Pugwash City – There's A New Marshall In Town

W8R2 done, I sat down to reflect on my weekend. More specifically on the missed opportunity that was my inclusion in the ranks of volunteers for my local Parkrun. I was selected to be a marshall and I discharged my duties in what I like to think of as a cheery manner despite getting soaked through (and we're talking shoe-squelchingly soaked here) as I tried desperately to add to my repertoire of “Keep going!” and “You're what Parkrun is all about!” when wave after wave of runners came by my corner... three times each.

Having overcome the disappointing discovery that my “uniform” was a hi-vis vest, a whistle and some laminated instructions and not the hat, five cornered star and spurs I'd hoped for, I considered how much more I could have done as marshall had my powers been broader and the rules more imaginative.

So pardner, if you want to mosey on in to Pugwash City (or maybe Gulch – haven't quite decided yet) you will be extremely welcome as long as you abide by the following laws:

1. Citizens will warmly acknowledge fellow runners coming the other way and won't misinterpret their supposed expression of pained aloofness or disdain as anything other than their inner battle with pain and Laura's musical choices. Hey, we've all been there, right citizens?

2. Don't go mad in the narna mines. There are enough narnas for all of us. Additionally, remember that once mined they will wreak ripe-a-geddon in your fruit bowl.

3. Running togs of the day-glo in different colours variety must not been worn together e.g. lime green shorts with a yellow top – No! You are not a member of the Brazilian squad or the Fyffes sales team.

4. Shaving legs for speed advantage – ladies only please lads.

5. Parents running with one of those sporty type buggies are not to use them to gain “privileged advantage”. It is a conveyance for a precious thing and NOT a weapon.

6. Supplement salesmen will be shot on sight.

7. There will be no tax on Vaseline (other goop is available). No inferences are to be drawn for purchases in excess of 500g tubs. Knowing winks count as “inference being drawn” and such acts are punishable by one hour in the stocks being pelted with Jelly Babies (for the men) and marshmallows (for the women).

8. There is only one recognised religious icon and that is St Laura of Lycra – Our Lady of the Cock-eyed Optimists.

Sub-clause 8.1 Whilst there is only one “official” religious icon all religions are welcome (and atheists too – although agnostics really need to make up their minds or get off of the pot don't you think?) and have the inalienable right to worship untroubled. This includes even the breakaway, Falun Gong like cult that goes by the sobriquet of “Julie's Ghoulies”. At least I think that is how they spell it.

9. (This law was the easiest to draw up; with that hat in her avatar there was only ever one candidate). During my protracted and necessary absences at sea whilst I incompetently but benevolently pirate about a bit, my deputy will be... PoppyPug. All of my powers of hugs for random acts of kindness and of sentencing miscreants to the dreaded Jelly Baby stocks (see Law No.7) are automatically conferred on her the moment that my sedan chair comes to take me to the docks.

10. There is no “test of citizenship” to become a citizen of Pugwash Gulch (yes, I think I'll settle with Gulch – sounds more kinda “westerny” doncha think?) although, in order to get a full passport applicants must swear to either have read, or promise to read, Danny Wallace's book “Join Me” or watch his DVD “How to Start Your Own Country”. We can all learn a lot from them.

Signed in beetroot juice (never could stand the sight of blood) this day of the bla-de-bla-de-bla-de-bla-bla. And all that jazz.

Other suggested laws are, of course, welcome. Just try holding some of you lot back!

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24 Replies

  • Ha ha or should I say Arrrgh Captain Pugwash, consider my hat well and truly doffed in your formidable direction. I always knew doors would be opened for me and I would go places with this head attire.

    Yes , I accept your kind and gracious offer, I consider it an honour and a priviledge to be chosen. I will even forgo my usual asking hourly rate of 10 doubloons an hour, and work non gratias in your absence. I can even supply my own eye patch, stripy jumper and a bird to sit on my shoulder, its my budgie Sparky but no one will be any the wiser.

    Right, that's it , you get yourself off on your adventures Capt, I will hold the fort here ,everything is under control , don't worry ( wanders off in direction of galley to find Jelly Babies and secret stash of Rum ) :-D xxx

  • Trust you to focus on food 'n' booze PoppyPug - exactly what I'm lookin' fer in mah deptee! You didn't let me down :-)

  • Ha ha , Jelly Babies for me Pugwash, and a tincture of rum for the cabin boys . I am completely tee total, am I still okay for the position ? :-) xxx

  • If the hat fits PP.... :-)

  • That's darn tootn' PP! I'll sign up fer yer possee if I can whoop whoop with my stetson and say yeehah a lot (mind you I do that already!)

  • Of course MissW , its gotta be done , fill yer boots :-D xxx

  • Hey, just hold on a cotton pickin' minute , Pugwash , are you a pirate of the high seas or a marshall sheriff typee ? I am losing the plot for sure !

    I need to know if I should be rootin' tootin' or Arrrgh Jim laddin', tis very important :-D xxx

  • I think that you may have seen through my ruse PP - the grand plan is that I grab all of the glory in my dual roles and do all of chest puffing whilst others do all of the real grafting. I don't think it has ever been tried before but it just might work...

