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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Camping at Kingussie

d12 pups

Like births, deaths and taxes, some things are entirely predictable and, so it is with the TGO Challenge message board.

The first predictable thing is that there will, at several points through the year, be a message from Roger Smith with the simple title of a Challenger’s name. This message is opened with a certain amount of trepidation because it will be the announcement that a fellow challenger, and, therefore, probably a friend, has died.

The reaction will be a series of posts from Challengers recanting a few tales and memories about whoever it is that’s passed away. Challengers can be such a nice bunch of people at times.

It is, unfortunately a function of the age profile of TGO Challengers that one or two, or maybe three will ramble off to meet their maker each year.

Just recently, it was the turn of Nan Lyle MBE, a wonderful woman from Hawick, small in stature, but big in achievements and genuinely well liked and well respected. If Nan had been your Mum, you’d be very proud indeed.

The second predictable thing is that there will be a serious row or two on the TGO Message Board.

Now, i must admit that I do enjoy reading a good old row on a forum and I have been guilty in the past of trolling the trolls a bit. They don’t like it up ‘em you know – but you have to be either fairly subtle, or just call ‘em a troll….

What appears to have happened in this year’s row is that a couple of  Challengers, lets just call one of them “Tim”, for argument’s sake, asked if anybody knew where they could camp in or around Kingussie. A reply soon came forth that Glen Tromie was a good place.

Then some anonymousness, by the unlikely name of Orla Gogg, made a joke that it would be possible to camp on another Challenger’s bowling-green-like lawn, as he had done once in the past – and ruined the grass in the process. Lets call this other chap “Derek”, just for the sake of a barney.

It was obviously a joke and, I would have thought anyway, not the kind of thing to start the dogs barking. The inference was, of course, that everybody should turn up at Kingussie and wreck Derek’s lawn, sleep in his beds and drink his whisky. A gentle bit of ribbing, and quite funny.

Derek took it in good part even though he is very well known for his “unfortunate” outbursts on occasion – outbursts which usually lead to the most flying fur and ripped ears in the TGO kennel. Sometimes his attacks on individuals can be quite vicious. He is a grumpy old mongrel. Everybody knows it.

So, “Tim” (original poster), pops up and says something to the effect that this was a serious question and he expected that people would treat it seriously. Stick duly poked at farmyard dog.

This is a sharpened stick. The mongrel, once curled up and snoozing in the sunny spot by the midden has been prodded and reacts with a sharp little nip at “Tim’s ankles. “Why don’t you just look  at a map?” snaps Derek – using Tim’s own word – the word “seriously”, in fact, just to add a bit of infected saliva to the nip. (Note – If you’re going to have a pop at somebody on a forum, use some of the other person’s own words – its really annoying)

At which point the kennel door is opened and a ripping, snarling attack is launched and our veteran mongrel is overwhelmed by growling houndry consisting of  members of the same pack as those who were being so nice about poor Nan a couple of posts above. Derek’s ears are ripped and there is fur and blood flying in all directions.


Ir wuz me!” protests Orla Gogg, our Albanian princess. “C’mon, don’t bite Derek, it wuzz me!”

But the pack is in full cry. They’ll have none of it. Derek’s fur flies.

Our Derek, at times, may not be the nicest pooch and he’s left himself vulnerable to this kind of thing by his behaviour in the past. He hasn’t learned when to keep his virtual gob shut – and, being an old dog, its probably too late now.

That’s the problem with dogs, though. Curled up by the fire and shaking a paw, licking your ears, sniffing your groin - they’re lovely, cuddly, friendly animals. But in a pack – they’ll rip yer to bits.

This dog fight seems to have finished now. I’m not joining in, not on the message board anyway. You can lose your identity in a pack.


Phil said...

Spot on, Mike.

Alan Sloman said...

S.B.O Sir. S.B.O.

And Nan was a wonderful lady too.

(Word = "mytho"...)

peewiglet said...


For once, I'm not totally in agreement.

As I said to Alan in email, if anyone else had written what Derek wrote it would have sounded pretty bloody nasty, IMO. If it doesn't sound quite as bad this time then maybe that's only because he's been even nastier in the past. If the little sh*t who normally smashes all the car windows decides to stop at a headlight it's still not right, though. That's shouldn't be a cause for celebration.

There's just no need or justification for nastiness on the Chally messageboard (or anywhere else, as far as I can see). Derek's a nasty man who seems to take pleasure in ripping chunks out of other peeps. It doesn't have to be a big chunk to hurt quite a lot. Think hangnail. I've shed real tears over Derek's malignancy in the past, and I'm sure other victims have suffered from it too.

For some reason a few peeps are allowed to be really nasty on the Chally messageboard. As I said there, I have no idea why it's allowed. Some (not all) people can't crack a joke without being told off for wasting bandwidth, but some other people can make nasty personal attacks with impunity. If you can see any sense in that then please explain it to me, because I just don't get it.

As I also said to Al in email--straws, camels, backs etc.

peewiglet said...

p.s. Oops... soz! It's too late in the evening and I realised I forgot to say...

...that IMO we should be clear about who = the 'pack' here. It's Derek and his nasty mateys (none of whom have appeared in the thread this time). Not the peeps who've spoken up to object to the tone of what he wrote. IMO again, of course.

mike knipe said...

Didn't expect you to agree Shirley, I do remember the history of relations between your good self and Derek - for which he was duly bounced last year. And on that occasion, I took a full part in the bouncing.
Reactions to things have to be proportional and reasonable, though. Derek's comment wouldn't have bothered me much if it had been aimed at me. Tim's comment would have been more likley to elicit an ill-judged response, though, depending on vino-collapso levels in the bloodstream at the time.
It'll happen again.

Piglet said...

Howdy again.

I've not responded to what Derek wrote because of his mind-bogglingly nasty remarks to me last year. I'd have responded in exactly the same way if I'd not been one of his many victims. Simplistic as it may sound, I really do believe that right = right and wrong = wrong, whether we've been personally involved in it or not.

I don't see anything disproportionate in the criticisms that have been made in the last few days to Derek's latest bout of nastiness on the board (though I realise that some people disagree). I've tried to resist the temptation to fall into cliche by making reference to the well-known "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing" quote up to now, but that's actually precisely how I feel about it. I feel that bullies need to be stamped on.

Yes, Tim got the wrong end of the stick. Does he normally do that on the messageboard, though? Not as far as I've seen. Derek wrote something calculated to wound. Does he normally do that on the messageboard? Yes. Regularly. That's why I see Tim's response as an out-of-character misjudgement but Derek's comment as yet more nastiness from a man who's become famous for it over there. He appears to revel in it.

It'll happen again.

I'm sure you're right. It'll keep happening while the moderators allow it to happen. It'll only be Derek and a few of his pathetic cronies who'll be making the nasty remarks, though.

mike knipe said...

I'd quite like to hear from some cronies now.
I don't suppose they read this, though.

Piglet said...

I meant people who've joined in with him in the past when he's had a go at people on the messageboard.

mike knipe said...

Thanks Shirley.
Sorry about the delay - I been for a walk in the snow, see? Bruno is spark out....