Barbed Wire and Flames

Barbed wire in hot flame

Run 1735, Wednesday 17 February 2016, Kau Lung Hang

Wednesday gave us beautiful weather all day long. Until it was time to start the hash. RA Penile Dementia was missing. RA2 Catch Of The Day didn’t get her act together. And so, just before the run, the drizzle began.

We gathered at Eunuch’s new gaff. Myself (the noble and heroic Serbian Spammer Bomber Baron Diver von Mooseheime – did I ever tell you how I got my name?), Mango Groove, Liberace, Golden Balls and Eunuch, our hare.

Eunuch was tending a roaring fire in the barbecue as everyone gathered round in a futile attempt to stay warm (except for me in my new warm merino top). 7:45 arrived. “You might as well start. There won’t be many people. Nobody ever attends my runs,” whined Eunuch.

And so he gave us our briefing. “There’s a super-wimps, a wimps and a rambo. But don’t do the rambo because you’ll end up dead and I don’t want you blaming me. It was already slippery before it started raining. And be careful of the barbed wire. But I’ve marked it with flour.”

As he wound to a finish, Catch Of The Day and One-Eyed Jack arrived. And so Eunuch gave his briefing again. “There’s a super-wimps, a wimps and a rambo. But don’t do the rambo because you’ll end up dead and I don’t want you blaming me. It was already slippery before it started raining. And be careful of the barbed wire. But I’ve marked it with flour.”

Then Luk Dim Boon arrived, trailing his daughter. And so Eunuch gave his briefing again. “There’s a super-wimps, a wimps and a rambo. But don’t do the rambo because you’ll end up dead and I don’t want you blaming me. It was already slippery before it started raining. And be careful of the barbed wire. But I’ve marked it with flour.”

Eunuch then begged for two minutes to reset the start of the trail. I attempted to follow so I could get a crafty head start, but was prevented by Liberace who insisted in upholding the law. Typical copper.

When we set off we found fresh flour, so fresh it only looked a couple of minutes old. “Trail!” As we left the village, we encountered Eunuch lurking at the border of the forest. “Trail goes there,” he indicated. And so we wandered off into swamp. “No, not there. There, along the obvious path,” he called. What path? Only Eunuch could see this imaginary route. So we splashed our way out of the swamp, Mango complaining that his goretex shoes didn’t keep his feet dry when they were under water.

Somehow Golden Balls blundered onto the “obvious path” up into the forest and for the next five seconds was the FRB. “Trail!” But not for long. In the lower reaches of the forest, the going was easy and we soon left Golden Balls in our wake, as we emerged onto the road that winds up Cloudy Hill (Is Cloudy Hill broken? I’ve never heard it ticking).

There was no check at this junction. But the trail disappeared. Some looked left down the hill. Some looked right up the hill. I scouted straight ahead. Soon I heard a call from off up the road so I dashed back and turned right. Mango was in sight ahead of me and Golden Balls in sight behind me (only when I turned around – I don’t have eyes in the back of my head).

Up, up, up the path we toiled. Past the split for the super-wimps. And then back into the forest.

I stopped to take a piss. During this interval, Mango and the runners ahead of me all vanished. Just as I finished, Eunuch appeared. “Who’s behind me?” I queried.

“Nobody,” came the reply. “Golden Balls and One-Eyed Jack have gone down the super-wimps. But you’ll be fine. Trail is in there,” Eunuch indicated at the forest. “Just follow the stream bed”.

And so I plunged into the forest. Virgin trail here. But where Eunuch had scattered trail on thorns alongside the trail, to mark them as a hazard, he had been a little over-generous and so there appeared to be trail on the far side. I climbed over and wasted a couple of minutes until spying toilet paper in the direction I would have gone if I hadn’t clambered over the thorns. Digging the splinters out of my legs, I resumed the trail.

I could see no lights but I could hear an occasional call from above. And so I continued up.

The trail wriggled and turned and crawled under woven thorns. Sometimes in the stream bed. Sometimes not. Or maybe true trail was in the stream bed and I was off trail. I’m sure the trail made sense in daytime (or at least it made sense to Eunuch – maybe not so much to anybody of a logical inclination). But at night with my glasses misted by the drizzle, with no obvious path (just foot-high arches under the thorns), and with previous runners dropping the toilet paper onto the ground, I lost trail a couple of times and had to scout around to find it again. The rain had washed the flour off the barbed wire, and so I gouged myself (I did wonder about going to get a tetanus jab next morning but apart from not being able to open my mouth to talk I seem to be OK, so I haven’t bothered).

