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Thursday, 26 April 2012

TGO Challenge: Cautionary Tales, Part 1: The Tick Bite

THE TICK BITE:

In the TGO Challenge Final details it states:
“Ticks tend to secrete themselves away in warm areas of the body and their bite is not normally noticed. All Challengers should be very vigilant, examining themselves and their partners every night, carefully removing any found on the skin.”

I reached Braemar as a solo walker, Bob having dropped out at Corrour Station with feet resembling chopped liver. I have to say, we were not in the habit of checking each other over for ticks but by the time I arrived at the Fife Arms I knew that something was not right “down below.” I checked in at reception and rather than nipping straight upstairs to my room to check out the discomfort, I was waylaid by Terry & Keith in the hotel’s main bar, who had seen me arrive.

Quite a few hours and many rounds later, I eventually extricated myself from the party. Once in the privacy of my room I began the search for the cause of the irritation. This involved staring into the small mirror of my sighting compass at the reflection of my undercarriage. With my balance slightly altered by the application of severalteen pints of Guinness, this inevitably led to frequent tumbles onto the bedroom carpet.

This obviously was not working. I solved the falling over problem by taking myself off into a full-to-the-brim bathtub with my sighting compass to have another look. With my feet up on the far end of the bath and the compass under the water I could spy the trouble: A big fat tick, delicately positioned between balls and bottom!

I don’t know if you have ever tried to perform this operation under water with one hand holding a compass and the other the tweezers. It is jolly near impossible. For a start, everything is the wrong way round in the mirror and after the Guinness, the problems seemed to be insurmountable.

Having jabbed and tweaked various dangly bits with differing degrees of pain, I gave this up as a bad job and decided to seek medical help after smearing myself liberally with half a tube of Savlon.

By now it was getting towards time for dinner and so I dressed and slid down the Fife’s wonderful bannisters to pop into the bar for some uncomfortable food. It was whilst finishing off my pudding that I made the fatal mistake. I asked Terry if there was a Doctor in Braemar.

Before I knew it, the whole bar knew of my delicate predicament. Tomorrow was a Sunday and everyone assured me that the Doctor didn’t have a surgery that day. But apparently, I was in luck; Keith worked at a hospital and had just the equipment for the job: a pair of long-nosed tweezers.

At this point, I should make you aware that Keith & Terry had been in the Fife Arms all day, having arrived the evening before.

A head-torch and the long-nosed tweezers were produced and it was as I was bent over the back of a settee, with my trousers around my ankles in the lounge bar of the Fife, with Terry and his head torch & tweezers extracting the burrowing beastie, that the late running Wallace Arnold coach party burst through the front doors of the hotel to check in.

42 comments:

  1. Oh boy, this has cheered me up no end today - cheers Alan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My end was considerably happier afterwards, too, Justin
      :-)

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  2. Replies
    1. Mr Leyland took me under his wing back in 1995 on my first Challenge. Told me I was a miserable sod. I've loved the old swine ever since.
      :-)

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  3. Outstanding! Look forward to more...

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    Replies
    1. There will indeed be more. It involves bathrooms again, I am afraid. It's all getting a bit lavatorial...

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  4. How many times have you been banned from the Fife exactly...?

    Just askin'

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    Replies
    1. It's a badge of honour, Sir! Wear it with pride!

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  5. It's the way you tell 'em Alan, what a wonderful Challenge Tale!!!

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    Replies
    1. The thing is, I have to be careful to spare peoples' blushes. Some of the participants are still alive...

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  6. Where is part 2 and how many holiday makers fainted or applauded, Just like your bits don't leave us hanging.

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    Replies
    1. The clever thing about the bath was that the softer parts of one's anatomy float, making observation just that little bit easier...

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  7. Now, I should point out that since Dave is your oldest and bestest buddy from school,
    that this pedigree more than amply qualifies him to perform any necessary
    or even unnecessary surgical interventions on your anatomy, in order to be able to facilitate a successful crossing.

    I am of course more than happy to provide any medical advice, what with most of my relatives being Doctors and all that.
    This will however definitely be in a HANDS OFF capacity init.

