Tag Archives: Worthing Birdman

A potpourri of Plantar Fasciitis, the Egg Throwing President, farting & the Pope

I saw the back of Andy Dunlop as I left yesterday

The prestigious Andy Dunlop

I think the word for this late-posted blog today is ‘potpourri’ in lieu of any transcription time.

Various people who read yesterday’s blog suggested various sources of various Chinese medicines to me.

Andy Dunlop, the already highly prestigious President of the World Egg Throwing Federation, picked up on the thought that I may have got Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot. He wrote, with the merest hint of self-publicity:

I got Plantar Fasciitis in one foot and the other later following ‘flying’ off Worthing Pier to win the 2012 Worthing International Birdman’s Kingfisher Class.

The Worthing International Birdman is an annual competition in which human ‘birdmen’ attempting to ‘fly’ off the end of a pier into the English Channel. These attempts tend to end in ignominious failure. Andy continued:

My aim was to manage 100metres (to win £10,000) then turn left, head for France, land, stock up on beer, take off and fly back. This plan was curtailed when I only managed to fly 18 metres, including 11 metres downwards. I hit the water, feet first, at around 35mph. This tends to damage a foot and causes it to stretch. It was bloody agony. 

I am not allowed to take part in the Birdman contest any more as my wife says the risk of injury is too great for her to bear my groans and moans. 

This blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent Anna Smith also contacted me, asking:

Might there be a pain clinic in London? There is a pain clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital here in Vancouver. It is something to do with retraining your mind to react differently to the nerve impulses which are telling you you are in pain. Neuroplasticity, it is called. There is a book called The Brain That Changes ItselfYou might also suffer less pain if you stay away from comedians.

Anna Smith in her Vancouver hospital

Anna Smith, on a recent low-key visit to a Vancouver hospital

Anna continued:

I just had an appointment confirmation email from Cardiac Care at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. I learned a new word. Apparently I am an aortopath.

Then she got a little off-subject:

Don’t even think of asking (she named a British comedian) about drugs. They never had any effect on him whatsoever. He is one of that small percentage of people whose mind is utterly unresponsive to THC. When I was in Lonon, he could never fathom why I would impulsively grab £5 and bolt down to Brixton. He seemed to think I went to those clubs because I wanted black men to put their hands into my pockets.

The only time I ever saw him high was late one night after a party in a photography studio in Soho. We had eaten some carrot cake at the party and were walking over Waterloo Bridge afterwards. He made a comment about the reflections in the river looking pretty. This was completely out of character for him. So I realised it must have been a very strong carrot cake. Other than that momentary observation about the lights, his composure was completely unaffected.

I did go and meet three senators one night at a very luxurious Vancouver airport hotel four years ago. It seemed a little odd to be meeting senators in a hotel room for non sexual purposes.

I went there with three other friends to petiton the senators not to close staffed lighthouses along the coast. Our lighthouses are not automated as they are in the UK. But our coastline is far more jagged and isolated. Boaters, especially fishermen, have had their lives and vessels saved innumerable times by the light keepers… Somehow I became fairly involved with that battle even though my boat has never been out of the river.

Alright, it was actually two senators and an Olympic ski champion, but the skier was also a senator, so I guess that does make three senators in total.

The senators had no idea that I was an ex-comedienne. They thought I was an angry mariner.

I grew up along the banks of the Mississippi. Actually, the city was on the Mississippi but our house was closer to the zoo. We could hear lions roaring as we fell asleep.

After this, my chum Mr Methane, who was on a secret farting mission to Italy this week, e-mailed me, totally ignoring my tragic foot (and shoulder) pain:

The Daily Mirror spotted a resemblance between Jim Bowen (left) and Pope Francis

The Daily Mirror spotted a resemblance between purveyor of beloved populist fantasy Jim Bowen (left) and Pope Francis

I am back home in England. I have been travelling all day. No direct flights so I had to go via Germany. I had a ride on an open top bus in Rome yesterday and thought I saw Jim Bowen in a shop doorway but it was, in fact, a life size Pope Francis cut-out. I have bought you a Pope Francis fridge magnet from a souvenir stall outside the Colosseum in Rome, I thought you would like it as he really does look just like Jim Bowen.

This rubbed salt in my wounds, as I was recently passed-over for the role of Pope Francis in an upcoming pop video.

Life can be cruel.

But I am available to play the part of Jim Bowen in any upcoming pop videos.

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Filed under Drugs, Eccentrics, Medical

When an oeuf is an oeuf at the annual World Egg Throwing Championships

World Egg Throwing Federation President Andy Dunlop with enthusiastic tosser

World Egg Throwing Federation President Andy Dunlop with enthusiastic young tosser

At the annual World Egg Throwing Championships in Lincolnshire, no edible eggs are used, so no food is wasted. Sort of.

There are long-distance egg throwing and catching contests. There is the Trebuchet competition where contestants use home-made giant catapults (based on medieval siege engines) to throw eggs. And, of course, there is Russian Egg Roulette.

In 2012, I was runner-up in the Russian Egg Roulette Championship. I had high hopes of doing even better last year but, beneath my hard-boiled exterior lies a wobbly centre. I cracked under the pressure of high eggpectations and was beaten in the first round. For months afterwards, my mind was scrambled and I was merely a shell of the man I had once been.

