I have to admit to loving American Chopper. And it was my 13-year-old son James who forced me to watch the series in the first place. We also bonded over Long Way Round (that's the one where Ewen McGregor and his pal Charley Boorman go round the world on a pair of free BMW R1150Gs bikes (free! And the two of them as rich as Croesus!). Well sort of almost round the world, and with a film crew, doctor and presumably a vast amount of agentorial concern.
While I'm on the subject, Ewen and Charley were apparently inspired (as so many of us were) by Ted Simon's wonderful book Jupiter's Travels, about his epic trans-global bike trip. Ted pops up in Long Way Round for about 45 seconds, in Kazakhstan, for no apparent reason, looking embarrassed and unhappy, and I'm desperate to know the real story behind that fleeting appearance. What happened? Did they fly him out there? Was he meant to accompany the pair? Was there some kind of falling out? Not that anyone's going to tell me.
Anyway, back to American Chopper, where ridiculous motorcycles become even more ridiculous. It's the use of the word 'sick' as an adulatory adjective that gets me every time. Things aren't cool, or really cool, in the crazy world of Orange County Cycles. They're sick, or truly sick.
Meanwhile I have been truly, sickly sick in the pre-Chopper sense for the past six days, with flu. nasty, nasty stuff, only alleviated by the delights of watching DVDs in bed on my laptop: Celebrity (Kenneth Branagh as Woody Allen, Charlize Theron looking amazing, Judy Davis epicly funny; generally excellent) Shadows and Fog (Woody doing Fritz Lang; runs out of steam) and the truly wonderful Norwegian film Elling, a sort of Dumb and Dumber with real pathos and sensitivity. I'm being a tad crass, perhaps. But as I think Dumb and Dumber is the second best film of all time, that is high, if crass praise indeed.
Whisky, rum, garlic, co-codamol, red wine, curry, vitamin pills - nothing cured me but bed rest and time. The word is this: flu-jab (which would be two words, were it not for that hyphen). Get one. It's sick. Really sick.