EFF ONE

In the year 4005 some archaeologist on Mount Sinai will dig up some CD-ROMs giving details of the changes to the Formula 1 regulations in the Year of the Good Lord 2002. And the scholars, assuming that the language was as it was in biblical days - time tends to become blurred at such a distance - will translate the stories as follows...

And lo it came to pass that a great darkness fell upon the Kingdom of Formula 1. The faithful - the great unwashed who roamed the wilderness of Silverstone and other circuits where the Chariot Races were staged - were no longer attending the Sunday services in honor of their Great God Bernie. Worse still they were no longer worshipping at the altar of Television. And even worse than that Phyllis Stein and her Teutonic hordes had begun worshipping another God:The Great Shoemaker. The great God Bernie saw that this was not good for it is written in the Concorde Commandments that thou shalt not make brazen images of other Gods (not even if 75% of the sales of replicas goeth to the Commercial Rights Holder, the great God Bernie).

But blessed were the Shoemakers for they were inheriting the earth while a plague fell on the house of Bernie.

Bernie disciple from Gaul St Alain prostrated himself and left the land of plenty to live in the wilderness that is Paris, where he suffered the usual Plague of Frogs.

Some months passed and Doubtful Thomas the Tank departed the Temple, puffing and pursued by moneychangers. A great darkness fell on the land and the other chariot-owners were sore afraid.

Instead of waiting until the time of Holy Consecration in the Land of the Rising Sun, the false God Shoemaker escaped with the Holy Grail in the middle of the service and the television altars were extinguished in mourning (actually the very early hours of the morning in the case of the Japanese GP.)

So terrible was the apathy that fell upon the people, that even the eunuchs and concubines who entertained the high and mighty of many corporate lands in the Club of Paddocks, a magnificent temple built above the Chariot Stables, had little to do. The guests proclaimed "Verily verily, I say unto you that watching hieroglyphics dry is more fun than this." And people no longer wanted to enter the Kingdom of Bernie.

And verily the Great God Bernie was vexed for the faithful had previously borne him gifts of gold, credit cards and checks in order to enter the Temple ( "No concessions, no students, no unemployed, no shorts or trainers.")

And, in fear that more of the members should perish, and the whole body be cast into hell, it came to pass that the Great God Bernie came down from his Palace at the top of the Princes Gate and gathered his disciples around him in a hostelry at Heathrow. The disciples numbered only 10 but St Ronald of The Paragon, St Sir Francis, His Holiness Pope Jean of Maranello and another pontificator, the money-changer Flavius Briatorius from Rome were all present. So too were St Peter the Bold of Helvetica and the Brothers Honda: Eddie, a smooth man from the land of Jordan and David a hairy man from the land of Druids. And the cat-loving Santa Claus Lauda, who never leaves home without a red hat on. And fighting for an audience as well were St Oddy of the Aeroplanes and Doubtful Thomas the Tank (making a comeback appearance.

And the Great God Bernie spoke: "Verily I say unto you that our house must be built on the rock or there will come a plague of locusts (low cost airlines, low cost holidays, low cost women etc.) Floods will sink your luxury yachts and your jets will lie idle on the taxiways. Even though ye might be allowed into the Kingdom, thine pass will bear the inscription "Economy Class" and thou wilst sit on the right hand of thine hairy-arsed mechanic, whose name thou knowest not, with the beer breath and the mottos "love" and "hate" tattooed on his hands. (Although since the accident with the lathe it readeth "love" and "hat.")"

And the Great God Bernie bid his disciples to go out into the world for 40 days and 40 nights and return with a Testament for change

And the disciples did His bidding. After 40 days they returned to the Hotel Babel (this may, according to a translation note be Babble) and found themselves talking in many tongues, unable to understand one another nor reach any agreement. It was suggested that a David should be found to slay the Goliath Shoemaker. But St Ronald sayeth unto them that David was too busy attending to the needs of his Brazilian concubine and running an Inn in Monaco. (Authors note: For a long time historians believed that the Messiah was actually born in David Coulthard's hotel in Monaco. However, extensive research has since proved this to be incorrect. The fashionable theory is that this mistake was based on the fact that the first comment written in the guest book was "Jesus Christ!". It is said by scholars today that this was based on the room rate.)

Meanwhile, back in the Holy Land, the discussions were heated as St Ronald would not allow the 40 pieces of silver, which was the Prostrated Alain's birthright to pass to St Oddy of the Aeroplanes.

"We have failed you God," they wailed (and gnashed their teeth) "Show us a sign, Oh Lord!".

"I will show you a sign," proclaimed the Great God Bernie, indicating with his middle digit that he was the only one true power. "I will send you a prophet down from the mountain."

And lo, the skies parted (cue heavenly music, or sound of cash registers) and there appeared the prophet Maximus Moses, bearing two tablets. A great silence descended on the place, even quieter than the sound of a Honda engine after 30 laps of racing.

"I have in my hand a piece of paper signed by you all," sayeth the prophet. "These are the new 10 commandments and you will obey them all, even the silly one which sayeth that team orders which interfere with the race result are prohibited."

"Truly," sayeth Eddie of Jordan, "We are entering the land of Milk and Honey. It is a miracle that we have all agreed to anything. Praise be to Allah."

They were all in good humor for the Great God Bernie had said that he would treat them all to some Canaan wedding water (handily turned into wine for the occasion). As they were leaving the disciples turned for one last glance at the new Prophet, who was already busying chiselling extra clauses into the Concorde Commandments and with a cheery cry pronounced in unison: "Keep taking the tablets Maximus!" and they disperseth to sunny tax havens to prepare for the celebrations of Our Lord's birthday.

There are some that doubt that the above ever happened and claim that it is all impossible: they argue that there is no way that one could find three wise men and a virgin in the Formula 1 paddock…

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