A couch potato goes to the Clipsal 500

I am not  much of an active  person but  I do occasionally  torture  my body  with exercise by attending  Bachanalian orgies and show n’ shines. However I tend  to be a slacker,  lounge on the couch, turning  into a summer spud, excelling in the  joy  of eating, drinking and  being  totally  useless fronting the  plasma screen.

Today my Couch Potato opportunity centered around the V8 Supercar series first  race of the year, the  Clipsal 500, from the  one-sandwich-short  of a  Grand Prix track in Adelaide.

Economic conditions being  what  they  are, I decided to be a stay-at-home tight-arse and view the opening  round, two race circus  through the  tube.

Last year,  the  blue four letter word boys  walked away with the silverware  and  even worse, won their  fornicating third  Bathurst  in a  row!  Brocky’s spirit  would really  be stirring  by  now – The  Holden crew put up the occasional  good fight  in ‘08, but like the  President  remarked to Monica, ’Close,  but  no cigar!’

Enter  2009, new  rules, new  E85 ethanol  based  fuel and no more  compulsory pit stops with the exception that everyone must  complete at least one fuel stop.

All teams could now carry  over, save  and re-use  tyres and each race will score stand alone points instead of the calculated aggregate  pile of  fertilizer we  have  been used  to recently.

This  year, the  Lion MUST Roar (or  my  Ford  friends  would laugh at  me again). Funny, I am still trying  to convince them that Eric Bana’s  new film, Love  the  Beast is a  Ford  film with a  happy  ending!

Fed the  kiddies earlier, so they wouldn’t  turn on me – One long  haired, ankle  chewing  black moggie who answers  to the  name  of  Chucky Catzilla and an eccentric  leg humping black dwarf rabbit called, Cutzzo!!!

Some television commentators have as much charisma as clowns with rectum scans and they all have expert opinions, but seldom offer solutions…

I turned on the HD TV and surround sound,  cooled the tinnies, placed the party pies in the oven,  put the ‘dogs  on the  boil and with daughter Mark2  at work, I settled in for the long haul.

Shutting the mobile down and having  denied  the regular  squeeze  a  visa  to come  over, all systems were go, no distractions – Home alone. The  Potato was on the couch and ready to go racing!

Practice brought bad news for GM with only  a single car  in the top five after Friday’s top ten shoot out.

The traditional one lap crack dash for cash saw the Fords of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes clinch first  and second spot respectively, with Garth Tander in the Toll HRT Holden third, while Holdsworth’s Commodore and  Winterbottom’s Ford were disqualified for kerb hopping.

…more commercials – Frustrating! They  never  call a  commercial break when YOU really need to go, they wait till you’ve done  your  business and come  back, then…Whammo, off to a  break!

I am convinced that  they  hide  gremlins  inside the goggle-box  watching your  every  move and reporting  back – There  should be a  Royal Commission on BS, but who  gives a  toss?

Five  Fords and Holdens  made up  the top ten grid positions and the opening race was  underway at a frantic pace  -Whincup on pole  bogged  the  start and fell back to fifth which allowed  Tander into second chasing Craig Lowndes in the lead. Behind them, the 28 car nose-to-tail freight train cleared the first  chicane without  incident.

Coming  back from an ad break on lap 10  the  cameras zoomed in on the remnants  of a  monumental pile up at turn four  involving Michael Caruso (who escaped injury) in the  GRM entry -The  brand  new  Valvoline oiler trashed after being shunted by Murphy’s Commodore and hitting  the  wall. The pace car  came out bunching  up the  field…

Ding-dong! What!  Its  the  bloody door bell – Ignore  it! Ding-dong! Go away! Ding-dong! Persistent  buggers.

Tearing  myself away from the  action, I take a  sneak peek through a crack in the curtains only  to see two beady  eyes  peering  back at  me  from the  other side – Sprung! I was just getting  into it and  now  I’ve  got  to open the flaming door!

Groaning  in disbelief, I was confronted with a  Seventh-Day-Artichoke-Latter-Day-Lettuce-Ministry-of-Kingdom sky pilot with nosey off-spring in tow, attempting  to redeem me by shoving  some flimsy magazine under  my  nose  like it was a  ticket to the pearly gates or something.

“Sorry,  no thanks, I don’t  want  salvation, I would rather snuff it a  sinner – After all , I much prefer  the type  of woman that  ends  up in  the other place  – In heaven you see nun, get  nun….I’m really  busy…..good bye….have  a nice  life”….SLAM!   No….not another lame message break!

A few laps later and more on track drama with Murph’s ride forced to pit for repairs. A quarter  of the race over, it was Ford one, two, three,  the  Fish Bend  mob, fourth and  fifth, but the  real battle was happening  further  down the  field from sixth to ninth with a  number of  competitors hammering  it out  in some  very  close panel-swap racing.

I was  trying  to note  the  track positions  when the  cat pranced  down the stairs  from its  penthouse retreat and made a beeline  for the  speaker  boxes.

“Chucko don’t scratch the speakers!  No Chux! CHUX! You are  peeing me  off, stop scratching – Ok, ok, I’ll let  you out.”

Chucky disappears through  the  patio door  leaving it open just  in case  the  fur-ball  finds  it  closed and decides  to climb the flywire mesh again…Oh, oh, the  land-line phone  is  ringing.

“Hello!” Unbelievable – A Bollywood telemarketer was trying to flog me a time-share deal. OUCH! The cat silently sneaked in and attacked my  toe with gusto. Flicking the  feral feline aside, “Can I call back at a  convenient  time Sir?” – “NO, I am  permanently inconvenienced and NO,  I don’t want  to time-share any  jello-wrestling-spaghetti-bending-kick-in-the-nuts  trip up the Ganges  or anything  else for that  matter!” (Silence) CLUNK!

