Friday, December 13, 2019

Bringing back Royal Enfield's Mad Major Bunty Golightly

Illustration of man riding a vintage Royal Enfield motorcycle.
It has been suggested this is a picture of Bunty Golightly in younger years.
The Royal Enfield Yahoo Group now reborn as the Royal Enfield Forum was unique, for many reasons. For instance, useful and fun as they may have been, the other Royal Enfields forums that came along couldn't claim much literary distinction.

The old Royal Enfield Yahoo Group, on the other hand, can lay claim to the writings of Maj. Bunty Golightly.

Although he eventually showed up on other forums, the Royal Enfield Group is where he got his start. Beginning in August, 2000, this character, a retired British Army officer of the Colonel Blimp sort, entertained and outraged forum members.

Opinionated (bigoted), drunken, a lecher, the good major was also a Royal Enfiield enthusiast who often dispensed excellent advice, but always in his carefree, irresponsible, frequently insulting manner.

Of course he was fictional. The author's talent and the faceless power of the Internet obscured that. It wasn't long before other forum members found themselves behaving as though this offensive old blowhard was real. Some took very real offense, forgetting that this was satire. The author never publicly came forward, as far as I know. This increased the illusion that Bunty was real.

Bunty's speciality was puncturing balloons. He put me firmly in my place in 2004 after I had posted a lengthy and boring inquiry into whether someone who owned a Bullet would have considered buying an Interceptor, back in the day. Bunty responded:

David me dear fellow, the answer is:

Very probably, 


perhaps not.

Your servant ,

P.S. Some chaps ride Triumphs! Imagine that!!!!

Brilliant! And so pointed that reading it still stings. But everyone else got a chuckle at my expense, I'm sure.

There was a suggestion that Bunty's writing be compiled into a book. He laughed that off. After he seemed to disappear in 2005 (he would return to the forums intermittently in later years) I copied and pasted his posts up to 2006 into a file on the old Royal Enfield Yahoo Group.

It was entitled "Hand Salute!" By which I meant the gesture.

In almost all cases I included only Bunty's posts, not the posts to which he was responding (to protect the innocent). Reading along you quickly figure out what is going on.

I've reposted that file, entitled "Bunty Golightly," in the Files section of the reborn group. Be sure to go to the new Royal Enfield Group Forum and register. You must register even if you were a member of the old Royal Enfield Yahoo Group.

But, in the meantime, you can read Bunty's posts, in their entirety, right here.

I hope you'll be entertained, whether reading for the first time or because you recall reading them originally.

1 comment:

  1. We all owe you a debt of thanks for compiling the published musings of Major Bertram Golightly. They truly stand as a sustained Borat-grade study of character.


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