20-odd Questions - Curly
19.10.11 by Dazzler
How old are you? In earth years 42.
Where were you born? The United States of Birmingham.
How long have you been a courier? 21 years. Time travels fast when you’re having fun.
Hang Name? Curly or Curlywurly. I used to have hair!
Who did you ride for? Lightning; Security Dispatch; Creative; West One; City Sprint; Cyclone; Premier, all in London. Currently, Mail Call in Melbourne.
What was your first bike? My dad used to push me round on a BSA (Birmingham Small Arms), but the first bike I could reach the pedals of was a Raleigh Road Runner with cow horns. I was definitely a kid of the Seventies. My flares often used to get caught in the chain.
What do you ride now? A funked-up Mongoose, fixed wheel. But in storage I’ve got a Dolan and an Argos, and now and again I take my girlfriend’s mountain bike out for a spin. At work I’m on a heavy Tri Sled cargo bike. Blokes in the street keep stopping me to ask about it. Zero, I’m sure you know what it’s like!
What’s the best docket you’ve ever been given? A City PR company in the Security Dispatch days used to pump out multiple envelopes to untold papers, not realising they were all in the same building. Great to have one over Murdoch.
What’s the worst thing about being a courier? Being treated like shit by security guards or receptionists. Getting cold. Pay. Bunches of Japanese girls stepping out in front of you without looking, then giggling hysterically.
What’s the best thing about being a courier? Making people happy when they receive something good. All my brothers and sisters in arms. Being out and about and experiencing the elements – I could never be an office bod.
Describe your childhood in 3 words. Fun, sun, dens.
What is your earliest memory? I do have a few… Running over a campfire with wellies on. My mum, who’s a nurse, had to take me to the hospital where she worked to have them cut off. Quite embarrassing! A few days after I swallowed a marble and had to go back there again.
Who are your heroes? John Peel, John Lennon, Morrissey, Lemmy, the Pirate, Cav, Tony Benn, Bill Hicks, Blondie.
What’s on your music player? Plaid, Motorhead, Massive Attack, the White Stripes, Public Enemy, and a bit of Aussie hiphop (Hilltop Hoods, Bliss N Eso). I’ve always been partial to Techno too.
What’s the best piece of clothing/equipment you carry? Swiss Army Knife and a Cool Tool, Pac bag and a cuddly Creative top with hood. Great for rioting.
What advice would you give to any wannabe couriers? Make sure you sort out your tax, so you don’t have sleepless nights. Be careful of cabbies U-turning at the top of Poland Street. Hug Overdrive’s wheel.
What’s the best lunch deal in town? Homemade goodness. Or a pint from the John Snow.
What’s the best chat-up line you’ve ever given to/received by a receptionist? A middle-aged receptionist once asked me how come I had a Pervert patch on my pump bag. I think she thought it might have been something else.
Favourite place to stand by? Creative corner. Cyclone bunker. In the National Galley of Victoria members room in Melbourne (free coffee, cookies and magazines).
What made you become a courier? My friend Crossey used to work at Lightning, when we’d just left college. It sounded like good fun. It was, and it still is. I never wanted to be a wanker in a suit. So I decided to be a wanker on a bike instead!
In a parallel universe you would be… E.T or Ozzie Osborne.
What one thing would improve the quality of your life? Being able to afford Campag Record. Having X-ray vision. A mongrel from Battersea.
Who’d play you in the film of your life? Morrissey (in The Smiths era), Kelly Slater or Carl Pilkington.
What would be your catchphrase? Grant, could I have my 10 per cent courier discount please?
What has been your proudest moment/greatest achievement? Getting a degree when I’m extremely dyslexic.
If you could go back and edit the past is there anything you would change? Tossers opening car doors on me. Getting my bike nicked in Hackney while I was asleep on a bench. Yes, booze was involved.
It’s the dream dinner party – what 5 people are there? All the members from Time Team. No, seriously… never liked dinner parties, after the incident with the St Martin’s students and small quails.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever done? Working at Hall Green Dogs and having to wander around behind the greyhounds with small test-tubes collecting piss samples for drug tests before the races. They always used to wee on my paws. Dirty devils, but I did love them. It wasn’t very nice seeing them put down if they got injured.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you? Always look on the bright side of it.
How would you like to be remembered? Bad breath, bald and terrible teeth. Shit, sorry, I’m starting to sound like Shane McGowan.
When were you happiest? My dad taking my stabilisers off and realising that I could do it on my own. Catching my first wave in Devon. Taking my first E. Discovering Plaid (that’s music, not kilts). Watching the flag go down over a few beers in Mexico City’s Zocalo square. Gawping at the amazing phosphorescence at night in the sea in Goa. Hearing that base line when you’re looking for a squat party. Knowing there’s a fakie on my wheel, and jamming on my break.
What would your superpower be? Breakdancing.
Freedom is… two tyres at 120. Lining up your board, when a good set’s coming in.
You have a time machine – where would you go? SE1 in 1988, when rave was raving.
You are allowed to pass one new law – what is it? Taxis can only exist when you have to get to Heathrow in a hurry.
How do you relax? In the bath with a good book and a can of Stella.
Tell us something about yourself we would never guess. I was head boy and captain of the rugby team. Think I peaked too early.
What was the last book you read? I’m a bit greedy at the moment, I’m devouring four; Tim Winton’s Breath, Will Self’s The Book of Dave, Bradley Wiggins’ In Pursuit of Glory and Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne. If anyone can tell me what The Book of Dave is about, please get in touch.
You’ve got one youtube link – what is it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwylBRucU7w
Tell us a joke. Not a big fan of telling jokes, I’m not Shemouse, but here’s a Ted Chippington classic. I was walking down the road the other day and decided to get my hair cut. Went into a barber’s and said to the geezer, ‘Could I just have my hair cut round the back?’ Barber says, ‘What’s the matter with this room then?’ Bad or what.