(click on book cover to read a sample extract)
SIDEWAYS MOVERSBuy it from Amazon and Kobo,
PTHIRUS PUBIS I: THE VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY
BY FORGETTING TO take his own towel to the Dollan Baths that weekend, Minty Cooper unwittingly ensured that it wasn’t only the traditional assortment of contagious verrucas, fungal toenail infections and bacterial foot rot that returned home with him from the East Kilbride swimming pool changing rooms.
Pthirus Pubis do not carry the social class misconceptions of head lice, the hygiene allegations of scabies or the unfortunate sexual connotations of ringworm. However what they do possess is the ability to move sideways at very high speed. As Minty Cooper dried himself off on his best (and only) friend Stick Bannen’s sports towel after his Saturday morning swim at the Dollan, the miniscule crab lice scurried quickly and instinctively from his school pal’s 90%-cotton fibre towel onto the greener pastures of his unsuspecting nether regions.
Over the coming days, the infestation of parasitic insects grew amorous and began to procreate. In even less time than it takes a fertile teenage schoolgirl in Glasgow to obtain rent-free accommodation from the city council, the pregnant female pubic lice began to lay their eggs in the sweaty depths of Minty’s rarely-washed genitalia.
It wasn’t long before those eggs began to hatch.
Yellowish-white nymphs emerged from the darkness, weak and exhausted but also extremely hungry for blood. Minty Cooper’s blood. Gorging on their new host’s red corpuscles several times each day, the infant lice rapidly began to grow in size, stature and ambition. Soon the greasy confines of Minty’s ginger-pubed groin area no longer provided an adequate feasting ground for the army of six-legged beasts with crab-like appendages.
And so the Voyage of Discovery began.
By the time the red rash of constant scratching begun to appear on the undercarriage of Minty Cooper’s testicles, significant numbers of the pubic lice had already traversed onto his on/off girlfriend Moira Sewell, the unfortunate consequence of the pair cavorting in her parent’s king-size water bed one Friday evening whilst they were out at a murder mystery party in Bothwell.
The following weekend as a highly agitated Mr and Mrs Sewell sat at home accusing each other of infidelity and threatening each other with the divorce courts, their carefree daughter was out getting drunk at a house party in Rutherglen. After consuming one too many Aftershocks and being sick twice, young Moira transmitted the Pthirus pubis onwards twice, first onto a boy from her school called Dougie Malone in an upstairs bedroom at the party, and then onto another young man whom she didn’t know the name of in a public telephone box in Dalmarnock.
The following afternoon as an extremely hungover Moira lay in bed wondering what her parents were shouting about downstairs, Douglas Malone was already up and about and passing on the hot potato (and hotter perineum rub) onto a girl called Tracey McGibbon he’d just met in the Time Capsule, Monklands. Despite only being fourteen, young Douglas had already developed a certain je ne sais quoi with the opposite sex. After some initial heavy petting in the shallow end of the highly chlorinated swimming pool, it didn’t take much persuasion to get his new female friend to drop her frilly underpants and bend over the nappy changing table in the disabled toilet beside the ice rink.
And so the pubic lice marched onwards.
Across Glasgow in deepest darkest Ferguslie, Mick Monaghan had a far less sexually and socially active weekend. After his fortuitous tryst the previous evening in a BT phone box over in Dalmarnock with an extremely drunk girl he didn’t quite catch the name of, young Mick opted to stay at home that Saturday night watching a DVD his big brother Sammy had purchased earlier in the day from a man with a wooden leg and an eye patch down the Barra’s market. The film turned out to be a particularly poor quality counterfeit copy, with the heads of several weak bladdered cinema-goers moving along the bottom of the screen throughout the course of the movie. But this didn’t particularly bother young Mick Monaghan on this particular occasion. He was more concerned about the unusual movements in his underpants.
As it happened this wasn’t the first time that Mick Monaghan had suffered from pediculosis. So instead of visiting a doctor or a genito-urinary clinic or buying a medicated shampoo from his local chemist when he self-diagnosed the blue-coloured spots in his lower cockpit region a few days later, the young man from Ferguslie decided to self-treat the irritating affliction with vinegar.
Unfortunately, this DIY remedy was applied too late for his girlfriend Chantelle Nisbet, who picked up some of his pubic lice in her eyelashes whilst giving him a blowjob on the top deck of a 38B bus. By the time her own constant scratching led to a secondary bacterial infection around her eyelids and vagina a few weeks later, Chantelle and Mick had sadly split up after a pregnancy scare resulting from a brief encounter of the third (eye’s) kind behind a tree behind the Peoples Palace. Concluding that boys of her own age were far too immature, fifteen year old Chantelle immediately began to focus her attentions on older men, and in particular her own good-looking cousin.
That good-looking older cousin was Ronnie Nisbet, a smooth talking and sexually promiscuous shop-worker from Partick at the time harbouring ambitions of writing his name into the Guinness Book of World Records by beefing the most girls up the arse in a twenty-four hour period. Unfortunately, luck would turn against Mr Nisbet before he could make contact with Norris McWhirter to validate his achievement, in part because the ageing Record Breakers television show co-presenter had died earlier in the year of a myocardial infarction during a tennis match, but mostly because young Chantelle’s protective older brother Charles had already found out about a seedy Odeon rendezvous involving two of his little sister’s orifices and three of his cousin Ronnie’s fingers and stabbed the latter repeatedly (and fatally) with a Stanley knife.
This is the story of what happened next . . .