Something wasn't quite right. It took me a couple of minutes of sleepy fumbling to realise I had not imagined the extreme discomfort I was currently experiencing in my boxers. Kicking off the heavy bed covers I reached for a head-torch and began exploring. "Er, Ben, wake up", I shook him roughly. "Seriously man, you need to wake up and look at my dick, right now". Ben stared back at me incredulously from the safety of his sleeping bag. This was not a drill. "Ben, it's bloody moving, the thing is moving" I screamed in a shrill voice. The creature was firmly clamped to the end of my penis and was madly scrabbling with sharp little claws every time I tried to pull it off. I grabbed Ben by the scruff of the neck and forced him to take a look. My best friend watched with horror as I dissolved into a quivering mess and began to cry like a little girl. If only the monster was attached to somewhere else, my eyeball for example, instead of the end of my penis. I breathed deeply and ordered Ben to get me a lighter. After what seemed like an age Ben finally sauntered over with some matches. "You're going to have to help me man” I said in a quiet voice. With a less than thrilled look on his face Ben lit the match and held it close to the monster, whom we had nicknamed Mick, happily gnawing on my most prized possession. It took Ben all of three seconds to panic and stab me with the red hot match which, understandably, caused cry of pain. This apparently startled my good buddy as he reacted by dropping the still aflame match into my boxers which thankfully did not catch fire. Ben began to freak out and, ripping his clothes from his body, began a thorough search to see if any of Mick's friends had located him during the night. I sat in the corner and rocked backwards and forwards like a madman.
I stumbled down the pretty cobblestone streets with my legs splayed wide. I couldn’t help feel a bit like a cowboy albeit a rather disadvantaged one. The cool Himalayan air and startling mountain views would normally have lifted my spirits but at the moment I had just one mission. Get rid of Mick the dick tick. At the clinic I was seen by a doctor and a gaggle of horribly unsexy nurses who instantly burst into laughter when I explained the issue at hand. Pulling forth a huge, dirty looking needle the doctor motioned for me to remove my boxers. At the sight of the needle I instantly stepped backwards and contemplated leaping out of a nearby window. Thankfully the needle was actually full of liquid which when squirted upon my penis meant that the creature finally relinquished his prize. I took great pleasure in squashing Mick whilst the doctor explained that the monster was a, very common, Himalayan exo-parasite and that I was ridiculously unlucky to get one in the groin region.
A couple of hours later and we were riding the bus towards civilisation. I say riding as we had opted to climb on top and this was proving to be a fantastic decision as we avoided the worst of the choking dust which coated the road. We changed buses three times over the course of the day and rode along dirt tracks descending from the mountains. Sheer drops, blind overtakes and hairpin bends provided constant entertainment as we were thrown from side to side. Clinging to the roof rack, and sharing jam sandwiches, we glimpsed the ruins of smashed up buses below us. As the day wore on the sun thoroughly baked us before turning the clouds golden and then sinking from sight altogether. The stars came out. Lying on top of the bus the night was dark, all that we could hear was the screech of tyres and the manic laughter of the Nepalese driver and his assistant. The stars were bright and I located the few constellations I knew; Orion's Belt, The Great Bear and The Plough. With my head on my pack and my body wedged between two iron bars I felt surprisingly content and began to doze. I had survived the mighty Nepalese Himalayas, I had braved the highest pass in the world and, best of all, I did not have to amputate my penis.