The CSR green sugar-cane juice had an increased consumption rate of 30% compared to last  year’s petroleum product and teams  were  running  their tanks  almost  dry by lap 40.

Already half  way through and  the refueling pit stops were coming in  fast but under  the  new  regulations only two crew were allowed to change four tyres, making the process look like Sammy the Slug’s big day out!

The  leading  four remained the same as Russell the  Enforcer was slowly  climbing  up the  charts, so was  Paul Dumbrell in his Holden, while the Stone brothers’ Fords and the Kelly  brothers’ Commodores were off the pace.

Only divine  intervention would stop the  Broadmeadows  bunch  from making a  clean sweep at the finish. Seriously, for its  sheer  domination, if Team Vodafone were a  horse,  the  stewards  would order a  swab!

Still on a  short  fuse, Chucko was  not letting  off (chew, scratch, hiss) FOOD  NOW  –  Fussy  little piss-ant,  eats only  fresh roo meat and full cream milk at  room temperature  which means more  time  wasted  nuking  its food in the  microwave …All the  time  gnawing at  my  foot  to hurry  up the  service.

I could still hear  the commentary but couldn’t see vision from the  kitchen. Courtney  stalled in the  pits. Setting  Catzilla’s  food  down in the  laundry finally abated the  relentless  cat attack ,  just  in time  to hear,  “…And  now a word  from our sponsors.”

Ok I thought, I was going  to beat the  gremlins,  visit the  loo and return with plenty  of time  to spare!

Cutzzo the house  trained rabbit resides downstairs between the  toilet  and  large  bathroom, kept from the  rest  of the  house  by a  small barrier.

The  bunny  has  a wicked  fetish and  every time anyone  ventures  into the  toilet,  it seizes the  chance to run laps around  the  bowl like a  NASCAR  racer,  occasionally pitting to copulate  its frisky pink bits with one’s arm or  leg – One day I might  just  give the little  bastard  a  wee sprinkle!

You’ve got  to be  kidding! Short  break, only  two ads…Crossing  back early – Lap 69,  Tander’s car suffering from engine  failure dropped its  load and went smoking around the  track until  the marshals  black flagged it out  of the  race to the  ironic cheers  of the Blue fans.  “A crappy  Conspiracy” I muttered under my breath as I flushed the  latrine imagining Fords going down the  drain.

In a  hurry… CRASH, BANG… I stumbled  over  the  rabbit  proof  fence just  in time  to see a  blur of black  escaping,  dart into the  living room  and  go behind the stereo unit!

Suffice  to say, last time randy rabbit  did a  runner, it  chewed through the  phone and power cables – How  do they  do that  without  being  zapped?  I had to ferret  it  out  fast before it destroyed any more  wires!

No thanks  to off-spring  Mark2,  both my pets have  developed  addictions.

Chucky can overdose on  Cheese  Twisties and  at the mere  scrunch of a  Twisties  pack  will come flying  in from ten blocks away.

The rabbit on the other  hand, has a  banana eating habit and whenever it sniffs one,  hoppy  goes  ballistic!

So, no pleading,  or promises of a  bugs bunny photo in drag and weird ideas about throwing  in the  toilet-roll (it likes to root that too)! A  peeled  banana  taped to a broom-stick  slowly and surely  enticed rabbito from behind  the  entertainment  console  and when it  pounced,  I quickly overturned the  laundry  basket  over  it  – Gotcha Mr. Waaabbbit!

With Cutzzo happily engaging the  banana under cover of the  plastic laundry basket  I resumed  watching the  few  remaining  laps left… Then joy for the  Red fans – Mr. 888 Lowndes, on lap 74  lost  control, spun, hit  the  fence  and  limped into the  pits- That’ll teach those rabid blue and white  Neanderthals to laugh at Toll’s demise.

Four  laps from home it was sweet karma as the  incident changed the entire scenario – Amazing,  the  General was  now  running two and  three  behind  Whincup’s  Hogster  in the  lead… The  phone again!

“I don’t want  any of- Oh, hi!”  It’s daughter  Mark 1  complete  with bun-in-the-oven calling (squeezing grandchild out in September). She assumes  that  I am going to help with the delivery  of  Mark 2’s  hired BBQ spit,  “…cause  it’s so heavy  an’ it doesn’t  fit  in anyone’s  car an’….” What is that smell coming from the  laundry?   “Pussys’  just done magoos  and missed the  sand  pit – Got to go. BYE” Juggling and  dropping the  phone as all hell broke  loose. ”Shiiiiiit!”

DISASTER… Chucky’s bushy tail like a Pro Hart paint  brush was leaving brown smelly smears on the white tiles… Ding-dong, ding-dong. The door bell was hard at it again… an oven full of  Chernobyl  pies were burning… smoke detector siren screeching relentlessly… the hot dogs were boiling over and  with an upside down out-of-control  laundry basket  darting aimlessly  around the  lounge  room  floor, I made a  desperate  lunge  for the cat.

This was  not my  lucky  day!

Amongst  all the  mayhem and  frenzy I did manage to see the  last  lap – After  blowing  the  start,  Jamie  Whincup picked up for  Ford  where  he  left off  from last  year by winning the  first  half of the  Clipsal 500.

What  looked like a bad hair day for the Holden brigade was saved by Lee Holdsworth’s Commodore which came  in second  and Will Davison in his  first  drive for uncle Tom’s HRT, completing  the  podium for  third.

With a  another  78 laps scheduled for tomorrow my advice is, hang  on to your yarbles with both hands boys and  glue  your eyes  to the screen because it’s going to be a roller coaster of a  ride!

I have had enough, I’m leaving  the animal house behind on Sunday and  heading for the Antipodes Festival Glendi!

Catch you next  week  for the  Australian Grand Prix!