The Knee

Huggy was just snuggling down into his cozy armchair with a nice cup of cocoa and his favourite slippers, ready for
'Question Time' when the phone rang.


The earpiece rattled with extremely loud jazz music accompanying the tinkling of glasses and girlie giggling.

"Hugs!", shouted Henry.  "Get out of those slippers and get up here pronto.  We've got a party going on".

"I'm not wearing slippers", Huggy blushed.  "Anyway... it's 10 o'clock - way past my bedtime".

"It's Christmas and sleeping is for wimps, Hugs.  I'm on a promise with one of two spectacular birds, and need a rear gunner to keep the other one occupied...", shouted Henry, a tad too aggressively, then rapidly changed tack with a pathetic: "... and a friend in need, is a friend indeed".

"Give me strength.... Well, everyone is in bed here, I suppose I could sneak out for a couple of hours".


Edward Arthur Withers was an extremely good looking, but extremely ill-educated man.  Born just outside Maidstone Prison, ironically he had had a spell or two within as an inmate.   While not being the sharpest tool in the box, he did have a winning way with women, which he liked to combine with trips into London for a bit of "culture".  In 1986, "culture" to Edward extended to all things French.  And so he took his equally foolish wife, Esmerelda, to see Les Miserables, where he was bemused as to who the oft mentioned 'Madame Guillotine' was.  Equally bizarrely, he took it as French 'culture' when he went with his drinking mates to a back street Maidstone cinema to see 'Black Emanuelle 2 goes to America'.  And so it was no surprise that the following year, Edward and Esmerelda Withers named their twin daughters... Emanuelle and Guillotine.


Huggy and Henry finally met up outside Mahiki's in Mayfair.  Huggy recognised Emanuelle Withers from his visit to Henry's law firm.  The tall, leggy platinum, was no less spectacular than before, if a little worse for drink.  Guillotine, despite being Emanuelle's twin, was 5' 2", sober, exuded intelligence (an extaordinary feat considering her parentage), and bored.  Huggy initially assumed that the target of Henry's affections was Emanuelle, but quickly revised his opinion, after seeing the dewy eyed look on his face when he introduced Guillotine.  To make things crystal clear, Henry announced on seeing Huggy, "there you go, Miss Withers, your knight in shining armour".  To which, Emanuelle squealed in delight,"oh look, Guillotine, it's Sir Steve Redgrave"!


At 2 in the morning, bored of Mahiki's Polynesian theme, the group tottered up the street to the Dover Street Wine Bar, where Henry launched himself on the dancefloor with a terrified Guillotine.   With extraorindary skill, he swung her around with gay abandon, crashing her into the other dancers, swinging her under his legs and smothering her with his 6' 5" frame.  Mistaking her screams of fear, for squeals of pleasure, he started throwing her, doll like, into the air, and catching her on bended knee with an "olez!"  On the third throw, something seemed to have changed, Henry didn't get up, and the smile on his face was frozen.

Having escorted Henry back to a chair, Guillotine asked what was the matter, to which H muttered: "knee - old war wound - Korea.  Gone again, I'm afraid".

Seeing that Emanuelle had passed out, Huggy decided his escort duties were over and took the opportunity to leave.  During the long, and hugely expensive trip back to Kent, he pondered the longer term impact of Henry's gammy knee.


A couple of days later, and still a little hung-over, the two enjoyed their most competent paddle in a very long time, just about keeping pace over a 3.5k piece with one of the heaviest, strongest Vets fours to grace the Medway (Big Bob, Big Bill, Big Greg and Thor - the God of War).  Things are at last beginning to click in the Empacher.

Afterwards, Huggy confronted Henry about the knee.

"Well actually, both knees have gone old chap" said Henry almost sheepishly.  "I'm in discussions with the quacks as to when to operate, they tell me those new metal knees work wonders.  Besides, you should see this as your opportunity to step up to the plate and start pulling your weight!"

"Give me a timescale, Henry", said Huggy, as he transfered Mark Tompkins' mobile number to Speed Dial.

"ooh... 6 months, 1 year, 2 years... who knows" came the cagey reply.

No rowing this weekend 4/5th Dec

The road down to the club is treacherous and only passable with a 4
wheeldrive vehicle. The site and everything within it is covered in
snow, as are the steps and the ramp. Everything would have to be cleared
and salted prior to doing anything, it would then become slippery.
Therefore a red light for the weekend.

On behalf of the chairman.