Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Teaming rainfall ensured the team of MacMillan volunteer marshals at the Yorkshire Marathon, of which I was a member, received a thorough soaking this morning…… Perhaps, there’s something in the old adage ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ after all. Although, I somehow doubt it!

To steal a quote oft utilised by an old acquaintance, who idiosyncratically makes up his own idioms, at the end of my stint I was ‘wetter than a fish’s sock’. I realise fish don’t wear socks, making the comment preposterous, but hey don’t shoot the messenger.

Although nonsensical, I find these home made idioms possess an endearing quality. The fish’s sock example just one of many that’s humoured me over the years; another being the classic but equally ridiculous ‘drier than a camel’s tracksuit’. As with the piscine stockings analogy, a lack of camels adorning tracksuit sightings rendering yet another of his expressions absurd.

Standing at my marshaling station, around a third of the way around the 26 mile run, my attire included a MacMillan t-shirt, along with a rather fetching green waterproof poncho. The latter a godsend under the prevailing meteorological conditions.

Without the poncho I’d have been even wetter than a fish’s sock. I’ve no idea what my old acquaintance’s idiom for that more extreme level of soaking is, but I’d imagine it to be something idiotic along the lines of ‘as soaked as a cheesecake on the Titanic’.

With the MacMillan team stationed every few hundred metres over a two mile stretch of the course, I was standing alone as I encouraged passing participants. The paucity of spectators a likely consequence of our country lane location adjacent to farms and a forest – Not to mention the rubbish weather.

Naturally, on passing my marshaling station the competitors, who’d completed 8 miles at that point, exhibited varying levels of fatigue. In my solitude, to increase the volume levels of support I’d been provided with inflatable sticks to clatter together, along with a cow bell.

Despite the inclement weather, cheering on these stoic runners proved a cathartic experience. Enhanced by many displays of gratitude for my encouragement and good wishes. In fact, I’m sure I heard one concerned athlete shout back “Blimey, mate. You look as wet as a fish’s sock!”…… However, I may have imagined that.

At around 11:45, I concluded my cajoling stint. With the encouragement appearing to have proved worthwhile, I was in good spirits on vacating my marshaling station. That being said, being subject to a cow bell ringing for two hours, it’ll be a while before I drink milk again.

Climbing into my trusty old motor car, parked a few yards from the single track road I’d been rooting from, yours truly finally escaped the incessant rain. Mercifully, I’d escaped further precipitation before reaching the extremes of becoming ‘as soaked as a cheesecake on the Titanic’.

On returning home, the missus asked how the marshaling went, prior to informing me the good news her cousin Audie had secured a job as a barrister. As I wasn’t even aware the 57 year old was studying law, or even had aspirations of being called to the bar, the family bulletin came as a surprise.

“Where will she be based for work?” I sought to clarify.

“Costa coffee in Dewsbury.” my spouse countered in blissful ignorance.

I think she meant barista!

Categories: Blogs, fiction, Karen's Cancer Fight

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  1. Hope Springs Eternal – Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

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