Oh man… I’m still curled in the fetal position right now – missing the heat, the sounds, the smells, the music, the culture, the constant companionship, the mosquito provoked insomnia, the endless application of factor 50…
It wasn’t an adventurous holiday, it was safe and lazy and slightly alcoholic – but it was perfect and it presented plenty of opportunity for hilarity.
But I’ll skip past the in-jokes, and past pretty much everything. I’m not going to talk about my phone free week, or of conquering fears in Siam Park. I won’t mention the time I hit the most passive aggressive couple EVER with a packet of toilet rolls, or even about my embarrassing salsa dancing with some local chicas (although they’re all worth telling).
I’m skipping to the final day.
I’ll set the scene. But you know the drill.
Most of us are hung over, we’ve checked the weather in England – it’s not the best. In fact… the clouds are starting to roll over Mount Teide (this is Tenerife).
Dragging our suitcases to the beach doesn’t seem the dazzling plan we envisioned last night.
But oh boy was it worth it.
OK so we paid 5.50 each to access this gigantic salt water “swimming pool”. It was pretty cool, like a grown up version of Treasure Island (Any Eastbournians?). Here’s a picture for a sense of scale (just imagine the weather’s sheitey):
We brought this great little ball which skims across the surface of the water and began lobbing it at each other – 20, 30 metres across the almost deserted expanse of water.
It was good fun. Therapeutic almost, and the five of us guys were content spending the afternoon like this.
However… There was a man loitering close to us and it took him a couple of minutes to actually address us.
You see he spoke no English, and I can only say “sorry” and “one coca cola please” in Spanish – so we communicated with hand gestures. We called him Carlos. I’m not sure why.
He was a kind looking fella, a bit overweight, like a Dad who doesn’t have time to gym much – with a job to work and mouths to feed.
It’s irrelevant really, but I just need you to see what we saw.
After an awkward exchange it turned out he just wanted to join in, clearly interested in how the ball bounced across the water.
So I passed the ball over and he threw it, a little off target and about 10 metres short…
There IS a certain knack to it, and I tried to communicate this to avoid hurting his feelings.
After a quick lesson (jump slightly, flick your wrist a little – that kind of thing) he was ready for another go.
(Remember – this pool is almost empty.)
He preps for the throw but all of a sudden changes his stance, stretches his arm back behind him (not at all like I showed him) and takes an almighty swing, releasing the ball a split second too early.
Said ball launches with far more speed this time. It skims across the water as if thrown by a professional – barely leaving the surface, losing very little speed.
And we all watch in horror.
Because instead of throwing the ball straight, it’s about 45 degrees off target, speeding away in the wrong direction.
And there’s one man in the pool there.
He’s got about a 10 metre radius of water around him. Seriously, this guy is the ONLY person around.
And every ounce of effort poor Carlos has put into that throw makes perfect contact with this man’s face.
It’s a shot in a million.
There’s a shocked silence.
I’ve never seen a man look so sheepish, but I can’t console him because I’m already dying inside.
Across the pool I hear a shriek as George finally gives in and bursts out laughing, and I succumb to it myself.
Then we find out who Carlos is.
Turns out he IS a Dad and he’s got all his kids with him.
I’m sure you’ve had that experience where something incredibly funny has happened but and you can’t help laughing… but it’s at someone else’s expense and you feel like a terrible person.
And at the same time… It was OUR ball, so there was a sense of responsibility. But each and everyone one of us was paralysed. I’m still chuckling now reliving it.
That’s not all though. If that story was a bit of a “you had to be there” check out this cringey story of what happened a mere hour later.
Calling all men.
We’ve built a beautiful system in our public toilets. There’s the 20 second urinal pit stop or the full 2 minute cubicle experience.
(In an attempt to avoid using the correct terminology I’ve fallen into quite a severe innuendo trap…)
My point is – there’s etiquette. No queues because we have a system. Urinals work because there’s mutual respect for each other’s privacy (i.e. most are terrified of others catching a peep).
So myself, Tom and his brother pop to the loo before lunch. We’re still laughing off Carlos’ throw.
There’s 4 urinals, which means only two of us can go. So Tom takes one for the team and enters a cubicle. Top lad.
After about 10 seconds a reverberating *kaflump* sound reaches my ears and I exclaim.
“Oooop, heard that!”
I can hear Tom snickering from the cubicle and Sams laughing as well. Any chance to embarrass Tom and I’ll happily jump on it.
But Tom hasn’t stopped laughing yet.
It wasn’t that funny… I think.
That’s when the dread starts to set in.
I begin to laugh nervously and voice my one horrible fear.
“That wasn’t you was it Tom…” I say.
I slowly look around to see not one but three cubicles are engaged.
Then I break another social law. I make eye contact with Sam, two urinals away, who’s trying not to cry with laughter.
I’ve never evacuated a men’s room faster.
What am I writing?
OK so I got some great feedback from some of my recent blog posts, and I’m really enjoying doing it. So I’m going to continue trying to do a weekly blog – badger me if I don’t!
I also really enjoyed the little writing challenge so in an ideal world I’d like to do one of them every week as well.
Maybe give it a corny name with alliteration like Weird Wednesdays, but not Weird Wednesdays…
As with everything though. My enthusiasm is boosted by your input which has been greatly appreciated so far.
Lemme know if there’s anything you want to hear more about, or a type of post you enjoy reading.
Until next time 🙂