Tales from the Dark Side - Life (or something similar) from within the FOM Bunker

Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire sits in a large leather chair stroking a fluffy white cat. A minion rushes in:

Minion: "Mr Ecclestone, Mr Ecclestone, the contributors of Clip the Apex are up in arms about your deal with Sky"

BE: "**** 'em, have em shot. Oh, and to really piss them off ban overtaking at the next race"

The minion walks out backwards scraping and bowing as the cat purrs loudly.
Deep within the FOM bunker, a silver haired billionaire sits in a large foaming bath with candles burning all around. There is a rap at the door from a minion.

Minion: "Mein Fuhrer **cough**, Mr Ecclestone, I have a message for you"
BE: "Slide it under the door I'm bathing"

For the next few minutes there are a series of grunts & screams from outside of the bathroom.

BE: "Dammit man, come in"

The minion enters bloodied and bruised.

BE: "I thought I told you to slide the message under the door?"
Minion: "You did excellency but the message is in my head"

The silver haired billionaire looks at the minion with disdane.

BE: "Come on then man, what's the message? I have Sarkozy and Merkel waiting to discuss a new loan."
Minion: "We are borrowing money from the French and German governments excellency?"
BE: "Lending to them fool"
Minion: "Ahh. The message sire. The members of Clip the Apex are getting restless at the extended Summar break, there are no overtakes to count and Galahad and Keke the King are hacking into M25 traffic camera systems just to satisfy their desires"
BE: "Damn them to hell. I have an idea, find out when that Brogan bloke is planning his summer holiday next year and put the Belgian Grand Prix on slap in the middle of it"
Minion: "Why is that a punsihment excellency he will just be able to watch it on television?"
BE: "Because we can create a political incident between the Turks and Belgians before hand and the race won't be shown on Turkish TV fool"
Minion: "As you command sire"
BE: "Oh, and have Keke the King shot"

The minion backs out bowing and scraping, brushing past Angela Merkel entering with a loofa.
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is sitting down to dinner. The table seats 64 but only he is there, eating by the light of 27 candles burning in a lavish candelabra. A minion enters:

Minion: "Excellency, chef says he has run out of cygnets to stuff the swan with and will goslings do?"
BE: "Damn him. When I ask for swan stuffed with cygnets that's what I expect. Next you will be telling me we have run out of Lion bars"
Minion: "Apologies sire, we could fillet Ron Dennis' cat if that would be more to your liking"
BE: " Umm, fillet of RD cat. Excellent, and tell him to get some carp from that bloody pond at McLaren's HQ, you know Dennis counts them every morning"
Minion: "Certainly sire. One other thing, the members of Clip the Apex are starting to stray" "There are now discussions on cricket, rugby and one of their number is designing race tracks"
BE: "Why am I just finding out about this. I thought the World was aware that I controlled all race track designs. Check them out if they are better than anything Herman has done send John Button round to piss on the server"
Minion: "By your command excellency"
BE: "Two other things, check on Tilke, he's locked up in the cellar. I'm sure his crayon was blunt when he drew the last circuit as it was wide enough for cars to overtake each other, and have Keke the King shot"

The minion exits backwards, bowing and scraping.

BE shouts after him: "Send Todt in"

Jean Todt enters wearing a black studded leather bondage suit, a leather mask and a ball gag.

BE: "Oh for ****s sake Jean, when I said you needed to be more like Max this wasn't what I meant"
A silver haired billionaire is sitting in the games room of the FOM bunker playing Pong on a Binatone games system. A minion enters:

Minion: Excellency, just before you have your complete weekly blood transfusion there is more news from Clip the Apex.
BE: What have the bastards been up to now?
Minion: We believe the one who uses the noms de guerre, FB, may well be Flavio Briatore.
BE: Impossible, why would you make such a slanderous suggestion?
Minion: Others are mocking you in a similar style and we believe only Mr Briatore would want to do such a thing, to undermine you and take over your Empire
BE: Why would Flavio do that, look at this state of the art games system he had installed for me, a snip at £27,000. He's also having a new computer system installed at FOM HQ, apparently the Commodore 64 is the latest hi-tech system and he's agreed to sell me 200 cassettes, at cost, to record all our important data. And now all the coverage of F1 races will be recorded onto Betamax, Flavio has arranged this as well. All this for only £278 million.
Minion (rolls eyes): Indeed sire, he is indeed a great friend.
BE: Now, what else is happening
Minion: Well excellency, Maurice Hamilton has written a mocking article about your Sky deal.