    I can of course provide the Tick Puller
    AND if all else fails there is always the Leatherman Tool to fall back on.

    Just thought I would get that clarified before we leave :)

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    Replies
    1. Have you ever seen Wilky without a drink in his hand? The shakes are a terrible thing. And with a drink in his hand, would you really trust him with pointy things near your nether regions???

      No, Dear thing. The responsibility is yours. I shall look forward to it.
      :-)

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    2. Hmmmm....

      Not sure I will. :(

      I'll be keeping Wilky well away from the bottle then :)

      Delete
  8. Brilliant, Alan! I just had to share this tale!

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  9. Your story reminds of a long distance hike I did some years ago in Thailand where I plodded into a nearby bar in Bangkok.

    Not quite as funny as yours but just as scary nonetheless.

    Ticks???!!!

    I shit em

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    Replies
    1. Jock.
      I really should give you the opportunity of a guest spot on the blog...

      Delete
  10. So,were you ever sued by Wallace Arnold for the shock and distress that your bare rear end caused their unsuspecting coach party..?

    -Trevor

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    Replies
    1. I believe we were asked to leave the lounge area... I cannot be sure. And as Christopher Marlowe once said: "but that was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead."

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    2. Alan, it's probably not that important in the scheme of things, but did you 'assume the position' voluntarily or were you roughly manhandled over the back of that sofa?

      I'm not entirely sure why I feel the need to know this level of detail and it probably says something uncomplimentary about me that I do.

      Delete
    3. Byways
      I am slightly disturbed at your request for the grimy details... This topic should be discussed with Mrs Byweays, after a few drinks and with a length of that nice soft silk rope...
      :-)

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  11. What am I going to do if I get ticks in a similar spot? I've got Heather & Sue as walking buddies!!!

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    Replies
    1. Your Holiness, the Incredibly Irreverend Dave:
      They have always said the Lord looks after his own. And indeed he has. He has supplied you with two beautiful assistants to help with your undercarriage.

      He moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform....
      :-)

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    2. A tick in Braemar is no different to a tick in Galashiels, or was that not what you meant?

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    3. Alan, I gather there is a nastier "Part 2". I shudder to imagine it!

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    4. Part II is really painful.
      It involves more bathroom humour.
      :-(

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  12. Well you might as well do it right, get them out for all to see. I see it as an example to other TGOCers how not to do it!

    Funny though, don't know if I want to read part 2?!? I will though :-)

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    Replies
    1. It's the ghoulish lure of the insane...

      Tomorrow there's a guest post going up (this blog's first!) and Part II in this series will be at the weekend.
      :-)

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  13. Are you familiar with the mountain stories of G.F.Dutton Alan? This one of yours is every bit as funny. I await part 2 with trepidation.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mark
      Ooh - I haven't I'm afraid - so I shall nip off and Google him straight away. The world's a better place if it's laughing.

      Delete
  14. You have such a way with words Alan, few can reduce me to tears at this time in the morning, unless they are tears of dispair.

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    Replies
    1. Chin up Girl!
      Not long now... I see the Deppity has produced an amended list of starters. In two weeks time we will all be in the hills by this time.
      :-)

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  15. Alan, Is there any pictures of this "Leyland / Leonard surgery" ?
    Remember, that Sunday night in 1995 in the Fife was our first meet on the Challenge, but to me you looked well recovered then !
    Bert

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    Replies
    1. Hello Sweetie! It's nice to see you , Bert
      Actually this took place on Bob's second attempt, in 1997. He finally triumphed in 1999, defeating the foot gremlins. I do remember our meeting in the bar in '95 though. It was a good year for first-timers.
      I am pleased to say that there are *no* pictures of the extraction.

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  16. Oh boy, what a tale. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Hello hello and welcome to the blog.
      There will be more...
      :-)

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  17. Pleased to brighten up your day, Miss!
    I expect we'll bump into each other at Glasgow Queen Street. You'll be getting off the Mallaig train before me.
    :-)

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