As told by Joe Black
We were on a boat trip, there were no waves.
I guess my morning dump on the boat was a touch hurried. You know how on boat trip the teepee is always a touch damp from the journey? Splish splash... So you tend to hurry a bit at the wipe stage and maybe go only 90% efficient.
Well that last 10% can wreak havoc.
We decided to do a lap of Gili Trawangen island to stave off flat day boredom. One lap, only a few hours’ slow walk perhaps, but I’d say the temperature was around 36 deg C, humidity around 90%, ‘perfect storm’ atmospherics for the condition that was about the afflict me. For exactly 49% of the journey around I was buckled and walking like John Wayne.
I had been stricken by one of the worst cases of ring sting known to modern medicine.
Without wanting to go too deep with the details, you know how chefs get chef’s ass from the heat, the humidity, the stress, the sweat dripping down the crack? Well chef’s ass is bad, but it aint nothing compared to Indo hike ass.
We passed a high class resort hotel and I persuaded the guys to stop so we could buy an expensive Coke and I could dip in the pool thinking that would make it sweet. It didn't. It burnt to high hell, but that was only a taste of what was to come.
I got out and got some toilet paper to try and spread the cheeks for the walk back. We’ve all been there, right? That didn’t work either.
The teepee kind of disintegrated and somehow made things worse still. It kinda sounds funny coz it’s about my ass but I can assure you, at the time, it was genuine pain. Nothing funny about it at all.
I’d say the pain was somewhere between a burst appendix, gall stones and childbirth… maybe worse.
One of the guys on our boat was Israeli and had some commando training as part of his national service. He’d said he’d seen this kind of thing before and they even get training on how to deal with it on a mission. I guess when you’re on tour of Gaza or Golan heights in the midday sun, there’re all kinds of reasons your ass might get into trouble.
He said he could help. At that stage I was ready to try anything.
He mixed a potion in a plastic cup that I swear I saw him use to mix a batch of resin for a ding repair earlier in the week. From what I could see, some of the ingredients were hydrogen peroxide, chinese medicine, grapefruit seed extract, mango skin and then some other mystery ointments that he only knew the names of in Hebrew.
"It might strong a bit' were his exact words.
I found a quiet corner, like a dog does when it goes to die, and put like a tiny bit on a cotton wool bud, and didn't even need to make skin contact before I felt it.
It was the worst pain ever.
I was screaming… I jumped in the shower on to try and wash it off and it made it worse.
After the screaming had stopped, I went to lie down for about 12 hours, and then... it was as good as new.
No, better. It seemed to toughen it right up. I’ve never had a case of ring sting since, and I’ve given it some probable cause. We partied for a few days and then the swell of the season hit and we scored truly epic waves.
Everything was right with the universe, and more importantly, my asshole.