BE laughs heartily.

BE: That lefty pillock, I'm sure the 7 people who read his column in the Guardian will be furious.
Minion: But sire, this has been published on the Grand Prix.com website.
BE: Website, what the **** is a website?
Minion: Via a computer, you can access the World Wide Web where people keep in contact, publish and share information.
BE: A computer eh, well, Flavio sold me a ZX Spectrum as part of the FOM computer deal for my own personal use. Fire it up and lets have a look at this World Wide Web thingy.
Minion (sighing heavily): Yes excellency.
BE: Oh, by the way, send a telegram to Mark Thompson and tell him, as agreed, he will get his children back next week now the deal with Sky is signed and feed them will you, their in the basement playing with Tilke's crayons. If they use them all we won't be able to create any more fantastic circuits.
Minion: By your command

He exits, bowing and scraping as the silver haired billionaire returns to his game of pong.
Deep within the FOM bunker an octagenerian silver haired billionaire lies snoring in bed. At the end of the bed Fabiana Flosi is curled up under a pile of £50 notes purring. A minion crashes through door in a very excitable state.

Minion: Excellency, excellency, I have some very troublng news.

BE, rubs his eyes and sits up.

BE: What the hell is it, you know my viagra only wore off an hour ago.
Minion: We have, as instructed, released Mark Thompson's children but we believe he may have been making some sort of covert deal with your money.

BE leaps out of bed as the end of the word money hits the floor and puts his foot into his chamber pot.

BE: My money, what the hell do you mean? Why haven't you told me about this earlier?
Minion: Sire, the details have only just come to light. We believe whilst negotiating with you for the return of his children, sorry, for the shared F1 deal with SKY Thompson has actually used your money to secure interview rights with Alex Ferguson, who, we are told, is the manager of a f-o-o-t-b-a-l-l team called Manchester United.
BE: Hmm, find out more about this Manchester United, maybe we can recover the situation by giving them the 13th grid slot for next season.
Minion: But sire, not every team is a motor racing team.

BE, fuming at being questioned by his minion strides toward him, still with the chamber pot on his foot.

BE - staring the minion in the chest: DO YOU DARE QUESTION ME?
Minion - stepping back: No sire.
BE: Good. Remeber what happened to Jonathan Legard. He got right under my skin so he's commentating on rowing and talking to John Humphries on the Today program.

BE and the Minion both guffaw with laughter. The minion backs out of the room bowing and scraping. Fabiani stirs.

FF: Bernie, darlink, what is the matter?
BE: Nothing, go back to sleep

Be pulls a bag from under the bed and pours more £50 notes onto her.
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is emptying out his copper jar onto the dining table. A minion enters:

Minion: Excellency a large Italian man is...

Before the the minion finishes Flavio Briatore pushes past him:


He strides towards BE, who backs away but eventually runs into the wall. FB grabs the diminutive billionaire in a bear hug and kisses him on each cheek.

BE: Flav, always a pleasure.

He pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and wipes his face. FB sits and puts his feet up on the table:

FB: MINION! Red wine, the best you have.
BE (beckons to the Minion): Better open the Lambrini
Minion: By your command Sire, a glass each?
BE: No, one glass 2 straws. Now Flav, what brings you to Cheam?
FB: Bernie, I have money to invest. I sold Fernandes that infernal football club.

Both guffaw with laughter, FB farts loudly.

