Dougie Ryan was a fellow-camper at the site chosen by the residents of No's 5 and 9 Coronation Street when they went for a week's break in Wales in August 2015. A braggart and a know-all who often spoke in clichéd expressions, his initial offers of help were but a cover to begin boasting of his knowledge of the "great-outdoors" and how to cope with nature, dragooning his hapless victims into a "Bear Grylls"-type foraging expedition.
He first made his presence known when he stepped in to assist Tyrone Dobbs in putting up his tent, a complicated affair made worse by the instructions being mislaid. He lost no time at all telling the group that his mother had given birth to him half-way up Snowdon and immediately diagnosed the nature of the materials used to make the tent, telling Tyrone that his methods of erecting it were entirely wrong. After telling the women in the group an emotionally-wrought story about the killing of a deer that he witnessed, he eagerly stepped in when the luckless Tyrone had further problems getting the barbecue to ignite, his efforts gaining the admiration of Kirk Sutherland and Chesney Brown. He also gave the latter two lessons in "whittling", explaining to them that his wife was an out-and-out "towny" who three times a year allowed him to spend time with his mistress i.e. "the great outdoors", with their daughter Caitlin for company, the latter having separately met Craig Tinker and formed a friendly attachment to him as she, unknown to Dougie, was starting to tire of their thrice-yearly expeditions.
Dougie presented the group with freshly-killed and skinned rabbit to put on the barbecue but ate little of it himself, telling the group that he preferred to forage his food and drink from nature, picking berries and drinking water from streams, and generally "taming the wild". Chesney and Sinead Tinker were taken with the idea and Dougie invited them on a twenty-four trek, provoking a cynical Tyrone into joining them by playing the role of the alpha male to bully him. One person who wasn't willing to join in was Caitlin, both disappointing Dougie and annoying him that this left the field clear for her and Craig to get closer. This in turn annoyed Beth Sutherland who in her typical fashion vociferously stood up for her son, leading to Dougie backing down suddenly when he saw a force of nature that, for once, he couldn't control.
Once into the trek, he immediately started to wind up Tyrone and Chesney with his dismissive attitude of their attempts to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together and then magically producing a flint from his pocket to accomplish the task himself. He sent the two lads out to forage but was contemptuous of their efforts, saying the unripened blackberries had stripped off his tooth enamel and the death cap mushrooms could kill them, citing the historical death of the Emperor Charles VI as an example - and boring them in the process.
Sinead did her own form of foraging; going to a shop she found twenty minutes' walk away and buying a bag of goodies, partly to get away from Dougie who even she was beginning to find a bore and also to assuage the hunger that she and Chesney were by that time suffering. Tyrone and Dougie found the wrappings in their belongings, Tyrone not being best pleased at his discovery and not being placated by the offer of a cup of dandelion tea that Dougie had made for him.
The happy trekkers made it back to camp where Dougie was not best pleased to find that the friendship between Caitlin and Craig had developed into a teenage romance. He came up against a brick wall though from Beth when he raged at the youngsters as she stood up again for her son but it was Caitlin who pointed out that she was now sixteen and he ought to change the habits of a lifetime and start listening instead of lecturing her. She pointed out that he was too driven and focussed on achievements and targets and he had stopped being a fun dad. Dougie fully accepted the criticism and the two reconciled.
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