Cragside Manner

The Doctor is in. He will see you shortly.

With a glance, one can surmise that it will be a busy morning for The Doctor. Dozens of new tents have appeared in the campsite overnight, revealed by the gentle dawn rays. From within these colourful domes emerge scores of fresh faces, excited by the prospect of a weekend spent climbing classic routes.

The indefatigable Doctor will see them all. His rounds must not be interrupted, for his wisdom is a gift to all. Only through his expert diagnosis and his merciful application of prescriptions can any climber expect to have an enjoyable day on the rock.

I have been a patient of The Doctor for some time now. Here are some of the medicinal interventions I’ve been privy to:

Sandbagonate
(also known as Difilmax or Terrornol)

  • Prescribed to new patients in order to make them shit their pants.
  • Acts by suggesting a route that is incredibly hard for the grade and thereby terror inducing.
  • Indicated by patient unfamiliarity with area. Most effective if taken within the first two days of attendance at a new crag.
  • Side effects may include a sense of superiority and/or amusement for The Doctor, injury/impairment/appearing foolish for the patient.

Myboltonol
(also known as myroutenine or myprojectipril)

  • Prescribed to anyone who will listen.
  • Acts by alerting the listener to a route that The Doctor has established in the area, with an invitation to “get on that shit”.
  • Indicated by the intention of the patient to climb a nearby classic or at an adjacent crag.
  • Ideal outcome for medication is to induce patient admiration.
  • Most effective if patient exhibits symptoms of LBRS (Low Bullshit Radar Syndrome)

Exagerol
(also known as bullshitadine or unlikelax)

  • Prescribed to patients who threaten The Doctor’s status as an eminent professional.
  • Acts by concocting spurious tales of epic ascents, foreign conquests and celebrity friendships.
  • Warning: This medication is known to have a low success rate. Use as a last resort.
  • Side effects may include Sudden Onset Disbelief. This has been known to lead to the development of Aesop’s Syndrome, colloquially known as Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf Disease. If symptoms develop, discontinue use.
  • For external applications only. If ingested, induce vomiting and call 1800 BIGEGO

Gearomax
(also known as equiperone or rackonate)

  • Best taken in combination with Betastatin (see below) in order to remove all the mystery/adventure from a potential send.
  • Works by prescribing the exact composition of traditional protection needed for a particular route.
  • Alternative uses include to disparage the patient’s outdoor equipment (including, but not limited to tents, clothing, ropes and spoons) and suggest better models/brands.
  • Side effects may include terminally boring conversations involving words such as ripstop, baffle, denier, kernmantle, hybrid and polypropylene.
  • Excess consumption has been linked with severe poverty.

Betastatin
(also known as tipifrin or unsolicitrol)

  • Taken as an oral spray.
  • Indicated when patient slows down during a crux sequence in order to think.
  • Prescribed without warning or consent.
  • Best combined with the liberal application of appropriate limb movements for demonstrative purposes.
  • Side effects may include anger, feelings of resentment and possible onsight loss.

Are you in need of ointments, unguents, balms or salves? Of course you are. We all are. Fear not, for no matter where you are, there is a Doctor nearby. That, I can guarantee.

Ryan Siacci, Esq.
Originally published in November 2016

Thoughts? Opinions? Cries of dissent?