My view as smashed Englishman Jerry Cullen fails

My view as smashing Englishman Jerry Cullen fails

This year – the year of the Scottish Independence vote, when my country of birth may at last free itself from the yolk of English oppression – I had hopes I could show the heathen English what true Scotch eggs competitors are made of.

World Egg Throwing Federation President Andy Dunlop tells me that 64 people started the Russian Egg Roulette Championships yesterday. He may be over-egging it. I think there might have been 32. But there were certainly a lot.

To remind you, Russian Egg Roulette is the sport in which two contestants face each other across a table on which there stands a box of six eggs: five hard-boiled, one raw. Contestants take turns to smash an egg on their forehead. The one who discovers the raw egg loses. It is a knockout competition. Sometimes literally.

I bring shame on the Scottish nation yesterday (Photograph by Gail Deptfod)

I let down myself and the entire Scottish nation yesterday (Photograph by Gail Deptfod)

Yesterday, I triumphed in the early rounds, beating my 2012 nemesis Jerry Cullen – who was wearing an England football shirt, I think, just to rile me.

I triumphed in the Quarter Finals, but then I was shamed by Fate in the Semi-Finals. I suspected fowl play.

I consoled myself by talking to former World Gravy Wrestling champion Joel Hicks.

Joel Hicks scrambling for safety yesterday

Joel Hicks was scrambling for safety yesterday

When we chatted for my blog last year at the World Egg Throwing Championships, he was a human target dressed as a boxer and as a Samurai Warrior. This year, he was the anarchist hero of V For Vendetta.

“You been doing anything interesting this week?” I asked him.

“I did the Mud Runner Oblivion yesterday,” he told me. “That’s a 10k mud run near Gloucester. I’m absolutely shattered. I write for Obstacle Race magazine, so I do all the mud runs.”

Obstacle Race magazine?” I asked. “Has that got a big circulation?”

“Yes,” said Joel. “It’s sold in WH Smiths. It is a massive, massive industry these days. Things like Tough GuyTough Mudder. There’s so many and it’s a million dollar industry.”

“Tough Mudder?” I asked.

Joel Hicks: a man egged-on to do charity work

Joel Hicks: a man egged-on to do charity work

“Tough Mudder,” Joel confirmed.

“Do you get paid for any of these events?” I asked. “It’s all for charity?”

“It’s all part of the Always With a Smile Foundation, which is what I do in my spare time to try and keep people smiling. It’s tiring stuff sometimes, though not as painful as today.”

“Painful?” I asked.

“Yeah. You wanna stand here and have eggs hurled at you by grown men at 100mph who have no thought for how it feels when it hits.”

“Do you wear a cricket box over your genitals?” I asked.

“No. Every year, I think I should have some protection but I kinda feel it’s cheating.”

Joel Hicks with right hand egg man John Deptford

Joel Hicks with the Championships’ l’eggman John Deptford

This coming Saturday, Joel is taking part in The Color Run in Manchester.

“It’s a race franchise,” he told me, “where you run 5k and start in white but every kilometre they throw coloured powder over you. Then, on Sunday, it’s a trip to Wales for The Naked Run, which is 5k, usually in good weather. The weather affects some men more than others.

“The weekend after that, on Saturday I’ll be down on the South Coast for the Worthing Birdman competition where they build flying machines and jump off the pier. And then back up to Wolverhampton on Sunday for the Tough Guy event called Nettle Warrior, which is their summer obstacle course race.”

“Nettle Warrior,” I said, “sounds painful.”

“It IS very painful,” replied Joel. “A 10-12 mile cross-country run followed by a 2-mile, purpose-built, multi-million pound assault course.”

One girl did not have to throw so far yesterday

One little girl yesterday was right on target with her egg

“An assault course of nettles?” I asked.

“No no,” said Joel, “all sorts of contraptions. The nettles come in, really, in the 10-12 mile cross-country run.”

“Have they put the nettles in for you?” I asked.

“They grow naturally,” said Joel. “Six or seven feet high all on their own. They design the course to the features on the ground. Ah! There’s some nettles! We’ll make then run through that bit!”

A typical egg-plosion yesterday

A typical egg-plosion yesterday. The pun never ends.

I’m busy all through the year. Fifty-odd events every year.”

“Very odd,” I said.

“Every weekend and sometimes twice,” said Joel.

“Out of the frying pan…” I said.

In August, World Egg Throwing Federation President Andy Dunlop will be supervising the Scottish National Russian Egg Roulette Championships during the Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show. He may or may not be accompanied by his trusty l’oeuftenant John Deptford.

I saw the back of Andy Dunlop as I left yesterday

I was glad to see the back of Andy Dunlop yesterday

In a few days, Andy is off to Holland for their Egg Throwing Championships. He will be back.

But John Deptford is going to Siberia on Friday and has no idea when he will be back, if at all. The insects may kill him. He is going to Mirny where, he tells me, “the mosquitos have been known to carry babies away and the best mosquito repellent is a shotgun.”

Yesterday, as I left the Championship Field in Lincolnshire, Andy Dunlop was being pelted with the remaining eggs. I hope this will become an annual tradition. Andy does not. This morning, he told me he had a serious lip injury.

For more on Eggmen, I refer you to The Beatles’ I Am The Walrus

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Filed under Charity, Eccentrics, Humor, Humour, Sport