Chapter 25 - Surveying from a church tower outside Folkestone

FOLKESTONE - Another Shit Start



It was getting contagious. Now John needed to go. I probably did but wouldn’t admit to it.


‘I can’t climb down like this. I’m going to have to take a piss.’


‘Same goes for me.’


‘Go on then. Be quick about it but do it away from where we have to climb down.’


John took off the radio and passed it to me lest Steve called back. Dick and John began their duelling banjos act, sword fighting their streams of steamy piss. Gurglings of
satisfaction from them both.  


Steve radio’d in, ‘Bruce One to Bruce Two, you’re at the wrong bloody church. Over.’


‘How do you know? You only use synagogues? Over.’


‘Because I can see the right bloody church and it’s top. You’re not there. Over.’


‘Oh, shit’, I muttered back in disbelief and despair. All this effort for nothing. I hadn’t
checked the map trusting to my navigator, John. He’d fucked up.


What to do? Pack up was the answer. I could see the gravedigger start his slow walk back towards the church, spade slung rifle-like over his shoulder. He looked up at the tower and beckoned to me, obviously wanting us to come down. Our time was up. I held up two fingers this time; in friendly Churchillian fashion, indicating two minutes. He nodded and continued walking slowly towards the church. I looked back at John and Dick who, having gone to the far side of the tower from me, were well out of sight of the gravedigger.


‘Oh, piss.’ I exclaimed.


Steve answered back, ‘Oh, piss on you too, Bruce Two.’


It wasn’t what I meant. John and Dick’s piss had begun to form a puddle from which a lengthening stream had begun to flow around the inside edge of the tower. Channelled
between the walls of the church tower and its sloping roof it made its way around towards where I stood. I stepped towards the tripod, avoiding the nearing stream, with the intention of packing up the theodolite. Revelation. It suddenly hit me. No, not the piss but a dawning realisation about the gargoyles I had seen when we first arrived. The corner ones were not all ornamental. One was a rain spout to prevent water collecting on the roof. The piss was heading for it. At the very corner that the gravedigger would soon be passing beneath. He’d see it cascade down and realise we’d desecrated his church. Oh, bugger. I couldn’t see him, where was he?


I peered over the side of the tower. He was closer than I’d expected. He wouldn’t just see the piss. He’d get it right over him. He’d be well and truly pissed on. I turned back to look at the stream of piss, now much closer to the gargoyle’s spout.


They must have pissed five pints between them for the stream now ran like a river. Any second and it would be gushing through the gargoyle. I ducked back. I couldn’t watch. I just couldn’t;’ …………………