Feeling Sluggish

Many things can cause pain when running. Among the worst of afflictions is chafing, the repeated rubbing of materials against – again and again – the more sensitive parts of the human anatomy. These ‘sensitive parts’ include, but are not limited to, nipples and unmentionable nethers. Runners regularly use combinations of vaseline, elastoplast (other barriers and creams are available) to minimise this, but let me just share . .

As you may know I am spending more and more time on a farm in Wales. I meet and exchange grunts with cheerful local farmers. One recently let the granite slip to provide a torrent of useful information – well it was a torrent for him since it consisted of more than three words.

In essence, he let slip one of those magical secrets which farmers traditionally keep to themselves. As you may expect a sheep farmer has to spend many hours wandering the wet hillsides, climbing this way and that chasing recalcitrant sheep.

It turns out that chafing of various parts of the anatomy is also part of the curse that is shepherddom. As you may also suspect, they have been at it a long time, and so they know a thing or two about the answers to their own particular lives’ little problems.

They have a solution – slug slime. If ever threatened with chafing, you need only wipe a slug’s bottom over the affected part to coat it in a silvery screen which is guaranteed to protect you against chafing.

Unfortunately, my friend, having uttered this full week’s quota words in a minute, returned to leaning on his staff, and looking out over the valley in silence. I was therefore unable to press him further for as much more detail as I might have wanted.

In any event, the next time you see a runner bend down to the grass, collecting something small before then rubbing it in places which more properly should be hidden and unrubbed (probably even in private), and you begin to get over-excited, think only of a little slug being sacrificed to the greater comfort. Turn away and be grateful that you do not yourself have need of such sluggish lubricants – not yet anyway.

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