Goodbye Top Gear ...


It all began in March, when a fat man had a rather stressful day and worrying news in the back of his head. He didn't get what he wanted and did a very stupid thing. Feeling bad he reported the incidence and got suspended. Two weeks later the BBC chose not to renew his contract.
Was what Clarkson did bad? Yes, very. Should he draw the consequences for that? Yes. Should those consequences be to take his life's work away from him? No, maybe not. I freely admit that I am biased. An honest apology and some anger management, would have been my idea. Maybe that would have been done hadn't Lord Hall already put him on his final warning for saying a certain word that begins with N in a nursery rhyme about 3 years ago in one of three clips which went unaired  ... but I'm not here to discuss the Beeb's internal politics.
This choice has left two episodes unaired, and so far I could have dealt with it if we had never seen them. My guess had been that we might see them in August. After all the BBC is not exactly famed for making choices quickly. However, a very dedicated man called Andy Wilman took the matter in his hands.

On a Wednesday it was announced that yes, we'd be getting those clips on the 28th.The news about the very last Top Gear put me through more of an emotional tumult and nervousness than the fact that on Friday of the same week my wisdom teeth would be ripped out. The latter is objectively speaking worse. Even though, I was on drugs.

Just around the time I was okay, news broke that the last episode would be screened after all.
Did I like that? No, not really. Don't get me wrong, under normal circumstances I would have looked forward to every new clip that we would get. Those aren't normal circumstances, I'm grateful for everyone who worked hard to get those clips into shape and punch them into an episode. However, it would make things final, I would have to say goodbye.  And I'm not good with that. Not at all. I don't say it, at all. I often say see you later. Till the next time. If you ever leave me, then do me the favour and don't force me to say goodbye. Even when I'm aware that it is the end, it is very hard for me to speak it out loud, put it down into words. Some part of me even wished that the last filmed bits would never be screened.
In this case it would really be a goodbye. That pokey little motoring show that I hadn't realised had worked its way so deeply into my heart. Top Gear that had made me laugh in the middle of the night. It was Top Gear that had been ripped away from me suddenly in March. I dealt with that, and had dealt with never seen new episodes again.

Then I kept something fundamental in mind: around the time I re-watched series 22 I was also shy to do so. The first episode I watched together with Laura - as it was repeating on BBC3 and she shouted at me via Twitter that James says "cow!" - that had made it easier. The rest was seen by myself.
I wasn't afraid that every time I'd watch it I'd be reminded of "the thing". Instead I was afraid of being reminded what it had put me through: this not knowing, living in a grey zone, and lacking an hour sleep per night. Strangely that wasn't the case. I'm not reminded of it when I watch series 22, instead I laugh, smile, cheer when Jezza picks the i8, smile when James drives the LaFerrari in Italy Italy, remember that I had a headache which got worse when I laughed when the Peugeot episode aired ...
This is/was the point of Top Gear, yes, I was sad and even pissed that this had happened, but the point of Top Gear had always been to make the show fun. It makes me laugh, it makes me smile. It's what it has always done, and it's what it'll do on that night as well. Soon, it'll be more joy than pain, I knew.


In the end I can say this: I was laughing through the episode. I was laughing as they made jokes about Clarkson being the "elephant in the room" and putting a real one in, I laughing tears at Jezza's "grippy penis wheels", Richard shouting across the whole field as they tied him up to an aeroplane, the "many poos that shot out of Jeremy's ani" thanks for that ...
It did what Top Gear did best, making me laugh. Was it more joy than pain? Yes. Even though the studio was too empty, it just didn't look right and the final laughter was cut off quickly. As I knew that one of them would say "goodbye" and not "good night." James did so. Richard did as well. The outro played in silence.

There is a silence in this world that is rare. It's one where your brain is empty, you can't seem to think and everything appears to be quiet. The whole house was quiet and I just realised ... that was it. The last hurrah.
Goodbye Top Gear, you have a special place in my heart. Thank you for all the joy, thank you for reminding me that cars are cool, thank you for teaching me that with humour everything is better. Thank you Clarkson, Hammond & May, of course Wilman.
I cracked an "anyway" joke on tumblr & twitter, I shed a few dignified tears, my friend tried to cheer me up by sending me what I have dubbed "die scheiƟ cabbage" and with that silence around I went to bed. Because I knew that this was coming, and what else was I supposed to do ...


Still, I couldn't help but wonder: If this has already such an effect than how would I feel in London in November?
Now I have to admit to something that is not easy: I was wrong. In a previous post I stated that Clarkson, Hammond and May Live would be the "The last hurrah, the final goodbye" but that's not true!

I've always been in awe that the boys were able to travel so much, and have their half-arsed adventures. Fact is the last episode of Top Gear was the last hurrah.
However, CHM Live will be our half-arsed adventure, with tickets which cost - let's be honest - 97€, by a student who lives on a monthly budget that has barely three digits, with no idea what my life will look like in November, using a means of transportation in which I threw up the last time, in a city that I've never been to, where everyone drives on the wrong side of the road ...
Defiantly planned ambitiously and hopefully not rubbishy as well.

It's an adventure I look very much forward to.

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