Just on that, it isn’t the rich that bothers me. All power to them, I’d like some of that, with all the cool gear there is to spend it on. But it’s the arms. I don’t mind thinking about guys with no legs and massive arms. That’s fine. But the other way round? Nope, that’s not a thought I like to have popping into my mind at all. I mean, if God told you you had to have two of Dave Graham’s limbs, you’d definitely take your allotment in legs, wouldnt’ you. Having Sharma legs and Graham arms would be a disaster. You’d never be able to take your effing shirt off. But Sharma arms and Graham legs and you’d still get respect. Acually, maybe the Sharm would be even better if he had Graham legs: Has anyone discussed that? And: Hang On, That’s Not F!cking All. What I’m saying here misses that Dave might actually be seriously well hung. In which case if you really did have to take two of his limbs, you’d have a dilemma on your hands, because at some point you might be tempted to go for one of his legs and his you know wh!t, despite all the problems that would throw up.
‘The genou’ – Cranmeister’s term for using your knee when you can’t get your effing foot high enough, scored a goal with this Norwegian chick. Got me thinking about times I’ve ended up using my head too. Sometimes you get desparate to wedge yourself in and there isn’t anything else. I used to call those ‘Tets’, (Frenchies call their head la tete), but if you try calling it that people can’t help mishearing and think you are saying ‘tits’, which gets confusing, especially if after another few beers, you do want to say ‘tits’. I suppose the obvious thing to call them is ‘headers’, but then football has already bagged that, and I don’t like thinking about those rich guys with massive legs and no arms.
Don’t know about you, because you may not yet have graduated from the school-of-bad-man-climbing like I have, but do you ever find yourself pulling through a move so goddamned cool that you just want to get off belay, duck behind a bush and fire up the starter motor right there and then? Course, it would never actually happen like that. Not just because of the privacy question, unless you were one of those self-belay maniacs. But because by the time you’d got your thighs out of your harness, the engine would have cooled right down. Come to think of it, they should make a harness for this kind of market, with a velcro thingy that you could just whip off for those champagne moments. That would be something. And let me tell you, if there are any gear manufacturers out there getting a total tent pole on about the idea of a harness like that, I am well up for collaborating. There’d be some safety issues to deal with. Like the bad things that can happen between velcro and the hair down under. But there must be some Shoreditch design geezer who could sort that one. I ‘spose there is that bullsh!t about that stuff affecting performance. Remember the world cup where the wives weren’t allowed in? Personally I think that’s rubbish. Whenever I’ve had a bit of private time I always feel like I could flash 8a right there and then, though I haven’t actually tested it out yet.
Ever watched Pumping Iron? If you haven’t, you should. It’s f!cking great even though there’s no climbing. Tell you what, it would have been cool to get those body-building geezers down the crag. That would be immense. The crankmeister would have been just the one to bridge that gap between the LA muscle scene and rock. I reckon that both communities kinda dig me. If you ask me, that’s the way the sport should go. Watch those f!cking hulks get on giant holds, not these skimpy blokes or women no heavier than flies wriggling up stuff. Anyway, Arnie once said that the pump he got from doing curls was better than s!x. If you don’t believe me, google it, numskels, or better still, watch it. I never got it until I found myself pulling SERIOUSLY hard sh!t on rock. If you are a crimp-fester like me, you’ll know what I mean. That being said, it’s tricky to make the comparison right now. Been some time since the crankmeister got himself into a proper off-width, if you get my meaning. Hard to believe, I know, but true. But next time I get to put my hand in the super-chalk, (bit of unwanted product placement there), I’ll try to get back on the rock while it’s fresh in my mind. Knowing the kind of guy Arnie was, I reckon he was right though.
This is another fu=!cking categorical gap on UKC (which, for the global fan base, is a UK climbing forum, not to be confused with the next entry on google United Kenel Clubs, which looks fr!gging scary). Anyway, what I’m talking about is that you should get a tick for doing the damned clipstick ascent. This summer, I was down at the Crag of Crags at Portland [=The Cuttings, for the sport ignoramus], and this geezer could see I was eyeing up the 7b he was done with and he kindly offered me the use of his rope. Did I try to top-rope it? No, of course not, that would not be the way of the crank-meister. Checking that the kindly geezer was out of sight, and thinking ahead, I used the top-rope to back up my own clip-stick ascent, so that next time I had to do it in public, I could guarantee a cool and relaxed-looking ascent. It was no small thing too as bolt two involved a big heave off a side-pull and you had to drop the clip in from above, with the clipstick maxed out, and your forearm wobbling, and at this point you can barely see the f!cker. That move alone is probably C5. Anyway, done! Rock on! Sure enough, on the next trip with the lads, I was ready to clip clip clip like a seasoned pro, and anyone checking out the action with team crankmeister would guess that we were regular bad-!ssed dudes solidly into our 7b project. Oh Yes.
Some climbers look the part more than others. Donne, Sharma, you can imagine them living a normal life, 36 waist, trying to warm up on the old v4s next to me, hitting the lagers afterwards, arguing about who has the biggest ‘ceps and what to do to crank harder. But those skinny bird-men look disgusting. I just can’t relate to it. Do they eat food, or what? Where do they live? In little hutches or something? When I see the vids with those kids in I feel kind of sick and like I want to swat the telly to get them off the screen. When they used to have boxing on the telly, no-one ever bothered watching the featherweights. That was just a warm up. It was always the heavyweight dudes with the f!cking huge chests that could hardly walk that drew the crowds. If they put me in charge that’s how it would be with climbing. I know I’ve gone on about this before, but it really gets my f!cking goat. Although I have to admit, there’s a limit. The other day these two geezers came over to me after I’d given up trying to send a v5 warm-up and said ‘what can we do to get better?’. I was f!cking floored by that one. I swear they had stomachs the size of my GTI. I couldn’t really help myself and I just said, ‘well, you can start by laying off the bevvies and pork pies a bit, mate’, which, to be honest, was a bit rich coming from me. But still. ‘What can we do to get better?!’
There’s a geezer on UKC who actually bagged that name! Respect and two thumbs way up from the Crankmeister for that one! Anyway, seeing that got me to thinking more about the subject of pulling at the climbing wall. More specifically, on the topic of how to accommodate the odd clipstick extension when in close proximity etc. When you are offering some unsolicited beta to one of the girlies it’s only polite to touch their waist a bit, and if they are half good-looking even that can get the blood going down to the Crank of the Meister. So what to do about it? I’ve got all kinds of bouldering gear from tight to baggy, and to be honest nothing has hit the spot yet. Trouble with tight is you feel like you’re f!cking strangled. And if there’s a pube caught down there you are in serious trouble we are talking A&E basically. And worst of all it’s not even going to get noticed, which is pretty damned pointless isn’t it? But then if you go loose, well, it’s darned dangerous. There’s this guy at my local who has started wearing these pants I’d call Ali-Baba pants. (And if you google Ali Baba you get the exact same pants so don’t go accusing me of not being PC). I was trying to work out for myself what he was doing with these pants. I was thinking at first it was a kind of ‘I’m a man of the big wide world sort of thing’, to attract the ladies who like that. But maybe he’s thinking that this is the best way to deal with the fishing rod problem. Listen if there are any climbing fashion gurus reading this (fair point, long shot) you should get onto it. There’s a real gap in the market there.