Fastest Hymn Sheet Monitor in the West

I was delighted to find that someone had left me the full lyrics for Judas and Mary I love strangers!

They are my favourite people. So kind. It made my morning.

The hymn sheet story was also a good excuse to get in touch with Mark who used to operate the other Hymn Sheet Contraption. He claims that he and Iain Turner were much faster than Graham Burton and I because Iain was a giant and Mark was really quick with numbers. If course, I don’t believe him because he also claims that he beat me in my very first 100 metres and everyone knows that’s just patently untrue.

The track at Chis and Sid was on not-very-well-kept grass (in the winter it was a rugby pitch) and was carefully arranged so that the home straight was up hill against a constant headwind. It made long distance races brutal because you’d be trying for a big finish but as you turned the corner a gale would kick up and you’d be struggling up the hill as your last reserves of energy seeped away.

Anyway, our school was big on sports and everyone had to do rugby or cross-country in the winter and cricket or athletics in the summer. Our summer PE lessons would have us going through all the track and field events one by one and the first we ever did was the 100 metres and I was in the same race as Mark.

It being my very first race and all, I didn’t know how to pace myself and I started rather slow. By 50m, I was a few paces behind the pack but I had a big finish and passed several people in the last 20m. I just managed to squeak by Mark at the finish line to finish in 14.2sec (that sounds crap, but remember it was uphill and against the wind and we were only 12).

Mark still maintains that he beat me that spring day in 1978 but we both know the real truth. I think the only way to resolve this issue is if we have a re-match.

How about it Mark? Are you scared?

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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