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Excuses Reasons for Not Caving

by Jug Jones.

We shall deal first with the medical section, because it the first that springs to my mind, and this class of reason is almost always a good one.

BROKEN ARM.  Here, the crafty use of plaster of Paris is very helpful, or perhaps a sister, mother or daughter who is a trained nurse.  Male nurses can be useful but cavers usually find more important work for these people to do.

SEPTICAEMIA.  This is always good for the indolents, as the failure to wash or bath will help nature considerably by breeding the necessary germs, e.g.  "I've got a boil on my sitting down machine and I can't crawl very well!" (but note how these types always manage to crawl painlessly into someone's transport to get to the Hunters!) Another version of this is the sceptic thumb.  This is cleverly bound in a variety of pink lints, white cotton wools, four 4" bandages and other more subtle forms of disguise such as little leather pockets, pouches or, even more clinical, a rubber glove.  But here one must be careful not to get trapped for .a dig in Priddy Green by passing Shepton Malletiers.  On one occasion, I used a simple sling, carefully knotted   ( St. John’s style) and claimed a sceptic elbow.  Failing this, water on the joint is good but care must again be taken or one of the more aspiring docs of the B.E.C. may diagnose lack of exercise and prescribe a dry cave.

PULLED MUSCLE.  This one is excellent, as it invariably attracts sympathy from older members of club a strong smelling balsam or liniment is recommended, and the colours brown, green and purple give the best effects.

SLIPPED JOINT.  (Or dislocated bone – any will do!)  Is to be acted on as for pulled muscle, but care must be taken NOT to let the phizziotherapists take charge of the limb in question (pun intended).  Then we come to such other forms of bluff as “Internal” or '"Off colour" or “Overworked" (/weight) and some others that I can't write about as I intend to keep them for further use.

TRANSPORT. This section is, of necessity, a brief one, as only lately have I had transport.  To begin with, you must be careful that no one lives near you, or offers of help will begin pouring in:  "Big ends gone" or "Chains snapped" or simply "No transport".  A popular, but much overworked one, at the Belfry is “I pranged!"  (Crafty use of R.A.F. jargon here makes it sound authentic, doesn’t it?)

GEAR.  This chapter too is rather short, but there are endless opportunities for types who like to get screaming shattered in the Hunters but who wish to avoid anything unpleasant connected with caving SUCH AS CAVES! Some good ones are "Lamps duff", -"Somebody's pinched my goon suit", "Lamp pox" "No lamp" etc. (sorry, no more room:  Ed.)

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The Belfry Bulletin. Secretary. R.J. Bagshaw, 699, Wells Rd, Knowle, Bristol
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33, Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8
Postal Dept. R.S. King, 22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Nr. Bristol.