Enemy Agent

I’ve just returned from a pleasant week-end’s bivvy-up and, during the long hours between sleeping and eating, I handled some pop-ups that had been soaking in Hutchy’s Secret Agent carp attractor. This act has left my life is in turmoil. Or turmeric, or whatever it is that Secret bloody Agent reeks of. That innocent dabble in my mate’s hookbait tub has left me cursed. I am infected, infused and infested with Secret Agent and nothing I do will shake it.

As I say, the week-end was perfectly enjoyable but even before I’d finished unloading the car, Herself began to interrogate me. Between fits of hawking, retching and theatrical nose-clamping, she expounded the theme of “For God-Almighty’s sake, man, what’s that rotten curry smell?” This was followed by the pointing of a loaded finger at my designer carpwear and the order, “Right, you can get that lot off straight away!” Obviously, I tried to de-fuse the moment by adopting my most alluring expression, twiddling my imaginary waxed moustache and saying “Steady-ON old girl” and “ding-DONG!” in my splendid rendition of the great Leslie Phillips. Sadly, even this failed to divert her. All I got was a “You absolutely bloody reek!” for my trouble and I was bundled toward the bath.

Half an hour of steeping in pretty much every dissolvable aroma left over from the usual deluge of uninspired Christmas presents, had me radiating essence-of-everything, after which I collapsed on the sofa to watch a promising selection of FA Cup football. Ten minutes after I’d found the right channel, in comes Herself and barks “You STILL stink of that stuff! Go and have another bath and don’t get out until it’s gone. You’ve made the whole house smell, you have!” Great.

Well, it’s too late to cut a long story short, but I re-bathed, then I soaked my fingers in bleach, then I took a pan scourer to them, and, as a last resort, I spent two hours grinding away my fingerprints via extreme force and the application of Doctor Nazi’s Facial Scrub which had bits of abrasive muck mixed into it that appeared to be re-cycled razorblades. By the time I’d finished my purging regime, only an industrial grinder could have wreaked more havoc on my hands. There was so little flesh left, that, if I held them up to the light it was like looking at an x-ray - only pink.

I thought I’d executed the ‘Agent and then some, but the first visitor that crossed our threshold that evening said, “Bleed’nell! You bin eatin’ curry or wot?” Such cultured friends we have. Next day at work, some three baths hence, I was greeted with more of the same, plus a sprinkling of “What’s that smell?” and disgusted grimacing. Until now, three days after leaving the lake and the scene of Hutchy’s chemical crime, I still exude the least attractive human attractant known to man.

I must resign myself to the fact that Secret Agent is now part of me and I am merely a vessel for its distribution. No-one more than I, respects the life and works of Mr. Rod Hutchinson, innovator, thinker, communicator and purveyor of quality fishing goods, and one time carping chum of the living deity that is Lord Yatesy of Redmire. Yet, if I am honest, I am struggling to forgive the great man for turning me into an Airwick Solid.

Sadly, my state took an even sharper turn for the absolute worst, when I delved into the raw mechanics of the Secret Agent deal. Prepare your sympathy organs for overload, folks.

You see, the ‘root’ (keep that word to the forefront of your mind, please) of the problem is that everything touched by the hands that touched the Secret Agent, becomes a silo of chemical warfare. The main stench repositories, my fingers, have been nuked by bleach and facial grinding paste, but there’s a secondary storage unit that has, so far, received only a cursory cleansing. Think about it. What does one handle on a fairly regular basis during those long winter sessions of continual tea-drinking with lager chasers? What is it that requires a fair old bit of that handling to coax it into its primary function, when it would much rather stay cosy, snug and comically concertina’d within the manifold warmth of one’s thermal wear? Oh yes, THAT.

Please look back upon what was required to expunge my hands of Secret Agent. How many of you would fancy exposing any other part of your anatomy to such abuse, let alone THAT part? While I’m willing to anoint, daub and even scrub it to some extent, there’s no way on this earth that Doctor Nazi is ever going to get his abrasive little hands on THAT.

Thus, I am sentenced to life as a room de-freshener and general human odouriser, condemned to walk this earth smelling like Dodgy Patel’s outside lavvy. I’m tempted to reflect that the curse of the super-curry would be easier to bear if I’d used it on my baits and caught a whacker or two with it. As it turned out, I blanked, but the fact is I could have hauled a plethora of Heathers, a trio of Two-Tones and the blessed reincarnation of Mary himself, and I’d still rue the day I unscrewed the lid from that poisoned chalice. I fear, too late for me, that this is one ‘Secret’ that the noble Mr. Hutchinson should have kept to himself.

Terry Doe