of those doing the writing. You’re a funny bugger Brett

  26. @Bespoke Guns of Navarone

  27. Holy fucking awesome oak trunks!

  28. What a great picture! Are those 40 spoke wheels? Sure looks like it.

    As Magritte might, or might not, have said: “Ceci n’est pas une jambe, ces’t un piston.”

  29. Holy Mackarel Merckx

    If I had calves like that, I’d butcher them!

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