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November 2010 Skellog - Big Billy and the Sad Case of the Missing Pirate Ship

pirate cartoon


Ello me Earties!
Aaaargh tis a sad story to be true, but one which I feel I can share with e……This is a yarn of sobering proportions, not to be read lightly but with a firm grip on ye cutlass and cider…….
I don’t know why I feel obliged to go into ‘Pirate Speak’ when talking about Chris and his cars, but I do. Firstly, let me apologise for the distinct lack of regular ‘Skellogs’. Had they been as regular as Steve’s bowel movements, all would be well, but alas alack ……
I feel a story coming on…… Chris Burness, lead singer and esteemed front man with ‘Skellig’, had his 7th near death experience a few weeks ago, when he mistook his Saturn Vue for a real pirate ship, during a particularly heavy down pour. After hydroplaning on the TransCanada Highway, dressed in a pair of soccer shorts and slippers, the car met a sticky end. She was a brave vessel, but no match for the three concrete barriers that stood between her and the oblivion of the rather large ditch, into which she and Big Billy would have been plunged, cutlass flailing no doubt, had they not been there.
As I was pondering on this matter, it struck me that maybe you lot would like a brief ‘potted history’ of what had become of all Pirate Billy’s other vehicles. So here it is, a sad farewell to them all…..we salute you:
1.    The ‘Yugo’:… donated to Chris by his grandfather. Parked at the back of our house on the council estate ‘That shall not be named’… vandalized beyond repair.
2.    The ‘Volkwagen’:… purchased in South Africa.
a) The window mechanisms rotted to the point where we had two sizes of wood in the doors to hold them up… ‘large’ for completely shut and ‘short’ for half open.
b) No spare tire meant a very long trip home one night on just the rim.
c) Plugging the oil tank with a rag instead of purchasing an oil cap resulted in the rag being sucked into the engine, thus destroying it …..After a replacement engine, the car was sold the car for more than the purchase price, due to the exceedingly high rate of inflation at the time. RESULT!
3.    The ‘Escort Mark 2’: …Died after a week
4.    ‘My Mums Austin Metro’:…Seized up, pronounce dead, after just a month of Chris driving it ….
5.    The ‘Escort Mark 3’:…I purchased this car and it was the first one to be insured ‘fully comp’. This was lucky, because shortly after purchase:
a) Chris was at traffic- lights, a motorbike slammed into the back of him, smashed all the side windows before the driver was flung into the adjacent field. It was taken for repair…as was the driver
b) After being repaired, a local drug dealer from the council estate, ‘that shall not be mentioned’, decided to steal it from outside our house, take the wheels off and leave it to be torched. Chris found it before that happened ….it was fixed again.
c) While at the garage being welded, the whole thing caught fire and ended up gutted! Miraculously the garage felt so bad they replaced the interior. Unable to sell it, we left it for our neighbours as a memento.
6.    The Vauxhall Estate: …(Borrowed)
Forgetting to put the oil cap on this car engine too, Chris was seen leaving the studio where Skellig UK was recording. As black smoke started billowing from the bonnet (‘hood’ for you Canadians) we thought Billy would stop. He didn’t, until the guitarist flagged him down. This car was given back to the owner in decent condition
7.    Astra Van: …Written off while Chris was driving, by another driver at top speed. Left parked in the road, as it was not drivable, it was then was stolen!!! You couldn’t make this stuff up!
8.    Big Blue Bus:… Chris turned up one night from school, (he was a teacher) with the old school bus. He had purchased it for 200 pounds……….we all went round with ‘Ashdown Secondary School’ emblazoned on the side until we left the country!!! My sister’s family is now the proud owner of that vehicle…… is still alive miraculously!!!
9.    MAZDA MP3:… Purchased from a ‘dodgy dealer’ on arrival in Canada. It worked for 9 days before going wrong. Ended up being scrapped 2 months later.
10. 10.Saturn Vue:… Lasted 3 years before meeting her sad end………….


So the moral of this sad tale is…..
Love your man (or woman), whatever
the state of his/her vehicle, cos life is short
and you don’t know when it will come
to an end……...
Cheery Bye for now!
Big Lis



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