Some Say , that this is really just the over glamourisation of what is a rookie sculler
being talked into going out in a fine sculling boat by some crazy lunatic in less
than perfect conditions and tipping out.
Whilst others say that the events that unfold Are really true , all those things
are perfectly capable
however strange of being factual and after all wasnt there a TV series call the "xfiles"
which was full
of the weird and wonderful, even aliens. Aliens - that would make perfect sense
of the state the WRC kitchen gets left in when inexplicably odd things happen like
thirty people leave a pile of thirty dirty cups within inches of a dishwasher and
taps and a t-towel.
Anyway our story starts one dull sunday with our two intrepid heroes Tesco Charlie
and Rob 'Rookie' Phillips as was at the time before he sailed to the dizzy heights
of several rowing wins.
The day didnt start well when Charlie turned up like 10 hours late and then tried
to pull the old, "i'll come form the other end of the boatshed and go "oh here you
are, I have been waiting all this time for you in the canoe club or some other place
you wouldnt expect me to be"
It was true to say that Robs brows were furrowed by this time and the happy thoughts
he had been having an hour ago of jumping in a double scull with the Zen master Tesco
Charlie had now vanished much like the coffee this weekend. (Cash and carry order
In the brief moment of silence after all the awkward "where have you been " comments,
several large bubbles of air surfaced from the middle of the severn. Both Rob and
Charlie spun round to see what the noise was. Still more bubbles appeared.
Charlie seemed mesmerised and said can you see that large grey shadow beneath the
water that’s moving upstream.
"No " Rob replied "Not really", in extra sarcastic mode, which was pretty sarcastic.
"You must be able to see it,, it's huge." said charlie
"Its probably just a fish or something" replied Rob
Charlie responded straight away "Not with that big shadow and bubbles, It can only
be one thing, a Nazi U-Boat"
Rob " Have you been drinking , A Nazi u-Boat, what on earth would a Nazi U-Boat be
doing here on the severn given the war ended decades ago"
Charlie "No your wrong, I was watching a tv program on U-boats only at the weekend,
the battle against the u-boat is still very much raging and though most people think
the war has ended, some u-boats never got the message that the war is over and still
ply their deadly trade"
Rob "I think you will find you were watching the history channel and its all in your
Charlie being Charlie, was an old wise hand in the club, he too had seen some incredible
sights in these many years on the planet. He once saw Andy Payne buy a round of drinks
for example and in some of the most unusual CCTV footage on the planet had witnessed
a man in a tracksuit and hoodie from Dines Green pay for a bottle of Vodka at his
local store. Though this was quickly followed by the assailant grabbing a handful
of the notes form the till before legging it up the road.
Charlie liked to think the youth in that example had briefly thought about turning
over a new leaf
before reverting to form and thinking "sod it". I'm not walking into town to meet
my parole officer, I will get a cab and thus realising he needed to use the "Scrotes
Charlie was also very convincing and hence often being referred to as the Zen master.
It was after all him that actually did the Jedi voice over for Luke skywalker in
the original stars wars film, saying
the immortal line "these are not the droids you are looking for" even though clearly
the Imperial troopers are clearly looking for those exact two droids.
So when charlie used his best Jedi voice saying "that is a u-bout in the severn and
You must do something about it" Rob then just caved in and went "okay"
And just to throw some facts in there also, A U-boat, albeit a british one did indeed
come up the River severn to worcester . HMS shrimp in the 60's which was an X-boat
or british midget sub.
Whatever is the correct phrasing.
Charlie said , "lets get a single out, chase after it, dive down onto the hull and
Rob replied "exactly how do we stop a u-boat"
"the jobs rota for the regatta seems to send most club members running away, I wonder
if that might work or how about you take a coil of rope down there and let it jam
in the propeller forcing it to surface" said charlie
"but why am i diving into the cold river severn after your imaginary submarine"
"I would love to but I have this war wound that plays me up now and again, i wouldnt
be any use "
Charlie did indeed have a war wound and remembered the battle of the supermarket
in which he had confronted the Aldi invaders at their first store opening in worcester.
