In which Tony takes heed of a warning from the faculty medic in advance of his trip to Westerchester.
“Your shaving habits," said Dr. Seward, "may be subject to change on the waterways. I recommend you stock up on foam and on no account let your ablutional habits slide. The consequences could be disastrous.”
This wasn’t particularly concerning for me as, despite my little jest about shaving my back, I still had the facial growth of a fourteen-year-old, and not necessarily a male. Whilst this might have bothered me at twenty, at thirty it seemed like incredibly good fortune and now I counted my blessings during each of my thrice-weekly meetings with a razor.
“Do you know your IQ level?”
“It’s pretty high,” I said. “Somewhere in the nineties.”
“During your excursion up the Kenneth & Keith, you may become convinced it is much higher, and you may feel the urge to expound your new-found intellect to anyone who will listen. Asking you to resist such an urge may be futile but I mention it anyway as the waterways and pedantry are easy bedfellows. Do you own your own teeth?”
“I think so,” I said. “ I’d hate to find out these belonged to someone else.”
“Excellent,” he replied. “Look after them. Teeth are apt to soften during the narrowboating process.”
I didn’t really know what he meant by this. I wasn’t likely to misplace them and even if I did I could probably rent another set.
By now, the old thesp seemed ready to pack me on my way. He was satisfied that I had the strong constitution required to amble up the Kenneth & Keith, stopping at every other canal-side pub to eat my own weight in fish pie and swill copious quantities of bizarre cask ale.