Mole in the Hole

Written By: The Lowdown - Jun• 29•13

logo MITHThe Erection

The halcyon days of Chibuluma Golf Club were enlivened by the usual regular events. Monthly medal competitions were serious, though a ‘hacker’s four ball ‘was allowed to follow the field, much to the disgust of Maurice Keegan who claimed that great oafs such as I should not be allowed on any course, anywhere, ever. To reinforce his disgust he used to drive his golf ball into us, a dangerous practice which he only stopped after I attempted to return his ball and so shanked the shot that his ball landed over the fence into the road and out of bounds. His reaction was akin to a fit of apoplexy. Medical opinion playing with him at the time promptly advised him not to repeat such an action that brought on the attack.

There were, however, four special events in the year, namely the Ladies Open and Closed Championships and the Gentlemen’s Open and Closed Championships. A lot of detailed preparation was required for all of this, not least the provision of accommodation for visiting golfers, ensuring that adequate bar stocks were to hand (no easy matter at times), caterers forewarned and well stocked, the course perfectly prepared and the assembly of auxiliary support such as starters and scorers. Being a person who, though enthusiastic, was incapable of attaining a handicap, I found myself co opted onto the ‘scorers’ team. Supervised by that martinet, John Ellison, the Handicaps and Competitions Manager, we would occupy tables on the club house verandah and attempt to ensure that all cards were signed, checked correct and the scores entered. This used to be a bit difficult as many players wanted to know how all was progressing and kept badgering us as we attempted to get things right. Soured by the experience we managed to get a score board erected for the following year but we were still pestered so moved our scoring tables away to sit in a more secluded place. By now I found myself promoted to the position of chief scorer. The problem persisted and complications arose and one mistake was made that deprived Martin Broome of a hard earned and well deserved prize, a mistake deeply regretted by me, not least because he reminds me of it from time to time!

The problem became the subject of a long and somewhat fluid conversation at the bar one evening with Mike Scott, the MD of Frankipile. I told him of the problem, he sympathised, ‘I need to be above it all’ said I, to which the smart reply came back ‘You need an erection!’ One sad old member at the bar muttered ‘Don’t we all’; people forget that Viagra is but a recent innovation. The conversation degenerated and became quite ribald but the idea blossomed and, with the use of a spot of scrap material from Mike’s yard and bits from the timber yard, a magnificent erection was achieved. It was fantastic. A commanding view of virtually the entire course was obtained, the steep stairs could have been a threat to children so a locked gate was put at the bottom that protected children and prevented golfers from interrupting the process of scoring. Refinements were made, a string with a paper clip was lowered for score cards to be attached; a chap was stationed at the bottom to collect the cards to ensure they were properly signed etc. After they had been hoisted up, noted and returned to him, he then marked up the score board before returning the cards to the players. Walkie talkie radios were borrowed for the events and, on Sunday mornings, competitors could order their breakfast after coming off the 8th green. At first young lads were used as the communicators on the course but when one told young Thomas Fagan to go forth and multiply over the air waves, more responsible persons were used. Mike and I spent many happy hours up in the erection doing our scoring duties, often joined by the club captain, the redoubtable Alec Scott, whose preferred tipple early in the morning was a large brandy to keep the frost at bay. The consumption of alcoholic beverages did entail a few problems; the waiters were too slow, a pee tube had to be considered and lastly, at the end of a very heavy, hot day of scoring, the negotiation of the stairs back down to terra firma was tricky to say the least.

The Ladies Open championship was always a splendid affair with visiting golfers from all over. I can remember Nora Jordan, nicknamed ‘The iron Maiden’, Pam Barker, Tina Ship, Mary Bourne, Trish Housten and Sue McManus amongst others, all gracing the course showing us how golf should be played. At times we were joined by John Hammond up in the erection who would, with the aid of a pair of binoculars, give us a running commentary on how the ladies were doing. One memorable quote was ‘And here comes Pauline (Hits the Ball like an Animal) White down the 9th Fairway!!’ One good thing about the Ladies championships was that there would be a bit of a gap in the field after 9 holes of golf had been played. This allowed the scoring team to abandon the club and head for The Blue Room at the Mine Club where Lou Anderson and Helen would serve up a breakfast so laden with cholesterol as to be wonderful. Eggs, bacon, steak, liver, kidneys, mushrooms, sausage, bubble and squeak and, on one memorable occasion, black pudding from Geordie Land. All was consumed with gusto and beer. So revictualled , we could return to the fray to provide the service needed by the ladies from the top of our erection! Some years passed and the use of the erection became unpopular but I was glad to see, on a recent visit to the club, that it had been renovated and should be able to serve the club for many more years to come.

