IT’S PURELY A MATTER (OF) “FOR” OPINION
“You dare to tell me what to do, you have a lot of nerve
Watch your mouth or you might get, the dentist you deserve”
Back when opinionated meant something more than just re-tweeting someone else’s thoughts on Taylor Swift’s relationship status, Lemmy was the very definition of the word. The man would rather have stripped down to his bra and panties, slipped on an Alpine hat and rubbed a nutmeg grater up and down his dick for 25 minutes, than spend one solitary second sitting on the fence, or occupying the middle ground.
And, in an era when the concept of now required at least a couple of days to happen – Lem’s understanding of immediacy was 30 years ahead of its time. The thought of mulling something over for a week, while weighing up the pros and cons could not have been further from his make up.
And let’s face it, being Lemmy, he was also never going to allow anything as insignificant as the lack of flying fucks he had to give about something, to get in the way of his chiming right in on it.
So, no matter if it was Robert Palmer, Arnold Palmer, George Palmer (the biscuit maker, not the colour blindness conjecturer, silly), or, the demise of the Aardvark – the view he never knew he had – on a subject he never knew he knew about – was about to come at you… like it or – more often than not… not.
And, God bless him – once his opinion was out there – he was quite prepared to fight to the death, in support of it.
Take sport, for example.
As a rule, he didn’t care for it, (snooker being the exception – We actually watched the famous, Steve Davis/Dennis Taylor final, in 1985, that went on into the early hours. Luckily, because we were taping it, we managed to watch it several more times over the next few years. Man, what a wild, crazy, rollercoaster ride of an existence we were on, back then) however, I dare say that if you’d pressed him for his thoughts on the off-side rule, he’d have cobbled something pretty respectable together, either for, or, against it (such decisions being mood-dependant) which would probably have been fairly convincing and may have done the football world a genuine service.
Sitting here now, I’m suddenly filled with regret that I never thought to bring it up – instead of, say, those several days we wasted, arguing about who invented the limp!
And, talking of talking endless bullshit – a great example of his ability to pluck opinions out of thin air, came about one night, when, I was telling him about my frustration at being unable to master the basics of… windsurfing!
* * *
Sometimes, within the sanctity of friendship – it’s nice to just vent without fear of judgement – resulting in a sympathetic hug when you’re done. Unless, that is, there’s a falls-into-the-water-a-lot-in-a-pre-straightening-irons-world-where-the-only-available-weapon-to-fight-frizz-was-an-actual-iron-which-brought-the-opportunity-of-blinding-yourself-to-every-usage element to your story. Then, perhaps, to also make a quick mention that your hair looked fine, might be nice.
Yes… that so wasn’t a thing with us.
You needed to be sure that no thought departed your brain unfinished, because, the second it left your mouth and became public domain – all bets were off.
Speaking of which, in this particular case, I would have bet the farm on his not having the first clue what windsurfing was (why would he have?) – so, I felt sure I was safe from debate. Silly me…
Of course, a little thing like ‘no clue’ was never going to stop him ploughing right in to let me know just how stupid it was – closely followed by how stupid I was, for getting involved with in it.
In essence, then, we were in complete agreement – but that’s not how these things work, is it?
Suddenly, I heard myself getting all defensive on the matter – blurting out random lies about fitness and wanting to learn a new skill, followed by some nonsense about feeling happier when I was at one with the ocean (dude) – which is actually true but, in this case, the closest I’d come to being ankle deep in the white sandy beaches of Maui’s north shore – was being ankle deep in shopping trolleys and used condoms, in a freezing reservoir, just down the road from the Watford Gap Services’ north shore.
Sensing weakness, Lem prepared himself for the kill.
Did he know what a board looked like? Nope. Did he know what it did – or, where and why it did it? Naah. But, who cares?
Whatever windsurfing was, he now knew just how he felt about it and no words from me could dent his remarkably strong – remarkably new opinion on this subject – which identified me being a fucking idiot as the crux of matter, not least for attempting to stand up on a substance that had clearly been invented with the express purpose of not being stood upon.
He was clever, you see… Lob up a somewhat subjective attack upon my character – which, by the way, I was already struggling to find fault in – then knock it out the park with scientific fact shaped bat. It was a classic example of the man’s ability to think on the run and in the midst of a barrage of abuse, he’d pull out the moment of genius.
In all seriousness, such a compelling argument deserves to be rewarded – cash, a trophy, an entry added to the history books – he got none of those.
And me, I haven’t attempted a handlebar mount – or any other style of mounting a rig since – and, by the same token, I haven’t fallen straight off one, either!
* * *
In truth, Lem had only one reason for getting involved in a lot of this opinion giving and that’s because he saw it as a great way to exercise his brain. And, with our relationship, our brains received so much exercise, we should have been curing something before lunch and solving something before dinner – if we only ate lunch and dinner!
And, by the way, Lem didn’t always take the opposite view, either. Something I was told by a couple of reliable sources that he actually agreed with people about stuff, all the time.
Of course, I didn’t believe it. I’d never experienced anything like that – or, anything close to it. But, my sources were people I loved and respected and who had no reason to lie – so I guess it must have happened.
I wonder how it felt – nice, I bet. And, less exhausting, for sure.
Oh, well – maybe next time… because, he did promise me a next time – and I’ve had one eye looking out for the sign ever since!