BE (waving his hand in front of his face): and?
FB: I want back into F1, I want another team. Symonds is back, Stepney is back why not me?

FB bursts into tears.

BE: Flav, no more tears you know it upsets me.
FB: Sorry, I forgot you don't have tear ducts.
BE: Now listen, I have a plan, you remember that team I used to run...
FB: Brabham?
BE: Right. Now, I have a plan...

...to be continued
In a large hut behind Chessington World of Adventures a silver haired billionaire is escorting a large Italian millionaire round a load of tea chests marked "Car Parts - Property of Slavica Ecclestone"

BE: So Flav what do you think?
FB: Bernie, I'm not sure...
BE: Look mush, I'll have to have another complete blood transfusion when I get back having been exposed to that much sunlight so don't mess me about.
FB: But Bernie you only walked from your car to this, urrm, place. I've seen you on the grid many times enjoying the sunshine.
BE: yes... me.... on the grid.... Anyway WHAT do you think?
FB: So all of this, the car parts, the engines, the tyres, Gordon Murray, Nelson Piquet and 11 pallets of expired Parmalat milk? All this for just £60 million?
BE: A bargain sunshine. Look, over there, I'll even throw in some of those Alfa Romeo V8 turbos engines Enzo Osella gave me, a job lot of Olivetti computers and a couple of crates of Martini Rosso - 1976, a great vintage. You'll be good and ready for 2014 and they new turbo regs, be able to go onto the interweb on the computers and impress all the pit girls with the Martini. You won't even have to buy tyres, these old Pirelli's will be just fine.
FB: Ahh, a Brabham Alfa Romeo, that has a great ring to it.
BE: And with Nelson Piquet at the wheel. Look Flav, you'll be a shoe in to get a grid slot. You know I've got dodgy photos of the entire WMSC so what do you say?
FB: I'll do it!

BE extends his hand but FB waves it away.

FB: Bernie, you know how we consider a deal agreed in Italy?
BE: No?
FB: Pull my finger...

BE pulls FB's finger and he farts. FB laughs loudly, BE turns away muttering under his breath. They walk out together past Gordon Murray and Nelson Piquet who are bound and gagged in the corner of the hut.

BE (to his minions): Pack it up boys, we have a buyer. But come back when it's dark, I don't want the ex seeing it go, she never understood this business.
Minions: Yes sire
BE: Oh, and have Keke the King shot.
Deep within the FOM Bunker a silver haired billionaire is staring into his bathroom mirror plucking his nose hairs with tweezers. A minion enters carrying a telephone:

Minion: I have a large Italian man on the telephone excellency.
BE: Put it on speaker then.

The minion place the phone on the shelf in front of the mirror and puts the speaker on.

BE: Flav, has all the stuff arrived?
FB: Indeed Bernie, it is all here. I am just enjoying a Martini milkshake but it is a little lumpy. Anyway, I wanted to run an idea past you.
BE: You had an idea Flav, I'll make a note in my diary. Last time you had one it got you a 4 year ban.
FB (sniffling): I thought you promised never to mention that again
BE(chuckling): So what's this idea?
FB: The team you sold me, I want to rename it.
BE: Flav, it's a name synonymous with F1 you can't do that.
FB: But Bernie, I have a way to create a team name which encompasses two names synonymous with F1, I want to call it (shouting) BRABATORIE.

Minion: Sire, sire, shall I fetch the smelling salts? Sire? SIRE!
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is scrubbing the callouses on his feet with Vim. A minion enters carrying a telephone

Minion: Excellency, the large Italian man is on the telephone again
BE: Has it been disinfected since the last call
Minion: Yes sire
BE: Put it on speaker

The minion presses the speaker button, a voice booms:

FB: BERNIE! Are you feeling better? Our last call was cut short.
BE: Yes Flav, much thank you. Low red blood cell count.
FB: Good, have you had time to think about my plan?
BE: I'l be honest Flav...

