Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Royal Enfield's Bunty Golightly -- didn't

Second in a series of articles

Maj. Bunty Golightly, the greatest ever Royal Enfield personality (even if he was fictional) insulted everyone. An early clue to his own real identity might have been a reference to keeping Australian soldiers away from sheep. From there on his Internet postings took on everyone and every nationality.

The good major was a racist, an imperialist, a sexist and a motorcyclist. He charmed and infuriated you in the same sentence.

He patronized everyone. Even the Queen was "good old Liz, wonderful gal, superb judge of horse flesh." He cheerfully explained the English language to "those unfortunate enough to be Americans." Alcock and Brown (British, of course)had been the first to fly the Atlantic. They had flown from Canada "and who could blame them?"

It was all an act, so over the top that you knew his heart (if he had one) was in the right place. His loyalty to Royal Enfields, though, was sincere and emphatic.

Bunty's postings began appearing on the Royal Enfield Yahoo message board in August, 2000. That board is the largest discussion group for Royal Enfield enthusiasts on the Internet. By December, 2000, a member was urging that Bunty's outrageously funny and politically incorrect rants be compiled into a book. The reply:

Absolutely old sport !
'course the book will never sell — don't yer know! Problem is that the world these days is run by liberalist namby pamby politically correct vegetarian pacifist cry baby guttersnipes who don't believe in the old British way of doing things. So I'm afraid the book will never sell, old man, the "powers that be" will see to that. Why even old Walton puts me emails aside and vets 'em before you chaps can digest old Bunty's bluster.

Gone are the days when a chap with a sense of adventure and a couple of thousand stalwart yeoman troops could carve out a piece of territory for himself and his descendants, the world is going to pot me old chum, the age of empires is over and we are in the age of the educated wimp — worst luck.

Bugger progress !
Time to drown me sorrows, I rather think that an Islay Malt would be an appropriate beverage.

Yours etc


What happened to Maj. Golightly? His creator never came forward, as far as I know. To the end, Bunty insisted:

But there is no mystery fellows — live at Blotto House, be glad to see any of you, if you can't catch me at home, I'll be at the Red Lion, unless it's a Wednesday in which case I'll be at the Barley Mow, 'course Saturdays I'll be at the Blacksmith's Arms, best to phone first chaps and I'll send Firkin to meet you.

And then, in November, 2005, Bunty was gone, leaving only his archived posts. They are compiled in the files section of the Royal Enfield Yahoo message board.

I'll wrap up as much as I know of the story next time. Meanwhile, Major, if you're out there, please write home.

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