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"Simply gobsmacking!"

  • Author: Michael
  • Date Posted: Jun 12, 1981
  • Category:

Good to have two legs today after nearly slicing one off in a make-shift skate park. By drafting English cyclist Russel for dozens of miles, I’m able to clean off the blood on my right boot at the Youth Hostel. This is where I chase the cross country olympiad on my skates through traffic, through town, through restaurants…

Arriving in Narbonne, I skate with Russel through the narrow streets, forcing us into single file formation. As cars pass, many slow to take photos of me skiing along; the spectators enjoying their usual laughter, cheers and applause. Russel comments on my instant celebrity status in the town as we pass cafes with the usual response. Yes, perhaps my excitement towards the crowds has become blasé and jaded. Russel tells me he’s “gobsmacked” by the public’s response. I look at Russel with my usual, puzzled, “please translate” expression. “Gob. Smacked; G-O-B-S-M-A-C-K-E-D, gobsmacked. It’s a perfectly good English word. Look it up.”

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