Bogged down....and covered with embarrassment.

In my youth I loved Scouting, hiking and rock-climbing. But a lengthy multi-day coastal hike resulted in great embarrassment for me.

Our Scoutmaster, Ted Ward had once been a teacher at Ardrossan, a small coastal farming town about a two-hour drive from our home city of Adelaide on the sparkling shores of St. Vincent Gulf. He determined we would hike from Port Vincent along the coast to Ardrossan – a distance of about 30 or so miles, and take three to four days over it.

There were six of us including Ted, and we walked in pairs. I was teamed with a bloke called Dick Beaumont-Smith, and we were the youngest duo. It was tough work walking along the beach, often through thick sand – especially as it was mid summer, and the sun beat down mercilessly. The shore was very tidal, so even if we wanted to swim when the tide was in, we would had to have waded out about 100 yards to even reach thigh deep water.

Late on the first day, Dick and I began skirting a large bay. The tide was out, so we both decided to cut across the tidal flat as it would be quicker. Anyway, we reached the midway point when the tidal flat suddenly became very spongy and soft. Our 35-pound rucksacks weighed us down and became a real nuisance. The surface of the tidal flat eventually became boggier and boggier until we reached one spot where we sank almost to our knees.

By this time, Ted – who was in the last duo – had reached the bay, and he and another Scout called Wayne Powell stopped and stared at us in disbelief. The effort of bending and trying to wrench our feet from the boggy saturated sand had resulted in the heavy rucksacks flipping over our heads onto the sand in front of us, while our arms were still in the harnesses.

We must have looked hysterically funny, for we could hear Ted and Wayne pissing themselves with laughter some 100 yards away. Dick and I eventually managed to free ourselves and staggered onwards, finally reaching firm sand again.

We were both highly embarrassed – but the embarrassment was compounded the next morning.

Ted lined the five of us up and asked if we had each had a bog. Unbeknown to me, this meant “have you each had a shit this morning…”

I recall muttering: “I haven’t had one this morning, Sir, but I sure had a big bog yesterday….”

Dick Smith was just as innocent. The other three older Scouts and Ted were convulsed with laughter as Dick and I stared blankly at one another. We eventually saw the funny side of it once Ted had explained what a “bog” actually was.

Bogged down....and covered with embarrassment.

John Mitchell

Kyneton, Australia

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

The effort of bending and trying to wrench our feet from the boggy saturated sand had resulted in the heavy rucksacks flipping over our heads onto the sand in front of us, while our arms were still in the harnesses.

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.