A couple of years ago, Biketruck found himself in Afghanistan. Was it a stag do? A secret mission? Or was he just buying heroine? Either way, find out how, as usual, bizarre things happen whenever he’s around!
y job – if you can call it that, is to think up interesting ideas and put them into operation. A while ago, I thought about taking some celeb names to Afghanistan to meet the troops and get an inside story on what life’s like in a war zone.
Before long, I found myself in the middle of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, wearing a flak jacket, helmet and desert boots, listening to machine gun fire, distant explosions and helicopters roaring overhead, thinking “Oh shit!”.
It was just before Christmas which added another dimension to being there. I’d pulled together a show, which we’d tour around Helmand Province to provide troops with entertainment. Apart from the main stars, which I’ll come to in a moment, the show included two dancing girls called ‘The Gash Grinders’. Call me old fashioned – or just plain dumb, but I had no idea what the hell a gash grinder did.
“So, what kind of dancing do Gash Grinders do, hey, girls?” “We make sparks fly out from our pussies”, they answered. Fair enough, I thought – that’s quite special.
The two celebs I’d conned into coming out there were Ross Noble (Mr. Comedy) and Charley Boorman (Mr. Adventure). The show could loosely be described as a humorous chat show, with me interviewing Charley and Ross on an improvised desert stage, but with an element of erotica thrown in at the start of each show by the Gash Grinders. They were a hard act to follow to be honest – two beautifully gorgeous scantily clad dancers with sparkling pussies and an audience of about 1500 blokes, think about it.
My name is Hassan. I’m to take you out to meet someone. Call your friends over. Get in, we have to move quickly
About a week in, I got a message after one of the shows. It was midnight, eerily dark and very cold. “Would you all like to come out to a special forces camp and meet the guys?”. The man with the message was dark skinned with a long black beard and piercingly black eyes. He was acting a bit shady, looking round all the time, yet before I could think it through, I’d said yes and he gave me a rendezvous point for the following night after the show.
Ross and Charley were standing behind me, the girls having sensibly slinked off to do some much needed maintenance on their equipment.
“Where is he?” said Ross. “Buggered if I know, there’s no sign of him” I replied as I nervously watched my breath turn into vapour as it left my mouth hitting the chilled night air. We’d been waiting at some lonely crossroads – quiet, dark and spooky, not a soul to be seen. Charley said “Are you sure this guy was legitimate? Why do we have to meet him here at this time of night?”. Feeling the pressure, I was just about to abort the mission when a Range Rover, with blacked out windows stopped across the road and flashed its lights. I walked over to it and the window buzzed down a few inches to reveal just the driver – a local Afghani.
Holy shit, I thought as we weaved down sandy tracks, passed checkpoints and empty buildings, ending up in a desert clearing
“My name is Hassan. I’m to take you out to meet someone. Call your friends over. Get in, we have to move quickly.”
Now I know what you’re thinking – abort, abort, abort. So, I called the boys over and we all jumped into the back of the car…
Charley whispered “So is this the guy you met?”. “No, this is Hassan” I replied and then gulped. “Hassan, where are we going and what time will we get back?” “I’m sorry sir, I cannot answer that”. Holy shit, I thought as we weaved down sandy tracks, passed checkpoints and empty buildings, ending up in a desert clearing. We stopped outside a high fenced compound lit only by the night sky. Charley and Ross were both very quiet now. My mouth was dry and I wondered if there really was a God, had I paid that insurance premium and what would my daughters spend the money on?
Hassan spoke Arabic on a handheld radio and a few seconds later the gates of the compound slowly opened. We drove in passed numerous vehicles that were covered by tarpaulins and noticed several silhouettes of people, obviously heavily armed.
Hassan led us on foot down a narrow alleyway into the heart of the compound. Charley looked at me and without the need for words I understood, I’d fucked up big time.
There was a rusty old pock-marked steel door ahead of us, which was pushed open as we approached it. On the other side, instead of the chair, video camera and masked baddies, stood a tall blond haired, tattooed man wearing a hula hula skirt and holding three bottles of Budweiser!
“Welcome boys!” He shouted.
Behind him were about twenty men and women, drinking beers, eating hotdogs and having a great time. A sandpit fire was roaring and we were quickly passed even more beer and hotdogs. Phew! We’d arrived at the British Special Forces late night Christmas party! It was good to be alive – no really, it really was good to be alive.
Waking early morning with a headache, I could hardly lift my head off the pillow (yes, we had pillows!). For a strictly no alcohol ‘dry camp’ I was strangely hung over, but what a fantastic night we had. As we stumbled to our truck we noticed all of the special forces faces from the previous night running passed us, in full military gear – it was 6:00am.
Over the time we spent there, we met some amazing people, both local Afghanis and NATO personnel and shared many a tale of fun and indeed tragedy. We’ll never forget them. Waiting at an airstrip in Helmand for our departure, one of the special forces guys jogged towards me to say goodbye. He shook my hand. I climbed aboard the C130 Hercules, sleepy eyed and realised he’d slipped a heavy coin into my palm. Imprinted on the coin was ‘Who Dares Wins’.
Oh, by the way, as for the Gash Grinders – the girls went right mental when they heard what they’d missed. Sparks flew!
Fancy an adventure across Africa with Biketruck. You can book Billy as a private guide for a small group or join in with Biketruck & Charley Boorman on their annual African adventure. Each year they lead a group of people across Southern Africa. Riding BMW’s from Cape Town up into Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho before returning back to Cape Town. Do the whole trip or a section of it.Click Here for More