Both guffaw with laughter

BE: ...I've spoken with the members of the OTPSC and they don't think it's a good idea

FB starts to snuffle and cry.

BE: But we have a compromise
FB (snifflng): What?
BE: We've agreed on Flavio Moda

FB wails and sobs

BE: Oh, and Perry McCarthy is available too.

FB: NO, NO, NO...

BE gestures to the minion who takes the telephone and presses the red button.

Minion: An excellent compromise sire
BE: I thought so.

The minion exits bowing and scraping.
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is watching Coronation Street in the television room. A minion enters carrying a telephone

Minion: A Mister Dennis Il Duce.
BE: On speaker and pause this documentary. Can you believe how people in the North live?
Minion: No excellency. Er, bye 'eck

The minion pushes the speaker button on the phone and presses the pause button on the Sony C6 Betamax video recorder.

BE: Ron!

The minion pushes the off button on the phone and he and BE guffaw with laughter.
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is leafing through a copy of Saga Magazine in the magazine room. A minion enters, very animated.

Minion: Master, there is some news from the internet we felt you should know about.
BE: Dammit man, can't you see I'm planning a holiday.
Minion: Sorry excellency but you remember the Super Double Extra Special Secret project Herr Tilke was working on...
BE: You mean the Circuit Robert Mugabe in Harare?
Minion: Yes excellency. Well, we have received some photographs via the internet.
BE: Bloody internet, find out who it belongs to, have them shot and switch it off.
Minion: By your command sire, but first would you like to see what we have received?
BE: Go on then...

The minion hands BE a sheet of paper with a photograph printed on it. An alarm suddenly
sounds and the minion shouts:


A crash team enter as the paper falls to the floor.

Flavio moda.jpg
Deep inside the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is brushing his hair in the hair brushing room. A minion enters:

BE: 78, 79, 80...
Minion: Sire, I have news from Clip the Apex
BE: Dammit, what is your fascination with that place?
Minion: Sorry Sire, we get a little bored in the Minion's repository.
BE: Repository! I knew it was a mistake to let Ron Dennis name even one room. Anyway, what's the news?
Minion: We believe the member referred to as Ray in Toronto Canada has offered to be Lewis Hamilton's manager.
BE: Ah yes, I recall Fernando turned him down in Montreal so I suppose he was bound to turn his attention to Hamilton at some time.
Minion: Should we do anything?

Both guffaw with laughter before the minion exits bowing and scraping. BE returns to brushing his hair.

BE: 81, 82, 83...
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is picking his nose in the nose picking room. A minion enters:

Minion: Highness I believe the conspiracy against Lewis Hamilton may have reached the public domain
BE: Bugger, I told Whitmarsh the nail in the tyre in Japan was a trick to far.
Minion: Yes excellency
BE: Get in touch with Luca and tell him to get Massa to drive into him again
Minion: But won't that be a bit obvious
BE: Yeah, but it'll be fun.
Minion: By your command sire

The minion exits bowing and scraping and the billionaire goes back to picking his nose.
At the FIA medical centre at the Buddh International Circuit a silver haired billionaire is receiving his usual post race blood transfusion. A bearded, bespectacled former team owner enters the room.

EJ: Great race here in India Bernie
BE: Yes, India is a great venue
EJ: We should have come to India before
BE: Yes, India has proven to be a a fantastic location for a Grand Prix
EJ: So we'll be coming back to India next year?
BE: Yes, I have no doubt that India will become a stable venue on the F1 calender
EJ: It's fantastic place India
BE: I couldn't agree more Eddie, India is just great
EJ: Herman designed a great circuit for the first Indian Grand Prix here in India
BE: Indeed, such an important event as the first Indian Grand Prix deserved the input of F1 premier circuit designer.
EJ: India
BE: Yes, India

EJ turns to leave.

BE: One last thing Eddie
EJ: Yes Bernie
BE: You look a complete ****er in that shirt.

