During our early courting years Mrs Woodley (then plain Morag
McClougherty) and I had a mutual friend "GM" who although
from the top of his bonnet to the tip of his dirk had a deep interest
in all things Norwegian. This extended
from a fascination with the
works of Ibsen, through a love of Scandinavian pipe designs, to a
devotion to the Nordic
One weekend he excitedly invited us over to stay in his Stirling house
to "sample ma new bonnie wee sauna which has
been imported directly from Oslo". On arrival we found the aforementioned sauna taking up a
large part of his living room.
It looked like an upmarket shed but
perfumed the air with the astringent odour of the pine forest allied to
tang of the fjords. GM reassured us that the indoor
installation of the sauna was perfectly safe, gesturing towards a
gleaming red fire extinguisher affixed to the side of it.
"It is the Nordic tradition to sauna fully .... err ..... undraped
..." said GM uncertainly, and so saying he
quickly removed all his
clothes and sat looking somewhat uncomfortable on the sofa puffing
furiously on his briar
pipe. "Of course if you do not wish to do so
....". His voice trailed off.
"Och, nae worries !" said Mrs. Woodley "There's nothing I've
got that hasn't been seen many times before !". I should
that Mrs Woodley treats life in the robust manner of a sixth child of
eight brought up in a three bedroom
tenement flat. Working quickly she was soon down to her undergarments which revealed several items of superstructure support
that I myself had never seen before. I glanced at GM and noticed his eyes had become somewhat glazed and his pipe seemed to
be quivering slightly.
At this point Mrs. Woodley turned her back and in one swift movement dropped her breeks to her ankles and, in bending over,
afforded us a
prime view of her ample hindquarters. There was a crack like a rifle
shot from the direction of the
sofa. Looking over I saw GM sitting
there with only the mouthpiece of his pipe in place - he had bitten
the stem. A pungent smell of burning hair from his lap
left little doubt about where the business end of his pipe had
up, and as he sat there transfixed a small wisp of smoke curled upwards from his groin.
Thinking quickly I leapt to the fire extinguisher, hauled it off the
wall, and directed the nozzle downwards between
his legs intending to
quench the fire in his loins. I pushed the button. A tremendous blast
of white gas revealed the
unexpected news that the extinguisher was
filled not with water but with carbon dioxide. At the hospital casualty
the doctor said it was the worst case of frostbite he'd
ever seen, and he'd been half-way up Everest with Sherpa Tensing.