A team of rescuers had a succession of surprises during a series of exercises in a range of mountains in North Wales last weekend. Behind a heap of stones they found a heavily loquacious man half-buried under a massive pile of pages.
The man had been out exploring the slopes and hoping to add more entries to his collection of collective nouns, when he slipped trying to avoid a swarm of bees.
A founder-member of the Federation of Word Collectors, Ivor Werdfurrit is an avid collector of collective nouns, and has the most extensive collection in the U.K. He had been out all day collecting and observing collective nouns in action. Mr. Werdfurrit had already seen a bouquet of pheasants, a colony of ants and a flock of pigeons, and was almost crushed by a herd of cows.
"I had a huge portfolio of my notes in my back-pack, which I put down on the ground, so that I could more easily check out a cast of hawks with my pair of binoculars."
Mr. Werdfurrit's back-pack had rolled down the hillside, unleashing his massive portfolio of notes. He was nearly buried alive under this avalanche of collective nouns. "It wasn't a barrel of laughs," he said.
The rescue team had been working with a crew of TV cameramen. A clique of photographers arrived later, together with a scoop of journalists. When he finally arrive home, Mr. Werdfurrit was besieged by a flash of paparazzi. Next day he was disturbed by an annoyance of neighbours, who reckoned it was all "a load of cobblers."