My best pal and I were hanging out in the model room the other night. You know the drill – a fresh stock of brews, Van Coke Cartel on the CD player, stacks of air-modelling and model grocking! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he asks…

“So who is Grumpy really?”

So I think about it a while and I explain to him …

I make mistakes. I’ve put diesel fuel in my gas tank. I’ve dropped my bike more than once. I never know what year the Sting Ray became the Stingray – or is it the other way around? I’ve called a ’96 Impala SS the “SS Impala” – that can really annoy a Chevy guy because he thinks you’re calling his car a boat (Hey guys, next time please don’t carpet bomb my in-box with spam. Send me an e-mail and let me explain!).

Computers make me want to smash stuff. It’s a love/hate relationship with computers. The payoff is big when you can surf for model cars on the Net and talk to other modelers across the world. Or you find a guy selling a mint sixties Monogram Bugatti Type 35 for $12.00 – and he’ll pay for the postage! But I hate it when I cannot open the folder with all the SANNL photos in it – and even throwing the keyboard at the monitor doesn’t help to open the folder. Or you take your PC in to have an extra USB port installed and you end up having to buy a whole new computer because yours is “that old technology!”

I have a fascination with engines and stuff. I often waste time just sitting and looking at stuff. It’s not laziness. I just don’t know what to call it. I like to look at the shiny stuff in catalogs – or go to the junkyard to just sit in old cars, stare at carburetors or fondle old emblems. Now you know why there are chairs in my garage!

When I got into trouble, it was because of bikes. My entire criminal record involves bikes. I never thought that stealing them was a good idea, but I’ve been close to the slammer for iniquities that just come nat­urally for people like me. What’s so wrong about doing a burnout in the empty parking lot behind the super-market after work? And have you ever tried hiding the fact, when there is so much rubber smoke around that the cops can’t stop their eyes from watering? And another thing, how can the cops say that you can’t steer a bike while you are doing a wheelie? They’ve never tried it!

I like weird stuff. The modelling world has enough Ferraris and Porsches. Give me something different. Take a Rambler, for instance. Sure, it’s sort of a freak show on wheels to look at, but drop it in the weeds and stick on some cool wheels, and it’s got more attitude than an entire parking lot full of supercars. Hey, that goes for the full-size stuff as well.

I’m married. Guys, finding the right girl is not difficult. You need to teach her things like how to control oversteer, and how to powershift in the fat part of the torque curve. If you do these things for her and check her oil regularly, she will eventually marry you. My girl did. And when she starts building better models than you, rejoice in the fact that she has a damn good teacher!

I’m a regular dude. When my wife’s away and I go shopping, I buy microwave dinners, big bags of pota­to chips, jalapeño sauce and beer. Then I go home and eat it all in one bowl with one spoon so there are fewer dishes to wash … more time for building models.

I had a mullet. In the ‘80s, I was classified as Alfa-Mullet because I had both an Alfa 1750 GTV and finely tuned locks. My best friends were Barfight-Mullet and Shiftyeyes-Mullet. It was cool then – no seriously, it really was!

The point of all this is that I am probably just like you. I build the weird stuff because the weird stuff is the most fun. Bigger and faster everything is what I dig. Few people outside of you guys can understand that – most notably some cops, people who think that the Toyota Prius is cool, most of the guys I went to school with, oh – and my sister.

Until next time …

Give “conventional” the middle finger!

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