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[Loose Brown writes because everyone else can't be farked]

A very silly man decided that he would ensconse himself in a public shopfront for a week, all in the name of art, and Canberra Living Artists Week. Pablo soon found that he would be gazed at, taunted, abused, laughed at, laughed with, admired and adored throughout the week.

That kind of 'unusual' art is familiar to Rat Patrol OZ. Indeed we feel our art (FArt) is the kind that reveals more about the observer than the observed. The person walking in town, turning their head and taking in the sight of a clan of freakbikers — their immediate reaction to this scene is profoundly more revealing than an hour-long discussion could ever be. We like the ones that smile!

So in light of Pablo's brave act (supported by Arts ACT — thanks Jon) the Rat Patrol met up at the new Rat Pad to organise bikes, beers and beats.

Nic had Will Robinson loaded to the max with a PA, amplifier, generator and smoke machine. I arrived to pilot MGE, and promptly loaded it with the requirements for life on the road: eskys, ice and beer. I then put the cherished rat suit on — the rat suit that had mysteriously appeared at Schloppy Whacksoff's house after a party, sometime previously.

Alex and Aria were nervously awaiting their first ever rat ride and were taking the couch bike through it's paces out the front of the Rat Pad. Lady in red Kishwar arrived and unpacked her bike before realising we were riding all the way to Civic. She quickly packed her bike back into her car and said she would "meet us there". Schloppy Whaxoff took his chopper [WHICH DOESN'T HAVE A PROFILE] for a few turns around the street before simply sitting on it while waiting for the others. Then the front forks snapped clean off! Lucky he wasn't doing sixty.... "Mechanical!!"

Aneil was piloting Descending into Darkness [WHICH DOESN'T HAVE A PROFILE]. 5 Buck wasn't feeling very well and couldn't stomach the thought of an early morning beer. Hopefully she would start to feel better later on...

And we were off!

With PA booming and the smoke machine beltching, we took off along the bike paths of the Nation's Capital. We were going to FREE PABLO!!!! FREEDOM AWAITS!!! A lovely man riding along with his kids in the trailer on the back of his bike slowed down so his kids could see our silly bikes. Wide-eyed, the children stared in wonder at Limp Jimmy's cargo bike, Will Robinson. Limp hit the smoke button and clouds of smoke billowed out. The children's eyes grew wider! Then from the PA came a song about being sucked off or nipple rubbing or eating someone out or somthing similar and the father hit the gas and sped off.

We could hear cheering and there was Nancy Porker and Scrujette to join the convoy. Turning left past Brandi Wreckt'ems place and there he was riding the Anachronaut.

We pressed on to Civic and the Canberra Living Artists Week Parade!! Ariving at the Melbourne Building, we quickly scurried into the alleyway behind to drink a few beers and repair the first puncture of the day — SS Mitzie.

SS Mitzie puncture: one of many...

And Pablo was winding up, discussing with the crowd his experiences living in a shopfront for a week. He did a few final tricks and even levitated for a moment, before he opened the door and emerged into the bright light of day. I rode up to him on MGE and away we went with Pablo on the back, waving to his admirers. A young boy with a dashing long jacket was assisting me to co-pilot the craft — with a surprising level of competancy I thought.

We arrived at the Street Theatre and dropped Pablo off to the cheers of the crowd. Limp Jimmy was blaring music out and firing off his smoke machine until someone asked him to stop because he was drowning out the riveting commentary from some people who were trying to make watching dyed woodchips being laid out on the ground sound interesting.

Interesting commentary: FAIL

It was then that we experienced another puncture for — you guessed it — SS Mitzie. Alex and Aria were getting a little annoyed now with the contstant dicking around fixing wheels and things but as we pointed out — that's Rat Patrol!

And away we went, our task for CLAW achieved and we were off through the city. It was here that the Patrol were separated — Limp Jimmy, Catherine and myself rode Lin and Ella back to their car before hitting the cycle paths back to the inner north. After a safety stop, Limp and I called Nancy for a situation report.

Loose: This is Loose Brown to Nancy Porker... What's your situation, over.
Nancy: Yesssss roger that Loose. SS Mitzie is farked. Repeat farked, over.
Loose: Can she be repaired, over?
Nancy: That's a negative Loose — she's for the chop... Over.

With this bombshell ringing in our ears, Limp and myself made our way back to the inner north to meet up with the others. After yet another tyre failure, Schloppy had made the expensive decision to purchase a new (gasp!) tyre for SS Mitzie to try and get home. We rejoined near the Ainslie Football Club and SS Mitzie was being ridden on the flat rim of the new tyre, shaking herself to death. Alex and Arria had farked off after getting the shits with the whole thing — but hey that's Rat Patrol!

Nancy: Who has the closest place?
Loose: Me.
Nancy: Great! Your prize! A broken couchbike in the backyard for the next five months!
Loose: (in inebriated state) Great!!!

So it came to be that SS Mitzie washed up in the backyard of my place in Dickson with the rest of the Rats where we drank and played music well into the night.

5 Buck and Loose were the only Rats left at around midnight when we pulled stumps. 5 Buck must have been feeling better!

In subsequent days, an email was received by Limp Jimmy which read:

How does one thank the wonderful Rat Patrol?

I guess beer is a good start and I have two cases of Boags in the boot of my car with the Rat Patrol’s name on them. Let me know where you’d like me to deliver them and I will do so within the next day or so. You guys were so wonderful.

The costumes, the bikes, the attitude — all so lovely. It was truly above and beyond the call of duty for you to take Chanel for a spin to drum up more crowd once we arrived at the somewhat under-attended State of Belonging. We really appreciate you being so obliging. My son particularly enjoyed riding the platform bike bearing the heroic Pablo. He’s keen to get involved with Rat Patrol bike construction. Please pass on my love and thanks to all. Ciao for now...

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