EJ wanders out muttering India repeatedly under his breath.
Inside the "Red Bull" room of the FOM bunker a small, silver haired billionaire sit on a large Infiniti bean bag. A tall aspiring Italian politician enters:

BE: Luca, good of you to come!
LdM: I don't like this room
BE: BE: Thought you wouldn't. No point going to the Ferrari room though is there, not many recent trophies to see there. Take a seat, Parmalat and Martini Rosso milkshake?
LdM: Grazia

BE beckons in a minion

BE: Mix up some of that crap Flav forgot to take. Now Luca, we need to have a chat about a couple of things.
LdM: Bernie, I didn't want to upset you...
BE: Upset me Luca? What ever makes you think that? No, no, no, I just wanted to show you something.

BE picks up three pieces of paper from the floor and pass them to LdM.

LdM: What are these?
BE: The one on the top is my bank statement, the one underneath is from the Agnelli family and the final one; now what is it called? Ah yes, a memorandum of understanding.

LdM studies the pages, flushes and then starts to sweat profusely.

BE: Now, any more talk of Ferrari quiting F1, you running 3 cars or your Brazilian gimp running into Lewis again and the intials SF on all the Ferrari badges will change to BE, even the cars already out there.
LdM: *coughs* I understand
BE: Good, now run along now you can have that milkshake to go.
LdM: Si Commendatore

As LdM leaves BE beckons him back

BE: A couple of other things, one more run in between Lewis and the gimp before the end of the season could actually be fun but don't make it so bloody obvious. And this is for you, just in case you get any more ideas above your station.

BE hands LdM a paddock pass with a photograph of Flavio Briatore in a pair of skimpy swimming trunks, under the picture reads the legend: F Briatore, Ferrari Chairman & Lurv Machine, Access All Areas.

Ldm swallows on something hard and jagged and exits the room.
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is in the arse scratching room, scratching his arse. A minion enters:

Minion: Emperor, a group of large Texan men are here to see you.
BE: Unless they have a suitcase full of cash tell them to piss off.
Minion: By your command

The minion exits bowing and scraping.
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is sitting in the coffee drinking room sipping a cup of tea. A minion enters carrying a telephone:

Minion: A large Italian gentleman for you Commendatore
BE: Didn't I tell you to change the number?
Minion: I did Sire but you know he has "contacts" and they haven't much to do since the News of the World closed down.
BE: Bugger! Oh, and have this room renamed, either that or shoot the fool who served my tea here.

He takes the telephone

BE: Flav, great to hear from you.
FB: Bernie, I am very worried
BE: For why Flav, you've got your yacht back haven't you?

There is a brief silence

FB (his voice tightening): I have read the reports about Valencia. You know times are hard for me at the moment...
BE: Don't worry Flav, I saw off those Americans when they came in "wondering if they could renegotiate?" you don't think the vice president of the Garagiste of Valencia worries me do you?
FB: Generalitat Bernie
BE: Garagiste, Genralitat, Gordonbrownies, whatever! Flav, have you ever know me to "renegotiate" ?
FB: No Bernie, although Slavica did a pretty good job.

There is another brief silence.

BE (his voice tightening): Anything else?
FB: No Bernie, just remember though I down to my last 200 million and these super models don't come cheap.
BE: Super Models? You're not still chasing them? I thought you got married?

Both guffaw with laughter.

FB: Nothing else, just remember your old friend, ciao!

FB farts loudly just before hanging up.

BE: And up yours too.

He hands the phone to the minion.

