Mountain

Mr and Mrs Pottle are Lost Again

Latest figures reveal that mountain rescue teams in the UK's Peak District are called out to help, on average, two people a day. The two people in question are Glenda and Raymond Pottle, a retired couple from Stockport, and emergency service chiefs are getting mightily sick of it.

"Why can't these people just stay at home?" said Assistant Head of Ropes, Malcolm Crampon. "Sometimes I think they can't go more than two hundred yards from their front door without getting stranded on a cliff face or tumbling into a crevasse. Every time the phone rings now my heart just sinks, because I know exactly what it's going to be: Mr and Mrs Pottle have wandered off into the hills again with nothing more than a flask of tea and an out-of-date bus timetable to help them survive the wilderness.

"What can you do? A couple of weeks ago I told them in no uncertain terms that this kind of thing had to stop; that they were to leave nature well alone and confine themselves to the city. And what happened?"

What happened was that last Thursday, Malcolm's Mountain Rescue team received another phone call from the Pottles, who had once more managed to get themselves lost in some wild and unknown environment. Quite where they were they couldn't say and, cursing beneath his breath, Malcolm had no choice but to scramble his team.

"There was nothing else for it," Malcolm explained. "They make you swear an oath when you take on this job. Come rain or shine, day or night, you have to spring into action, even if you are looking for a couple of pig-brained dickheads who, in any sane world, would be kept under lock and key for the sake of their own wellbeing.

"In the end it turned into a major manhunt. We had the police out looking for them, helicopters, put out messages on the local radio station. And do you know where we found them? The car park at ASDA. Near the bottle bank, where one of the streetlights was out and it was a bit dark. We had to airlift them to their house two streets away - them and their shopping... You know, the next time there's a call - I don't know, maybe this is a premonition - but I just have this feeling that we may not find them. Pity."

Mountain

 


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