Saturday, 8 December 2018

Behind the Scenes: A rarely glimpsed glimpse of how the world’s premier backpacking event is organised


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No Pictures of the Stringpuller are known to exist but it is believed that he has a large office on the top floor of this London building where his colleagues refer to him as 'SP' 


Warning

This post contains in-jokes (if ‘jokes’ is the right descriptor for such feeble attempts at humour, some of which are so ‘in’ that they are only understood within the warped brain that sits in Fellbound’s head). Thus, you may want to clear off now and spend your time more productively than reading this tripe.


A conversation in cyberspace between The Stringpuller (SP) and a distinguished, but shady, Peer of the Realm


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A Right Toff: Lord Elpus 

SP: Right. That’s the route for the world’s second best backpacking event put to bed. I must say, I’m quite looking forward to Scotland in May. I reckon that with a few more crossings I'll begin really to enjoy the TGO Challenge. But now we need to get the premier event sorted.

Lord Elpus (for it is he):  Well you’ve done the bulk of the route planning for the Challenge and I’ve sorted our accommodation. That means it’s over to Mad ‘n’ Bad or the veryveryniceman to sort the Pre-Walk Daunder.

SP:  Mad’n’Bad? Are you crazy? If he plans the route we’ll be on heart attack watch for three days. He’ll have us up every sodding hill between the Appalachians and the Urals. No. it’ll have to be the veryveryniceman.  Anyway, he did sod all of any use planning the Challenge Route. His main contributions were to suggest that we might get wet feet when we ford The Feshie, and complaining that the Melgarve Bothy might be "a bit dirty and smelly" or somesuch nonsense.  Trail shoe wearing wussiness.  But you best keep an eye on him. We don’t want a repetition of the 2017 Daunder fiasco do we?  Not a café or pub in sight on the first day. We had to schism after 30 minutes to find cake if you remember. And he sodded up the weather too.  Keep him on a tight string.  Let him think he’s planning it, but set tight parameters. And tell him who to invite or he’ll be asking his mates along. I can’t be doing with that bunch of saddos.

Lord Elpus:  Okay. So who should be on the list.  How about Judith…..

SP: Whoaaa.  Hold it right there fella.  Aren’t you on your new Chinese Huawei phone? Remember. No real names please. We don’t know who might be listening in. It wouldn't do to have a foreign power subverting the participation list now, would it? I would suggest you, me, Mad ‘n’ Bad, Veryveryniceman, Benchmark Barney, Twelve Tents, the Walton’s Boy and The Good Doctor. Oh and we must make sure we ask 
No Maps Croydon. I certainly wouldn't fancy telling him he hasn't been invited. He'd do that seemingly innocent, but actually very menacing stare thing. You know. Where he holds on to you arm, and looks you straight in the eyes. It always reminds me of that lad I was at school with. The kids all called him "Headbutt Billy". But not to his face, obviously. 

Lord Elpus:  An excellent choice SP. A perfectly rounded group. It will allow me to tick all the boxes in the Equalities' Assessment Forms that you want me to fill in. Your commitment to political correctness does you great credit, if I may say. Let’s see. 22% of us will be women.  As women, on average, get paid 22% less than men that seems reasonable. Mad ‘n’ Bad is a cross dresser as those photos of the pantomime prove. We have a Scot, a bloke with a Welsh name, a Cockney living in Croydon and a balder version of Joey Essex. Crikey, we’ve even invited a Yorkshireman.  You can’t get more tolerant and liberal than that. You know, SP, I reckon you and I could have really cracked the diversity deficit that so shames this once great nation of ours.


Meanwhile, in Wales.  A conversation in Fellbound Hall


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Fellbound
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Mrs Fellbound

Fellbound:  Well I think the Stringpuller has finally sorted the Challenge route. He’d have struggled without my input.  And I gave that Upper Class Nob some tips about accommodation, but they weren’t up to his ideas of palatial splendour so he’s ignored me. Be it on his own head. As you know, I'm not one to say "I told you so", but if it all goes wrong he may just hear it from me.

Mrs Fellbound:  Sorry, did you say something yet again dear? I didn’t catch it. I was watching the paint dry on that tea tray I’ve been decorating.  Anyway, how are you feeling? You know. In yourself?

Fellbound:  Well if I’m honest, which I always am, me being a veryveryniceman, I was a bit down and stressed. I thought I might get landed with organising the Pre-Walk Daunder again. Do you remember when I had to do it in 2017?Nightmare! I designed the perfect route, and within thirty minutes of starting walking the Stringpuller and Lord Elpus disappeared to eat cake and we didn’t see them again for two days. Then we lost the little fella with the dog, that Cockney chap from Croydon and sixty-six point six six six recurring per cent of the wimmin folk.  They took a short cut and pinched all the best wild camp spots by the tarn. Swine, the lot of them. Still. That’s all in the past. Thank goodness it’ll be Mad ‘n’ Bad who is landed with it this year. By the way, have you seen those photos of him in that rather fetching dress he sent me last week? Not the one where he had his hair in pig tails. The other one. I think you’d look rather good in it.

Mrs Fellbound: Yes dear. Isn't it time for your warm milk now? Night night. 
  
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No Maps Croydon

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Twelve Tents before he lost his hair



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Benchmark Barney


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Mad 'n' Bad



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The Walton Boy

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The Good Doctor
To be continued....next April