Friday, 7 June 2013

Watership Down

I had an adventure.  A body like this doesn't just happen, it takes the perfect combination of shameless neglect and a few coincidentally healthy hobbies.  One of these is walking home from work.  I walk about 3-4 miles a day from the office to my house along the canal bank.  I really enjoy walking home from work; it gives me time to think, to listen to podcasts and see the wildlife.  The canal's been good for wildlife recently, the hot weather's brought out hundreds of fish, ducklings and herons.  Tonight I walked through a massive hatch of what I think were mayfly, thousands of tiny insects that chased each other and fucked in the air.  It was a little weird to be surrounded by so much sex, like being in the first year of university again.  Today there was a rabbit.
It was swimming down the middle of the canal, bobbing its head above the water, all least it was at first.  As I drew closer I saw that the thing was struggling, each time its head slipped under the water it took longer and longer to return to the surface until I saw it start to sink through the cloudy brown murk  Before I really knew what I was doing I was kicking off my shoes, and preparing to rescue the thing.
I unbuttoned my trousers and jumped into the water not realising my smart office wear was still entangled with my ankles and my phone was in the pocket.  I barley noticed, the rabbit had been underwater for an long time now, I thrashed around under the surface, trying to find it but it was no use, the rabbit was gone, lost in the brown murk.
That was when I noticed my trousers floating behind me.  I hurriedly threw them out out the canal, mercifully everything I'd had in my pockets had stayed that way.  That was when the old woman walked past.  I was standing in the canal not knowing what to do next and she quite reasonably asked what I was doing.  I mumbled something about trying to save a rabbit.  She scolded me for not looking after myself and carried on walking, not realising that I have my silver cross open water life saving badge and as such I was obviously in no, danger the well meaning fool.
Finally I got out of the canal.  I stood on the towpath in my waterlogged socks, boxers and shirt holding a soaked through pair of black work trousers.  It was a 2.5 mile walk home.  Fortunately today was maybe the nicest day of the year so I dried off pretty quickly and temperature wasn't an issue.  Embarrassment was.  I hobbled my way home past a bemused collection of joggers, cyclists and narrow boat captains looking like Walter White at the start of Breaking Bad. 
So I showered, put my clothes in the wash and slathered myself in antiseptic.  My phone's in a bowl of rice on the windowsill, hopefully the rice will soak up any of the filthy water that got into the machine and I can turn it on successfully in the next few days.  I can't find my glasses so I'm using a spare pair.
I told my dad about all this and he said I was an idiot.  He's more practical than I am, he was raised on a farm and has a much more straight forward attitude to the food animals.  Not that I'm a great animal rights campaigner; I eat meat unapologetically and like to think that I would kill my own food should the need arise, though I never have. 
I am a massive hypocrite, I tried to save the rabbit today when the weather was brilliant and I wasn't in a hurry.  I'd probably have left the bunny if trying to rescue it would have required more effort.  I feel genuinely upset that I failed the rabbit but I know I'll eat cheap meat again without any guilt.  I guess I feel bad for the rabbit because its death seemed so pointless, I can't overlook it's unpleasant final moments for some tasty sausages.  I was being an idiot, I lost a pair of glasses and I've probably written off my phone for a rabbit I didn't save, but at the time, I didn't think about that, all I thought was that I didn't want to watch a rabbit die, and I'm proud of that.

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