Boxing clever

Here at the Farm we’re used to some wacky ideas being thrown around.  For example, Jamie thinks Nickelback are musical…Bond thinks WWE is a sport…Beard thinks only eating in darkness makes him some kind of chilli vampire…Moggy thinks sleeping in a van is normal…Kev thinks watching Swindon Town might one day be a pleasurable experience.  You get the drift.

So there we are, starting up a regualtion cook day, when Jamie saunters in and says ‘I’ve bought a horse box’.

A box, you say.

For horses, you say.

img_3863img_3864Ermmm…

When we got off the phone to the loony bin, and removed all sharp objects from Jamie’s immediate vicinty, we sat him down with a mug of his favourite girly tea and asked him to explain himself.

What he described was the latest in a line of sporadically sane and – in his mind, at least – reasonable steps towards world domination via the medium of chilli sauce.  Namely, a converted horse box which we could simply tow to events, open the hatch, and sell our wares to our fans with the minimum of all that pesky set-up faffing about.

Fair enough, we all said, surely you have purchased a box with impeccable structural integrity, ready-made hatch access and pretty much ready to go?

Ermmm…

Not at all, said Jamie.  This was to become what our glorious leader likes to describe as ‘A Project’.  Or what the rest of us like to call ‘another way for Jamie to avoid doing the cleaning’.

Anyway, the first issue was getting the box back to the Farm.  Now amongst our motley collection of vans, only Beard’s has a tow bar, and so The Van With The Go Faster Stripe was co-opted for a trip to darkest Somerset to retrieve the box.  This was actually done with the minimum of fuss, though one of the wheels did fall off on the way home.  Not an important wheel, just a spare one, so that was just fine.

Once retrieved, the enormity of the task ahead became apparent.  For what was basically a box on wheels there was an lot to do…just how can a simple box need that much work?  It quickly became apparent, though, that none of it was that dramatic.  Yes, the brakes needed some therapy.  Yes, the bodywork needed more attention than the wreck of the Titanic.  Yes, the woodwork was looking like it was suffering from the mutant offspring of Dutch elm disease and ash dieback.  But basically, it was sounder than we had any right to expect, seeing as we bought it for £4.50, a pack of Revels and a litre of Tizer.

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There were some scary moments in the process, cutting the hatch being the scariest.  Basically, get that wrong and you have broken your horse box irretrievably.  So the thorny question of where to cut came up.  Jamie, being diplomatic, took a leaf from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and asked the audience.  Jamie, being Jamie, ignored what the audience said and cut it where he wanted to anyway.  Now your humble blogger – being of the vertically challenged school of physiology – did point out that 50% of the potential customer base is (on average) his height, so you’ve just made  a lot of people look up a lot.  But, said Jamie, the person in the box would have to bend down too much if the hatch was any lower.  So a compromise was reached where Jamie got his way, and I was told (once again) to ‘pipe down shortarse, go and buy some platform shoes’.

Lots of spray painting was undertaken to make the box look less like something found discarded in a Somerset field, and more like a high-class business establishment.  Extra bodwork was added at the back of the box to fully enclose it (al fresco chilli peddling not being a feature of this particular venture).  And finally, the artwork was added – with much swearing and gnashing of teeth.  In a departure from the norm, Jamie actually agreed to getting a professional in to do that bit, rather than his usual approach of dosing himself up with Monster and staying up till 4am working out a fractionally cheaper way to do it himself.  Sides, back and roof have all been branded up, and it looks bloody splendid.

img_4262img_4182hb1hb2hb3

Why the roof, I hear you ask?  Well that’s remarkably easy to answer.  The Hot Box (as it shall be known) will make it’s first appearance at Cabot Circus in Bristol.  Many of you will be familar with this particular shiny temple to commercialism, a very modern multi-level shopping centre.  The Hot Box will of course be at ground level (horses not being fond of riding escalators), so we wanted to have our sexy logo visible from above.  See, we think of everything!

Oh God, I hear you exclaim, I’m excited to the point of hysteria – when can I see the Hot Box in action?  Well, it’s open now!  It was towed into place yesterday and opens today…and will be in residence all the way until Christmas.

hb-in-cs

So was Jamie right, after all?  Only time will tell of course, but we’re pretty sure that there’s an outside chance that he might have had a good idea, for once.

Possibly.

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