Flight of the Intruders – A tale in grossness

OK … excluding blood and guts this could be one of the grossest travel stories told involving a man and his boxing gear.

So 5 weeks ago I’m travelling from home, on the way to the boat.  I’ve got my laptop in a rucksack and I’ve got my boxing gear in another carry-on bag.  Sure I could have put that in my check-in bag but sometimes, the check in bag doesn’t make it (especially given I had like 3 connections to make).  Put it this way, there’s no way I’m going to risk being offshore for 5 weeks without being able to box.

I’m on these flights and every now and again, I catch a whiff of my bag and it smells a little stale.  Not really bad but I’m thinking “Crap, have I not washed the bag for a while?  All the clothes inside are clean.”  Maybe I should have washed them at 60 degrees-C and not 40 but I’m thinking “No I’ve never had to wash sports gear at 60”.

Anyway no big deal.

So an overnight stay in a hotel (Never bothered to open the sports bag) and next day I arrive on the boat.  I get my gear into my cabin and start to unpack.  Then I remember about my sports bag and I think to myself “OK what is this strange stale smell in my bag?”

I open it up and the smell is instantly stronger.  I take out a few items and then what do I see?  Yeah what do I see…

There’s a dead mouse in my sports bag – right at the bottom with about fifty maggots crawling all over it.  F*ck I nearly gagged,  I got my stuff out pronto and ran off the vessel, down the gangway plank and just tipped the dead mouse and maggots into the sea.  I gave the bag an almighty shake and made sure every one of those little f**kers got tipped over the side.

How my bag made it through the airport X-rays with parasites and a dead rodent I’ll never know.  I mean, I flew through Amsterdam and Norway and not one word.  Thank God too, I’d have died of embarrassment.  I washed my gym bag at 90-degrees after that (something I’ve never done – 60-degrees is always more than enough!) but the worse thing was that one side of my face guard smelled of dead, rotting mouse.  I wiped it several times with an alcohol-based cleaner and it still smelled.  In fact, it was only in the third week that the smell eventually went away.  I was lucky I packed my boxing gloves into their original air-tight bag otherwise they would have smelled too.

How I missed that mouse when I was packing the bag I just don’t know.  It must have been at the early stage where it was still a fresh kill and hadn’t started to rot yet.  The problem is I leave my bag in my garage, occasionally and I reckon one of my cats maybe chased the thing and it hid in my bag and basically died in there.

It was horrible though.  I kid you not.  That really freaked me out for the rest of the day.  I’ve also semi lost my confidence in airport security.  How a man can carry a dead rodent and live parasites across multiple countries in their hand luggage is pretty concerning!

Wrapping my hands

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