Between the ages of 27 and 30 I used to go on holiday a lot with my friends, usually to somewhere in the Med. Cheap and hot was what the guys were looking for and that was just the woman. Sandy beaches and most importantly lots of bars were the next priorities for the guys. I’ve never been a great drinker but I was dragged along because I could be depended upon getting the rest of those reprobates back to the hotel in one piece, usually when dawn was long past.
I normally went with Tony, Neil and Steve, Steve had this funny idea that air travel made him unbelievably attractive to the opposite sex. This delusion started to kick in on the way to the airport and he would transmogrify from quiet unassuming Steve who wouldn’t say boo to a ghost unless he had a drink in his hand (think Rajesh Koothrappali from Big Bang Theory) to superstud by the time he got off the Gatwick Express and arrived at check-in. By that point he was under the delusion that he was God’s gift to every woman and the check-in girl was obviously flirting with him.
This was OK except it started to get even worse by the time he was on the plane, he became very loud and thought every single woman on the plane had the hot’s for him. Last time I went on holiday with him (20 years ago!) I was convinced the airline was pumping hallucinogenic drugs through the ventilation system, but thinking about it now this does sound a little far-fetched as I was my usual (cough cough) quiet self.
On a trip to Corfu via Monarch Airlines (only slightly better than Egyptian Airlines because of their recent ban on hen, chicken, sheep and goats) I watched Steve chat up this blonde girl for the entire three hour flight. Every move she made, every word she said only confirmed to him that she wanted him and wanted him now! By the end of the flight he had delusions of a sordid threesome of him, her and her friend that she was meeting, in bed together for the entire ten days holiday. However, these castles in the air crumbled to sand when at Corfu arrivals she mentioned the friend she was meeting was not another hottie but her boyfriend.
Steve (and the rest of the guys) hit the bars immediately and I had to drag them all out to find a taxi and get us to the hotel.
I don’t know if many of you have been to Corfu and I’m sure there’s lots of culture and history but my somewhat patchy memory was the Red Lion pub followed by fish ‘n chips cafe followed by yet another Red Lion pub and then into some club with pounding music. By the end of day one my ears were starting to bleed because of the noise.
Neil was the looker in our bunch, I used to watch how he plied his trade, he’d stand at the edge of the dance floor and just stare at someone dancing, she’d notice, giggle and they’d keeping swapping glances for another minute and then Neil would just walk in and almost drag her off caveman style from her friends. It was like watching a wolf picking off the weakest of the herd. And we wouldn’t see him again until next morning when he’d come back with stupid big grin on his face. And then sleep the rest of the day. I had a dog that behaved exactly like that too. No, I’m not envious… no no, not me.. no, not all all…mutter mutter mutter. Of course it helped that Neil was very good looking, tall and built like a brick shithouse and had a Northern Irish accent too, oh and that his father was fifth in line for the throne – at least that’s what he told the girls but I would wonder then how then he explained the Irish accent.
So, the entire holiday was spent chasing tail, going to parties and getting very very drunk at some silly games. One game was called ‘Bond’. We’d watch a James Bond movie in the local bar, (we’d make a point of getting very friendly with the bar staff so they would play what we wanted on the screens) and one evening we got the entire bar to watch the The Man With The Golden Gun with us, with one slight (but important) difference. Every time the name ‘Bond’ was mentioned in the film we had to take a slug of Tequila. The entire bar did this. The name ‘Bond’ comes up eleven times in the first half hour. I can’t actually remember much more of the movie. Nor could anyone else.
I do remember looking around and some girl was showing Neil her henna tattoos. Next time I looked over they were playing Tonsil Tennis. I thought to myself, those tattoos will last longer than that relationship.