  • Pah ! Not on my watch Pugwash. There will be mutiny , I tells thee :-)

    I might make ye walk the plank for that, you bounder - Arrrgh :-D xxx

  • Can I be Squint Eastward? Navigation skills are rubbish but I'm sure that won't matter.

  • Ha ha only if I can be Sealion Dione, or Bruce Springclean :-D xxx

  • Of course you can Slookie - welcome aboard. I want the watchword of this administration to be incompetence at all levels, starting at the top! You'll fit in champion :-)

  • How did you know I have a qualification for incompetence? I even have the special knickers (tricky when running with the dogs cos the rustling sounds like the treat bag).

  • Slookie, as a gentleman I would always avoid commenting upon another citizen's undercrackers but hey, I'm not, I'm a pirate (and PG* Marshall of course) so here goes...

    I shall pass you on to the justice department (aka PoppyPug) for a decision on whether your special knickers constitute a case of rustling (one of my all time favourite children's jokes Ms S so thanks for the chance to air it again - you set 'em up, I'll hit 'em :-) ).

  • Hmm Slookie, bit of a tricky one this. Are you familiar with the Undercrackers Act 1782 ?

    Can I draw your attention to Paragraph 41c ?

    Rustling knickers are strictly forbidden between the hours of 0500 and 2200 hours. Special dispensation may be obtained upon payment of £100.00 . Please make cheques payable to " Poppypug " I also accept all major credit cards/debit cards.

    I thank you :-)

    Pugwash, you can tell your joke now :-D xxx

  • PP - whilst I admire your initiative in dreaming up spurious, draconian laws (in a thread that is otherwise based purely on hard facts of course) you need to make your attempts at extortion a little less obvious. We pirate/marshalls don't find such things repellent, natch, but it should be rather entre nous doncha think?

    PS - if she coughs up I'll take the usual 20% "Pirate Perks".

    PPS - The joke involves a cowboy walking in to a bar. His name is Paperbag Pete. Need I go on? ;-)

  • Ha ha Pugwash, the old 'uns are the best .....

    I remember getting that joke in a Tesco Christmas Cracker in 1972 . Oh, how we laughed :-)

    15% - What do you say to that ? :-) xxx

  • I'm nothing if not open to a bit of bartering (it's the only way I'll eat my fish). 15% it is.

  • Ha ha, loving this thread. But two suggested revisions to the proposed Gulch by-laws.

    Firstly, my Guru, Laura, says I'm a runner but I have no idea what to do with such a large quantity of Vaseline, in fact any quantity of vaseline! Maybe my running technique is not yet properly developed? (Please keep any replies clean!!).

    Secondly, living in Glasgow, I'm already being deluged with too much literature on starting a country and am desperately trying to escape from that! So please can I escape to the Gulch without having to watch the DVD?? Maybe I could watch Chariots of Fire instead?

    Otherwise I'm ready to sign and am already juicing my beetroot.........

  • Welcome in citizen CKC1. You bring a much needed intellectual edge to our debate ;-) . You would waltz right in to a part in our national film "Carry on Cowboy".

    You'll be pleased to know that the use of Vaseline (other gloop is available) is not compulsory in Pugwash Gulch but you might find some useful were you ever to participate in all the night toe-wrestling comp-ee-tishuns down at the "Calamity CKC1* Saloon". You'll need to keep your toes dry and grippy of course, but the, ahem, pivot point, could get as red as that beetroot you're juicing without some easement. I'm also told that it adds a certain piquancy to seafood that is cooked in it.

    We'll overlook the book and DVD requirement pro tem - sounds as if you've got enough bumpf to deal with the noo!

    *No relation. Pure chance ;-)

  • Thanks for the invitation Pugwash, but I fear I might not be able to comply with number 3. Clashing day glo colours sums up my combination of pink/purple tops and blue socks.


  • Here's the deal RNB. We are a nascent group, looking to obtain critical mass and there is no doubt that you bring an edge of the exotic east to our party... albeit in what sounds like a complete crisis of colourways.

    Your honesty regarding your togs is laudable (although gawd knows what Vivienne Westwood would have to say) but does challenge one of our founding laws. How about we compromise - we're nothing without it - and allow you in on the basis that our day-glo rules are as likely to be enforced as that one in "other places" that says people can't ride their bikes on the pavement? Deal?

  • Could there be a special smoothie bar that specialises in 'nana free recipes and a special 'nana free zone for these of us that are allergic to the things?

  • Hello Spoonie - and welcome on in citizen! Yes, of course there should a non-nana facilities. Would you care to be our MPFB (Minister of Purely Fictional Buildings)? That way you could supervise the construction of zonus anana (that's yer actual Latin that is... I have a medical background - trust me) in such a way that suits you. Hey, it could be our rival to the Gherkin or the Shard...the sky is, quite literally, the limit!

    Just remember our watchwords - incompetence at all levels, starting at the top! ;-)

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