Albert Flussmeister, the Camp Boss was a bit of a contradiction when you first met him. Teutonic by lineage and of an anal disposition, he had the kind of sad, expressive face that would have brought out the Jewish mother in a Palestinian guerrilla. Mind you, if you were catering for the needs of 27 nationalities on an isolated camp in Papua New Guinea; by definition, you had to be somewhat unique.
But Albert had not been his normal self for the last couple of weeks. It was nothing to do with the multiple varieties of cooking rice for the various ethnic inhabitants, the illegal brewing of alcohol in Camp B, nor the Japanese demand for fresh whale meat to celebrate Harmonious Nippon Ancestor Day. No. His backside itched first thing every morning.
He had already considered consulting the South African Indian Doctor Kalesh at the Clinic but had been unsatisfied on previous occasions when he had gone to see him regarding various other ailments. Why, only a month ago he had gone to visit relating to his belief that the malaria pills he was obliged to take were causing voices in his head at two o’clock in the morning. The good doctor had prescribed some henna paste to be mixed with water and dotted on the forehead before every meal, along with the medical advice, “No hurry, no curry, no worry!”
And so on this occasion Albert decided on self-diagnosis. After all there was a wealth of information on the internet. It was just a question of using common sense.
Sure enough, Google revealed that his condition was one of worms that like to come out when you are asleep and who forage for sustenance lurking in one’s local skin crevices. His interest aroused by the idea of a million maggots picnicking on his bottom every night, he set about trying to discover if this was indeed true.
That night he lay on his bed in front of a full length mirror and manipulated his legs such that his knees were touching his ears on either side of his head. Being a creative and practical individual, he also ensured some well-placed sticky electrical tape held each substantial buttock out of the line of sight. Thus he settled down with a flask of strong black coffee and the scene was set for the night time vigil.
Perhaps it was the mesmerizing effect of endeavouring to stare intently at the reflection in the mirror, but in fact Albert drifted off into dreams of happy days as a child, and of munching bratwurst on the banks of the River Mosel.
He awoke, scratched his rear end and realized that if the hungry hoards had reared their heads that night, he had missed it.
“Gott im Himmel, Plan B!”
So the next day he posted an anonymous note on the Site Welfare Notice Board seeking possible guidance from the 6,000 strong site populace. In fact it yielded a great response. Sifting out the usual “Jesus Saves” contributions and ones from sane people with families to support, he found himself left with a shortlist of two.
An electrician assigned to the Permit to Work Dept. by the name of Chuffy Baby De Legaspi was a stand-out candidate. He claimed his Dad had invented a torch that small black people could use in underground tunnels to look for fossils.
The second applicant he was familiar with; a diminutive Texan ex-biker, now a pipe fitter, by the name of Lee Roy Henri La Planche. He reckoned on standing watch during the night and taking a 14 pound hammer to any of “the critters that blighted your ***!”
Albert after a short deliberation opted for Chuffy Baby, as the prospect of vertically challenged indigene of the Lone Star State swinging a hammer around his crown jewels seemed to contain overtones of unknown potential.
But in the end opting for the electrician also proved a disappointment. After arranging a meeting through the pigeon box facility, the proposal put forward seemed to be an attempted scam. No further mention was made of the aforesaid torch, but Chuffy proposed, (that for a suitable fee) some Chinese work mates of his could build a plaster dam across his lower back. Albert declined this innovative idea.
Unfortunately there is no happy ending to date. Albert resorted to reusing the electrical tape to secure a bar of antiseptic soap to his bottom, but resisted an insertion on the basis that the soap bar had sharp edges and he did not relish the prospect of visiting Dr Kalesh with a hemorrhoid hemorrhage.
The symptoms have diminished somewhat, but recently reoccurred on the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birthday.