Minion: The room has been renamed, Il Duce, and the tea serving minion shot.
BE: Excellent!
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired Billionaire is in the Brabham room poking a bound and gagged Gordon Murray with a sharp stick. A minion enters:

Minion: Oh Dark Lord, Caterham have just publish some pictures of their car for 2012. It's not a pretty sight.
BE: Yeah I know, it's all part of Jean's master plan. When he does a grid walk he needs something uglier than him to make sure Michelle stills fancies him.
Minion: Indeed Sire, although I think he made need to work on the regulations further for 2013 if he is to achieve his ambition.
BE: How are the Bernie Bots coming along?
Minion: Slowly Highness but the first is nearly fully mobile.
BE: That's not bloody good, they're supposed to be like me
Minion: Sorry Commendatore, I'll ask the programmer if they can mimic gout in both feet.
BE: Good, and pop down to Tesco for the wigs.
Minion: Sire?
BE: They do those rag head mops on BOGOF, cheaper than some bloody wig maker.
Minion: Indeed Excellency, I'll despatch one of the junior minions to Tesco straight away.
BE and make sure he uses my Clubcard, don't want the little sod nicking my points.
Minion: By your command sire.

The minion exist the room backwards bowing and scraping. Bernie returns to poking Gordon Murray.
Deep within the FOM bunker a silver haired billionaire is in the aftershave un-stoppering room. Opening a bottle of Amouage Die Pour Homme he moves to the aftershave application room.

BE: Real men do wear aftershave Clarkson

The silver haired billionaire puts a few drops into his hand and splashes it onto his face. As he leaves the room a minion ducks out of shadows, replaces the stopper in the bottle and returns it to the un-stoppering room. As the silver haired billionaire wanders down a corridor towards the Master Control Centre a minion approaches.

Minion: Oh great dark lord of the Sith, the other minions have asked me to ask you a question.
BE: Well go on then, time's money.
Minion: Well oh great and noble one, we have been reading about Sir Frank Williams promoting one of his daughters to a senior position within Williams F1 and wondered if you might have similar plans.
BE: Nope, none
Minion (under his breath): Thank **** for that!
BE: Pardon?
Minion: Nothing oh shining star, I shall pass the message to the other minions.
BE: Yeah, you do that.

The silver haired billionaire continues on down the corridor. As he reaches the door of the Master Control Centre he can hear whooping and shouting from the Minions Repository.
Seated in the Master Control Centre a silver haired billionaire is flicking through a variety of screens watching cameras set up in every office of every F1 team, listening intently to the conversations being had. Seated around are a number of minions wearing headphones and hurriedly writing notes as they collate every detail of every conversation. Another minion enters:

BE: What's the problem HRT cameras?
Minion: As you know, Oh Magnificent One, they are currently workign from the back of truck driving round Spain looking for a location and they keep dropping out of range.
BE: Bugger
Minion: Sire, as you know the season is only one week away and we wondered who you wanted to be World Champion this year?
BE: Yes, I've been thinking about that. Been a few years since Fernando won and the Spanish are losing interest. We let Jenson have it in 2009 when he let me sleep with his girlfriend, shame Slavica found out. Vettel for the last two years but if I have to drink another can of Red Bull I might barf, even if it is free. Timo helped out with Lewis back in 2008, not sure we can use that trick again people might get suspicious. Who Else is there?
Minion: Well, Oh Great and Noble One, Kimi's back and we have a huge supply of shampoo which is better than that crap Jenson gave us. Michael has offered the services of Ralph's wife along with as many toys as you can bear. Mr Rosberg keeps ringing up to find out what it will take for his son to win at least one race and, of course, there is Mark Webber and Felipe Massa.

Both guffaw with laughter as the last two names hit the floor.

BE: Right, I think we need something different. What about letting Nico win it this year but I need something return.
Minion: I'll contact Mr Rosberg and find out what is on offer.
BE: Very good

Behind BE one of the minions rips off his head phones

Minion: Sire, sire, I just over heard Martin Whitmarsh mention you.
BE: In what regard?
Minion: He suggested sending you on a night out with John Button and taking various compromising photographs to guarantee one of their drivers, and to use his words, "preferably Jenson", wins the title this year.
BE: Hmmm, think it's time to slip another dodgy dossier into their office. Get Pat Fry on the phone, his new role should make him more than compliant especially after the threats Luca made recently.
Minion: Threats?
BE: Well that's what I thought they were.
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