Guido’s cousin, Carlos (With The Feet), is twenty one years old next week. On Friday we fly to Palma for a big family celebration and I’m already bracing myself.
Every time I meet Guido’s Spanish relatives they sound like they’re speaking Klingon. It’s very disconcerting unless you happen to be James T Kirk. On my first trip there Guido told me that if I was ever in any doubt about what to say to anybody I should simply smile and repeat the following sentence over and over. Esta tiene un sabor muy bueno! To readers unfamiliar with the Spanish language that means, this tastes very good! Which is all very well until you find yourself in a room full of Klingons but no tapas.
So in this lull before the storm I feel a little bit like the NASA guy who sits in Cape Canaveral moments before lift off. He’s the one with the headphones pointing at the big electronic tracking screen shouting, “T Minus Blah Blah Blah” and “Ground Control to Major Tom – We’re Good To Go.”
Well here on the launch pad in South London, although the countdown has begun, we’re still stuck on amber. I’m not sure Buzz Aldrin ever had trouble with his Speedos, but the pair I removed from my closet last night to pack for the beach just won’t fit. Somehow I’ve gotten too big. And you can read into that whatever you please.
“I’ve told you a million times already,” said Guido dipping his finger into the peanut butter jar, “you’re too big, they’re too tight.”
I looked down at the piece of cloth stubbornly stretched mid-way between my knees and my thighs. Where there’s a will there’s usually a way yet clearly there wasn’t a way that wasn’t going to involve lubricant and a shoehorn. The question, does my bum look big in this, loomed large in the room.
“But,” said Guido licking his finger slowly, “what I’m looking at is still aesthetically pleasing nonetheless.”
Houston, as they say at NASA, we have a problem. I honestly didn’t think I’d gotten any bigger myself. The Speedos must have shrunk.
“We may have to go to Plan B,” said Guido raising an eyebrow. He had a worrying sparkle in his eye.
I knew what was coming. And be afraid people. Be very afraid.
There’s a beach in southern Majorca called Es Trenc. Let’s just say clothing requirements are kept to a complete minimum there and when I say a complete minimum what I really mean is, it’s optional. The last time Guido and I went to Es Trec we were the only people on the whole stretch who had any clothes on. Unfortunately we ended up on sunbeds right next to a German couple who insisted on paying ping pong on the sand all afternoon. It’s hard to convey in words of one syllable what I saw that day. Lifeguards should’ve issued us with a warning. Something like – this ping pong game contains scenes of a graphic nature and may be injurious to health. Wear a helmet.
So today I played it safe and bought a replacement pair of Speedos. They make me look super slim. I managed to get in them and Guido’s already managed to get me out of them.
We have ignition. As they say at NASA.