Sunday, 1 April 2018

TGO Challenge - In Search of the Caledonian Warple

The Caledonian Warple (Varpellii Caledoniensis Vasgobbler) was (or, actually, is) related to the Himalayan Warple. It is a rodent, thought to be approximately the size of a red squirrel, or maybe a bit smaller. It  is secretive in habit and is likely to have been responsible for delaying the effects of over-population in the Highlands of Scotland by about eight centuries. It was the hunting of the species to extinction (it was thought) which resulted in a 16th Century Scottish population explosion, subsequent collapse of local economies, starvation, inter-clan warfare based on competition for resources, the over-division of hereditory lands, emigration, ethnic cleansing and general mayhem.
The reason for this may be complex, but it is thought, by… thinkers… that there was a link between the wearing of the kilt aux commando (if you catch my drift) and the preference of the Warple to a nice, juicy  pre-mating Vas Deferens  which so effectively held back the growth of the Caledonian population for such a long time. Studies on the Himalayan Warple have shown that the bite of the Warple is almost entireley painless and, it is thought, that Highlanders sleeping in the heather on warm summer nights (there are an average of two of these every year) provided those kilted and unprotected Highlanders with exactly the right conditions for the Warple to creep in and have it’s annual pre-mating feed. Apparently, studies also showed that Warples were attracted somewhat by the scent of blended whiskies, the odour of which may have seeped through the Highlanders scrotal areas, thus rendering them even more vulnerable to attack. It was shown that followers of certain more Protestant Christian sects were less prone to accidental neutering than followers of the more Eccesiastical versions and that this may well have lead to certain jealousies between the various factions, leading to conflict, burnings, hangings and, indeed, drownings so that’s proof, innit?
What has this got to do with the TGO challenge? I hear you ask. I shall explain.
The Caledonian Warple was thought to be extinct, the last one being hunted near Brig O’Turk in 1612 and displayed to the public by being mounted on a stick on the walls of Stirling Castle until being carried off by a passing crow about twenty minutes later. According to legend, this Warple was accidentally dropped at the feet of the Last Witch of Spott (just outside Dunbar) and brought back to life, being kept as a pet/familiar and sent out on “missions”, furtively at night to the husbands of rival witches and, occasionally, potential lovers. There is no actual proof of this, though.
But recently, a small colony of what is thought to have been Warples was discovered living in a recycling bin in Tranent, and whilst these little animals scutterred off into the night as the householder filmed them on his smartphone it is thought that many may have made off and formed yet more Warplish colonies across the Central Belt. A study of the images by scientists at the Edinburgh Institute for the Rediscovery of the Caledonian Warple, provided almost 98% certainty of Warpleness. It may well be relevant that the recycling bin held several empty bottles of Notorious Grouse, most holding just the odd little drip and it may well have been the householder’s intention to try to drain these last vestiges into a small glass just to get a nip before going off tae bed. I use the word “nip” advisably here, obviously. He probably had little idea of the risks he was running, having just had his fortnightly bath and dressed only in his wife’s dressing gown at the time even on such a cold night as it was..
The dispersal of these rodents has been a source of worry to many, particularly certain Urologists operating in various parts of Scotland who, having been tasked with performing vasectomy operations, have increasingly discovered whilst investigating patients underparts that somebody had been there first. Local NHS Trusts have been advised to keep these facts confidential because certain funding streams were thought to be “at risk” should this informaton be released to the public. Some surgeons have pointed to the slow decline of Scottish birthrates but no definitive link between the wearing of the kilt aux commando, as it were, lower birth rates and the spotting of small warple-like colonies has yet been proved.
It is rumoured, though, that for Private  Patients one renowned surgeon has a pet Warple called Dave who , on payment of a suitable fee and , having been fed by an appropiate amount of Lamb’s Navy Rum, may have been be introduced to the unconcious patient’s underwear in order to do the job. I doubt if this is substantially true, though, having worked in the NHS and been aware of the local Urologist’s pet ferret  Brian, a veteran of various strangers tight underpants, given sufficient alcohol, and certainly not a Warple of any kind/. Lovely animal, if a bit vicious when roused, but a Warple? – seems unlikely but the links here are more than worrying….. I wondered whatever happened to Brian….
And so, in the interests of science, the general health of the population of Scotland, the Day Nursery service, and the kilt industry I am using the opportunity of taking part in the TGO challenge to search for and capture at least one warple and deliver this to any Urologist who would care to have it. If nothing else, it would probably make vasectomy operations that much quicker and less painful should such an animal be licensed for use in these delicate operations.
If you are taking part in the TGO challenge, you might like to join me in my quest. You can help by searching out any nooks, crannies, waste paper bins, recycling facilities and so-on. Equipment requirements are simple. Some stout gardening gloves, a sturdy wooden camping mallet and a lightweight cat box should do the trick.
If you’d like to try Warple-Stalking, you’ll  also need a kilt of traditional design and weight . Thus you should lie in wait  in your kilt aux commando, having consumed between 8 and 10 units of alcohol, and, if you detect any movement beneath your tartan, whack the bugger with the mallet, thus rendering it temporarily unconcious for sufficient time to get it into the cat box. Whatever you do, don’t kill it.
I will be accepting donations – mainly of cheap whisky, so no need to splash-out (as it were). If I do capture a warple, it will clearly need to be kept alive till I reach civilisation, or Montrose, whichever comes first. Volunteers who are in need of emergency contraception will be needed, and be advised that I am unconstrained by normal medical ethics, not being a doctor (I never really bothered)  otherwise, my advice is to zip up your sleeping bag well, stay off the booze and wear very very tight underpants at night.
Good luck and good hunting.


Candy said...

First time reader of your blog Mike and It won't be the last! This post had me chuckling till the end, thank you so much for your vivid description of the naughty Warple and it's interesting habits! Strangely, a few weeks ago, I found myself with time on my hands and mused over a similar scenario involving the luring and eventual capture of the Highland Haggis,(the white female which is highly prized as you know). Funny how those with time, imagination and an overdose of silliness can amuse others. Please do keep up with the silliness, I shall return:)

Dawn Linney said...

They make tasty eating when properly roasted, the best way is on a stick over an open fire. All the best on expedition Mike and mind, warples do bite!

Dawn Linney said...

By the by, like the kilt.

AlanR said...

They are very rare and should be protected, especially from them there knees.

Mike Knipe said...

Candy - Welcome to the Pieblog. I was interested to hear about your concern for the Highland Haggis. They're not about too much at the moment, though. I understand that it's nesting time, so.....
Dawn - If I catch one, you can have it when I've finished with it. You'll need some onions too. Just sayin'
Alan - I'm quite proud of my knees as it happens. They were remarkably handsome till I slipped on that wet grass last year.