Thursday, January 10, 2008

Our Sport’s Dreadful, Hidden Disability

Geocaching doesn’t have any couth, it seems. Really.

To be with-it or in, it seems you ought to have some obligatory disease or disability. Tennis folk have “Tennis Elbow”, skiers have “Skier’s Thumb” and for heaven’s sake, there’s “Runner’s Knee”! Meh. We need a disease or injury of our own.

And I have a likely candidate: “Cacher’s Hand”. Symptoms: multiple laceration of the dominant hand, including scuffing of the skin on the knuckles, cuts ranging from nearly invisible to gashes requiring bandages, general swelling and tenderness.

My own experience bears out this horrible disability.

While I am a sporadic cacher, I am an avid one when I’m out. No hill too high, no swamp too deep, yada, yada… My best beloved will tell you that I will climb the tree, swing over the creek and (here’s the segue) be willing to search in hidden spots with my ungloved hand. (I just cannot tell what I have unless my skin is in contact with the object of my search.)Thorns? To laugh, sez I! Moldering leaves with sticks, sharp and pointed? No problem! Rocks with ragged edges? Phoof! Small, unlikely hiding places with hidden dangers like broken glass? Give it not a thought! Poison ivy? Contact allergies? Nary a consideration!

The tragic and inevitable result, wise readers, is Cacher’s Hand: abraded, wounded, swollen and bruised. And I know, deep in my cacher’s soul, I am not the only zestful, thoughtless participant in this sport. There must be hundreds of broken and bleeding hands pressed back into the Monday morning world of work out there.

I’m willing to spread the word. How about you?


Captain Spaulding said...

Good one, Mouse. Shall we compare cases at geobash?

Jim said...

I don't and never do suffer from "Cacher's Hand". What I suffer from is "Cacher's Leg": more-or-less the same as "Cacher's Hand", but on a larger area, and rather uglier, usually. I have scratched myself on the leg with sagebrush so many times that I now get allergic reactions to it that are not unlike poison oak, although not as severe. Add to that cuts and scratches from rocks and tree branches, and my legs can look like I was hit with an shrapnel. I'm very careful with my hands, and rarely do more than get tiny cuts or nicks on them, but my legs are another matter, entirely :-o