Tales from the Round Files

I can’t help but wonder, when Catman passes by Butcher in the hallway, or Mitch looks over at Brian during a staff meeting, are they both think what I’m thinking ...

WORDS: Robert Cimeno
PHOTOS: Brian Nelson

I can't help but wonder, when Catman passes by Butcher in the hallway, or Mitch looks over at Brian during a staff meeting, they both think what I'm thinking... who has the better hair? Hey, it's hard to read minds when Mitch's cloudy noggin is filled with Grateful Dead lyrics and Brian's Herbal Essence Conditioner sets off my asthma. But one doesn't need psychic abilities or a phone-line clairvoyant to tell what thought lies buried deep in the sub- conscience of those two size XXL brain buckets.

JUST WHO IS THE FASTER RIDER ?

You know they think it. But how do you safely broach the subject of an 800 pound gorilla in the room without one or both of them crushing your typing fingers, and in my case, tossing my resume into the round file?

I had sort of set the ball in motion several months back while trying to get a job with Motorcyclist. I submitted a list of possible articles, and while most were routinely dismissed as "Boring, Blah Blah " or " This Really Bites,"( very eloquent Mitch ) one idea was left alone. No comment, no feedback, no mention at all. Fast tracked to oblivion. Locked safely away in the editors’ secret file cabinet, deep in the bowels of the Primedia basement, next to Tim Carrithers’ desk and the Roswell crash debris, one level down even from Michael Candreia's Museum of Motorcycle Torture and collection of smelly used Boehm leathers. We're talking buried deep here people.

[It was the idea everybody thought... but dare not speak aloud either for fear of retaliation or down right career suicide. One of the last things you do to successfully acquire a moto journalism job must be taking the Oath of Competitive Castration. "For thou shalt not challenge nor speak poorly of a fellow journalist."Heck, I went to Art School where the motto was.

I don't remember it, but anyway I wondered aloud "Who could smoke who?" after the famous Barber track day article with Kevin Schwantz. The Butcher on his Ducati 999R and Catman on his MV Augusta F1000R. A duel for the heavyweight crown more aptly titled "Kat Kong vs Boehmzilla."Eager for a chance, I didn't know any better.
It just came out..."Why not have Mitch and Brian race?"

The silence was deafening. Nobody warned me that it just wasn't done. Real moto journalists thinking such endeavors were beneath them.

Well, what a couple of @%$#&* wimps I thought. Needless to say I didn't get the job. And even suggesting the match-up could quite possibly have gotten me blacklisted. How else could I explain the Editor at Cycle World's failure to call me back? And I really thought mailing my resume inside a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts would payoff. Yup, blacklisted for sure.

A few weeks ago, the Catman took the top job at Motorcyclist. Equally capable of donning leathers to ride Rossi's GP bike one moment or saving the elderly residents of a nursing home from fire the next. Now that Supercat was the boss at Motorcyclist, he was ready to tackle the really tough stuff. Deciding Best New 600 in class and (yawn) solving the Middle East Peace Crisis.No sweat. That should still leave his afternoon free.

[Suffice it to say, months of nipping at Mitch Boehm's heels for a job and chance to put my Catman vs Butcher Match-Up idea into print was undone. The Catterson cabal had successfully killed my idea, stopped taking my calls, served me a restraining order, might very well have me under surveillance and double billed me for my Motorcyclist subscription. Well, he sure filled that free afternoon.

And now with my idea locked safely away in the Primedia vault he could keep my outrageous journalistic indiscretion hidden forever. I can see him at his desk, feet up, leaning back in his leather chair, a roguish grin on his face. The lengths some men will go to prevent answering my question apparently have no bounds. Just what was the point of teaming two of the best moto journalists in the business under one roof and never have them face-off...just once? The cover-up had begun.

Another mystery forever relegated to languish in an old file cabinet next to the Kennedy Assassination, Roswell Alien Photos, Tim Carrithers’ real identity ( landed July 2,1947?),Primedia’s Employee Bonus Plan, and now, my idea submissions. The answers to which, fellow readers, you may never know.

Rob Cimeno

Current whereabouts unknown