Having been spotted as an overly curious customer on the opening day, Ingrid the
shelf filler of the
new Aldi store had called the store manager to Aisle thirteen. The debate of 'coming
over here taking our customers' had indeed gotten heated. Bertrand the Aldi manager
had taken offence at Charlies sarcastic remarks about his fine quality products,
I mean what other store can you get the basic essentials of life such as a loaf of
bread and an electric arc welder from.
Anyway in the heat of battle Bertrand had grabbed a packet of Piri Piri Sea Gull
from Aldi's new 'Perfectly Ghastly Range' and proceeded to indeed jam it into charlies
thigh. Which given it was still frozen at the time did sting a little.
Anyway getting back to the story , rob looked perplexed "I dont think i can do this
Charlie looked convincingly at him and replied "Yes you can, England needs you right
think of the headlines in the Worcester News, people will write stories about you
(Irony - oh yes)
Robs mind did indeed cast itself vback to when he was a small boy reading comics
such as "Valour" and "Tommy Atkins Save the Day" he did indeed imagine himself as
a war hero saving the day. Today was the day and he was going to be that hero.
It was then that a slight tinge of reality struck.
"Charlie, I havent been in in a fine single scull before"
Charlie replied cooly "But you have seen them before "
"Well yes I have seen them but i dont think it works that way" said Rob.
charlie again replied in a soothing and confident manner "its like riding a bike,
you can ride a bike cant you, (rob nodded in agreement) well if you can ride a red
bike you can ride a green bike,
its much the same thing"
Rob looked into charlies eyes and was instantly filled with confidence at this wise
mans comments of wisdom.
Rob clambered into "Bob" the single scull and charlies handed him the big pile of
rope to throw into the submarines propellor.
Charlie pushed Rob in Bob off and said to him "Good Luck"
Rob thought quickly to himself and thought , ive seen the great escape, im not falling
for that one.
He turned to charlie and replied with the only German phrase he knew fluentlyl.
"die Art und Weise an den Massagesalon mit den Happy Ends"
Charlie smiled and nodded then replied "no go get that blighter,"
Rob sculled as if the existence of England depended on it it accompanied by Charlie
guiding him up the river.
Barely had they got 200 metres from the club when charlie spotted that Rob in Bob
had caught that sub. Its murky shadow slowly making it way up the severn was now
At this point eye witness accounts vary. Chalie to this day says Rob dived gracefully
into the water with the coil of rope in his teeth and descended into the depths
with the expertise of both Tom Daly as a diver and a member of the Special Boat Service
as a secret aquatic assassin.
(However Given Mr Dalys lack of medal from Rio please substitute one of the good
divers names in there instead)
Other eyewitness accounts tell a completely different tale that the Sculler, with
a look of terror in his eyes, caught a humongous crab and was launched unceremoniously
from the boat like a third hand game of buckaroo, bought from a charity shop with
half the pieces missing that kept going off before the kids had even set the game
This watery splish splash was followed by much flailing of the arms from the said
sculler in the water accompanied by many words too harsh for the likes of this publication.
Yet another account of the tail is that Rob in Bob caught a crab which did grab his
blade like a spade
and spin whilst he grin the boat upside down wich made him feel like a clown as his
clothes he got wet
and charlie won his five pound bet.
At this point, charlie who was feeling somewhat sheepish at the upturning of his
two things. He had been watching the history channel only the other day and had now
the murky shadow of the u-boat was actually just a smear of engine oil on his glasses
from having repaired
the family lawn mower the night before.He pondered how he would deal with the frosty
re-union on the river bank.
As Charlie drank his nice warm cup of coffee in the warmth of the clubhouse. Rob
shivered his way back to the club carrying the single scull under his arms, his spirit
and pride broken for all to see.
Charlie thought to himself , Im really pleased with that repair on the lawn mower
and simply went home.
The morale of this tale is that whilst 70's Safety Information characters such as
"Charlie Says" taught us
sense and safety. NOT ALL CHARLIES - SHOULD BE LISTENED TO
So if one day, your Charlie says go and jump in that fine sculling boat having never
been in on on a windy choppy day. Give it a miss is our advice !!!
In the next episode it turns out that the magic cleaning fairy does exist.
Not only that , but she has been so furious with some club ,members that she has
secretly been deducting
a week of their life for each time they left a dirty mug in the sink.
Some members only have a few days left to live !!!!