Of other events at the club, the Wednesday ladies golf day was wonderful. The first chap to arrive to pick up his wife bought himself a beer, the next chap bought two, for himself and his fellow collector, the 20th, a full round, by which time the early arrivals were legless. More careful people, such as old Ted Martin, would sit quietly, away from the bar, admiring the sundry gorgeous female forms floating past. One such caught my eye and I sighed and said to him ‘Well, I’m not allowed that, but every dog has had his day.’ His reply was succinct ‘I do not know about you but I am still chasing motor cars!’

Of course, there were indeed lots of lovely young ladies about the place and, as per usual, there were certain gentlemen who were quite prepared to forget their marriage vows and chance their arm. Engineers seemed to be particularly keen on this sort of thing; but not, of course, Commander Graham, ex Royal Navy, a splendid Engineering Superintendent who was keener on other things, namely ‘The Himaaaaliyas’ as he pronounced the name of those awesome mountains. It was not unusual to find him steaming up and down ladderways on his underground inspections with a huge rucksack full of bricks on his back, getting ready for his ‘hols’ which involved long treks round said mountains ‘pinching Sherpini’s bottoms on the way’. There was Tom, a positive Adonis, who did not need to chase ladies, they came to him. Was it the aftershave he wore that provided the fatal attraction? Bless him, he did not age well, ran to seed and is now dead and gone but if he had bottled that charm he could have sold it to lesser mortals such as less fortunate males and made a fortune. Then there was Rod, another Boss Man Engineer, who demonstrated his prowess in front of us all. It was a Sunday afternoon, the competition was over, Rod’s wife, an earnest mother with little time to maintain her attractions, had taken the kids home. A young lady sat there, abandoned by her husband who had played a hard game of golf, drank a trifle too much to forget those bad holes and gone home to sleep it off. The young lady was beautiful with long hair and long legs, tastefully enclosed by thigh length boots, topped off by hot pants. The yellow silk blouse she wore shimmered and accentuated rather than concealed the attractions beneath. Altogether she was quite breathtaking. Chaps stood taller and sucked in their paunches as they went past and every time she moved about there was a collective sigh of lust from us men.

I was reminded, rather sharply, by the Madam, that I had work to do and was sent off underground to calm down. I had a team on the 620 level at 7 Shaft connecting up the pipes to the Ducks Foot at the bottom of a huge erection; the Rising Main. The ducks foot was the vast piece of steel that anchored the bottom of the thick walled pipe that rose vertically to surface through which all the water from the mine was pumped. The ducks foot incorporated a right angled bend with a large flange to which the pipes from the pumps could be connected. Alackaday, the team had a problem, the pipes could not be connected because some of Mother Africa was in the way. When the Cementation Company sank the shaft down they also mined off short crosscuts at the various required levels to give us miners the room to start mining away from the shaft without blasting all the shaft steel work to bits. Unlucky, they had missed a bit and a foot or two of rock had to be cleared off around and in front of the flange so that the connecting pipe could be fitted. This would have to be blasted off but, as the very expensive and not easily replaceable ducks foot was hard up against the rock there was an understandable reluctance to use explosives. The chaps had tried to bar down the rock in the hope that the obstruction could be broken off in that way, but without success. But now that the Bwana had arrived there, he could be blamed if damage occurred. The easy bit was to drill a series of holes, 7 in all, very close to each other. Then, breaking all the rules in the book I took one stick of dynamite, cut into three pieces (with a bit of wood) and then attached 3 fuses to the bits and pushed then gently into every other hole. Lots of mud was then put into the charged holes to ensure that the force of the explosive would act to the sides to where the adjacent empty holes would provide a breaking face. All eyes were upon me as I lit the slow burning igniter cord that would take the vital spark to the three fuses. As they say in the classics and on fireworks ‘Light the blue touch paper and retire immediately’ This we did, walking (never ever Run, you could trip up, fall over, break a leg and then what do you do!) off round a corner and sat waiting for the 5 minutes to expire before the first of the three muffled bangs went off. The fumes went away, the dust settled and we emerged, my heart in my mouth, to find that all was well; the offending lump of rock had gone away and the flange was intact. Away to surface I went, relieved and rejoicing in my luck, back over to Chibuluma East to the change house, just in time to see Rod’s car and another one, containing the lovely young lady aforementioned, leaving. I thought little of it until I went in to change and there discovered the flimsiest pair of panties I have ever come across, obviously forgotten in hasty post coital departure. I had not been the only lucky person that day. I put them in an envelope and stuck the envelope in Rod’s In Tray for him to deal with!

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.