Nevertheless, I kept going, and soon found the old military hut at the top. Trail appeared to go inside and so I checked, finding nothing but a couple of old bunks and an old juice carton. Stepping back out, I found the correct trail and finally, the tarmac path and the wimp/rambo split.

Heeding Eunuch’s warning I turned down the wimp trail. Almost immediately, Luk Dim Boon came blundering along the path from behind me (drizzle, glasses, obscured vision, same as me). He told me that everyone else had gone down the rambo trail, but he had turned back to the wimps because he couldn’t see to find the trail. As I discovered later, in his blindness, actually he had gone completely off trail and everybody else had merrily followed him.

Other strange things were also happening on the rambo trail, which had entered some kind of twilight zone in the mists. Liberace was being a gentleman and making sure COTD was safe. Mango stopped to take a piss and was interrupted by a Jamaican voice calling his name from the bushes, which turned out to be – COTD.

Back on the wimps trail, LDB and myself continued down. When I stopped to clean my glasses, LDB took the opportunity to vanish into the distance.

Eunuch had laid fresh trail over the top of his previous markings, reversing the trail and taking us back down to the super-wimps to return to his village.

I got back to find Eunuch, One-Eyed Jack, Golden Balls and LDB quaffing beer while they waited. Somebody had piled more coals onto the barbecue and now the flames leapt high into the air. Not the ideal circumstances for barbecuing sausages, yet here was Antiseptic bravely plunging her hands into the fire to turn them over.

After a few minutes, Liberace returned. Little did I know that he would take the circumstantial evidence of my returning earlier than him to make wildly inaccurate and hugely unjust accusations. Typical copper.

Soon afterwards, Mango and COTD appeared. Nobody was in any hurry to start the circle while we waited for sausages.

Mango collapsed into a chair while COTD disappeared to the bathroom. Mango threatened to barbecue my sausage when it got too close to his face. Then COTD reappeared from the bathroom bearing a flagon of blood red wine of dubious origin.

It was cold and damp as we huddled around the brazier like hobos in bobble hats. Circle began with the usual (and in this case, well deserved) abuse of the hare, Eunuch. Too much virgin trail. Not enough barbed wire or thorns. Etc. Then the GM Liberace got into his policeman’s behaviour. Ignoring evidence pointing to guiltlessness. Fitting up an innocent man to take the fall and making false accusations. Typical copper. “I call Golden Balls, One-Eyed Jack and Serbian into the circle. When I got back I saw you fat bastards waiting drinking all the beer. You three fat guys all did the super-wimps because you were too fat to go under all the bushes and though all the narrow gaps on the trail…”

I interrupted, holding up my GPS “but I went through the forest” only to be put down with the retort of “No excuses. I don’t believe you”.

Mango stood up to give witness “I saw him, he was behind me.”

Liberace continued to ignore the mounting evidence and continued on “No. Serbian could not do the trail”.

Luk Dim Boon gave evidence “I met Serbian at the top”. Still Liberace persisted. And sentenced me to a down down for only doing the super-wimps. By now my blood was boiling and I was ready to start tearing up the sidewalk and throwing paving bricks at the fuzz just like an average night out in Mong Kok. With the barbecue flames, the scene was set. Antiseptic was ready to hawk sausages. Luk Dim Boon was ready to riot, with his hoodie up to disguise his face.

Golden Balls awarded himself a down down for shaking freezing water onto himself every time he grabbed a tree trunk for braking as he ran down the super-wimps. COTD got a down down for her ineptitude in arranging the weather. Mango got a down down for being touched up on the rear by an old lady on the train. I awarded Liberace a down down for miscarriage of justice.

Circle ended with a rousing chorus of FOYC to Mango, who is buggering off to the UK for three months. Mango wants us to believe he will be doing some research in Nottingham but we know he will be wearing green tights and waving his bow as he fulfils his Robin Hood fantasies… Sorry. Mango has just corrected me. He will be wearing black tights and a heavy gold necklace as he imposes unwanted taxes, fines and penalties indulging his Sherriff of Nottingham fantasies.

Down downs continued to be awarded (mostly to Liberace) after the end of circle by COTD, who seemed to be missing the whole concept of end-of-circle.

When Antiseptic vanished inside to deal with Eunuch’s ankle biters, Catch of the Day lovingly tended the remaining sausages. Cue jokes as she munched them. “Catch of the Day enjoys a sausage…”, “Catch of the Day chows down on sausage…”

All in all, an excellent run despite the cold and drizzle. – Serbian Bomber

 

 

 

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