The slug has a tale of woe and warning for all those who go out to play on the beautiful stretch of water between Richmond and Teddington Locks. A tale which comes from our fellow river users, and source of much irritation, Richmond Canoe club.
Not so long ago the Canoe club had organised a 10k time trial, however with the stream being strong and very fast, due to all the extra rain water in the Thames, the Commodore, sent out his top boats and told the more novice canoeists, including a certain South African named Colin, that they were not to go out.
Not to be deterred by his Commodore's command and confident that he could cope with the conditions, Colin set out anyway... without telling anyone at the club.
Alas, danger struck as he paddled under Richmond bridge and hit the swirly turbulent water coming off the buttresses... swooosh went the water, flip went the canoe and Colin got rather wet. Having been turned a full 180 degrees by the water, the stream proceeded to carry him at speed towards Corporation Island.
The inevitable happened and the canoe, still upside down, with Colin still in it, rammed the island at full speed... Colin then said goodbye to his paddle as it continued on down stream, however he somehow managed to grab hold of the island and pulled himself and his canoe out of the water. In the meantime the rest of the canoeists on the time trial has returned to the club and gone home... nobody knew Colin was missing, because nobody knew Colin had gone out.
For the next FIVE hours Colin sat and shivered on Corporation island with his canoe, gazing across at civilisation but too freaked out by his near death experience to attempt to swim across the narrow 5m stretch of water on the Twickenham side. Instead he tried to get the attention of the passers by walking along Richmond riverfront beside the pubs. "HELP!!!, HELP!!!!, HELP!!!!" shouted Colin in despair, waving his arms to attract attention..., "who's that lunatic on the island shouting?" thought the passers by and ignored him. Eventually, it occurred to someone on the bank, that maybe he was in trouble and might need rescued... this good Samaritan rushed up to the canoe club and luckily found one of the more experienced canoeists just locking up.
On hearing of the unfortunate South African's predicament, he took out a K2 and went to rescue, the by now hypothermic, Colin. An hour under a hot shower in the club had him felling almost human again but Underground is pretty sure he won't be heading out on his own again in a hurry.
Let this be a lesson to you all....
The men's lightweight trials at Notty saw Peter Haining and Nick "Stumpy" Strange beat Jim McNiven and Matthew Beechey by all of seven hundredths of a second, however the slug can reveal that this time might well have been increased if Mr Haining had kept his gob shut for the last 500m of the race.
But no, as Peter cares too much about his fellow rowers and spent the last minute or two of the race 'encouraging' his opposition "well done Jim" he chirped "very well rowed, you're doing great...".
This was probably not the wisest thing to do bearing in mind who was in the boat and indeed the slug was half expecting Jim to get out of the boat and pummel the Scotsman senseless after the race, but being a man of composure he rose above it all.
Maybe next time....?
Whilst doing weight training at Thames RC one night, the Slug (always in training to keep gooey,and slippery, yet svelte and trim!) noticed a male TRC Member approach the Men's IV, which is being stored in middle of the weight training room before boats are loaded for the TRC training Camp next week.
Disturbingly enough this boat is called 'Fanny'. But, even more disturbingly, the TRC Member in question then approached the bow of the 'Fanny'... laid his lips on the hull and began to suck!
At this stage the Slug dropped the 300kg weight it was trying to max and enquired as to what he was doing?
"No seriously, I do this on a surf board", said the TRC Member, as he removed his puckered lips from the Fanny.
"Oh, yeah...." , replied the slug.
"No really, if you can suck air through the hull then that means water can get through"
"That's what they all say", replied the slug and to our astonishment he moved along the hull and sucked the middle of the Fanny one last time! Very odd these Thames boys, very odd....