The Thinking Viking “sort of” met Paul Newman once. Not really, but let me explain. I was on my way to a Genetics lab for school at the good old University of Colorado, Boulder. I was on my only vehicle, my beloved 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1-R. When new, it was the fastest production motorcycle on the planet. I called her “Goose” after Max’s freind in Mad Max who rode a nearly identical bike in the movie. Thing was beauty. Modernized, electronic, mildly advanced ignition, rejetted cards, bad ass air intake, custom windshield… prolly about 125 horsepower. Handled like a water buffalo, but she was pretty quick. Figure 9.5-10 sec quarter mile.
Anyhow, I was still pretty punk at the time, I was in my bad ass leather – with spikes, mind you, my own semi-mind-trip-with-chaos art on the back. I pull up next to a nice old red Ferrari on my right. Late fifties. It just gets better the closer I get. Bystanders are staring. This thing is NICE – museum nice. Million dollar nice. I am impressed – I love cars, the crazier and more bad ass the better.
So I pull up to the stop line and look over to check it out at rest. I am jealous. Then I look at the driver.
He seems familiar. Hmmm. Brain starts clicking. Whirrrr. Click. Click. Then, “ping”. I get a hit.
NASCAR Hat. Aviator shades, large and dark. NASCAR Pit Crew jacket. Older white dude who looks familiar. Yes, I am actually a NASCAR fan- prefer Formula – 1, but meh, fast cars. Cool.
I know who this guys is. That’s fucking Paul Newman. He owns a NASCAR car employs a Pit Crew. I know he owns old sports cars. I cock my head and rise my helmet’s visor, an eyebrow raised, looking right at him. Sunglasses. Over-sized, I’d say, like celebrities wear when they are going under cover.
He nods, and smiles. A hand is briefly raised from the wheel in a subtle wave. It is returned by my hand raise from the bars briefly. I grin. The light turns green.
I left that damn Ferrari in the dust.
It’s a simple matter of weight ratios.
Think about it.
PS I sold that bike many years later for four times what i paid for it, to a young Japanese man named “Testuo”