Apologies folks, feel free to avert your eyes, 'tis not a sight for the squeamish.
Of course, the toenails will soon drop off, they always do. Uck. Why, what possible reason can anyone have to engage in such a feat of masochism? Every year I ask this, every year I have yet to receive a satisfactory reply.
I awoke to receive the shock of my life yesterday morning, there appeared to be a naked man masturbating at the foot of my bed. There he was, a pot of Vaseline in one hand, his tackle in the other. He claimed it wasn't what it seemed (yeah, tell that one to the judge, eh?). Apparently, he was merely following advice and greasing up his man-boobs, thighs and nether regions in a hopeful attempt to prevent any severe chafing during the mammoth walk ahead.
He didn't do too badly on the Annual Parish Walk, over forty miles in just over nine hours. Of course, he's a wimp compared to those few nutters who actually complete the full 85 mile circuit. 85 MILES, CONTINUOUSLY. All mostly uphill, over mountain, and on hard unrelenting, concrete paving.
You think that's mad? One crazy woman completed the course twice last year (though I hear tell she took to hallucinating by the end of it). Our island is known for it's quirky events, but this one simply takes the biscuit. Mind you, for all that, it is highly organised, with each competitor registered, micro-chipped, and well monitored. Believe it or not, hundreds of these hopefuls turn out on the day.
Residents line the route armed with banana's and bottled water, thrusting them onto those deemed the most likely to drop. (Alan was the grateful recipient of nine bananas, three Mars bars and several packets of nuts.) Local radio, and even the BBC tag along to document the progress.
As I drove my eldest daughter to a rounders match, we were unexpectedly made late, getting caught up in the traffic as flocks and flocks of police-escorted walkers were crossed over the road. After five minutes, the leading five cars were allowed to pass through, leaving us to endure the whole process all over again. Searching vainly, I scanned for Alan's face in the crowd, hoping to throw out a snarl.
I don't pretend to understand it myself, but I did at least take some pity (my heart is not entirely made of stone) - finally scraping hubby up from the pavement, I eventually drove him back home for a hot soak in the bath. Later, clutching a hard earned beer, he proudly, blow by blow, relayed all his finest moments of glory to me (over the climax of my favourite TV programme).
Now it's the morning after, and Father's Day. A lucky roll, if you ask me. He is limping about and milking it to the hilt.. it would appear a family walk is strictly off the menu.
After a Bucks Fizz breakfast over the grand present opening, he has happily managed to snuggle himself back up in bed again, and is doubtlessly snoozing the sleep of the just as I type.
Let's hope when he wakes, (this time) he finds the decent courtesy to remove his shed toenails from our bed.