Friday, July 27, 2007
Day One - Saturday
Two of the lads are getting married. Not to each other, to their respective lasses. To celebrate the forthcoming nuptials, they were going, with twenty-four of their closest friends for four days of heavy drinking in Ibiza.
On Saturday afternoon at four o'clock I arrive at our local pub, the air fervid with anticipation and Lynx. Our bus to the airport is late and there is grim talk of the folly of entrusting travel arrangements to such a numpty as the stag.
Such unworthy doubts are exposed as foolishness when two, count 'em, two stretch limousines pull up outside the pub. Twenty six radgies pile in and tuck into the complimentary champagne as the cavalcade takes a spin around our hometown, wowing the easily-impressed local yokels.
An excellent start to the trip ratchets the feelgood factor up to eleven.
This is immediately ratcheted down again with the news that our flight has been delayed for four hours.
The prospect of a six hour sojourn in the airport bar is not the greatest thing in the world. However, we are stoic in the face of adversity and quickly settle down for a session of lager, fast food, crisps and flatulence. Also, there is an excellent televised boxing match to liven things up a bit.
The look of disgust and incomprehension on the faces of newcomers to the bar on being overwhelmed by the nauseating stench generated by twenty-odd knackers farting out Burger King flavoured marsh gas was something to behold.
Eventually we boarded our flight and headed to the Balearics. The plane was soon reduced to a trash littered bombsite as the wine and Pringles were devoured. Special thanks go the clumsy twat who barged past my seat and knocked a bottle of red wine over my beige slacks. Good work, sir.
We landed at Ibiza airport at four in the morning, the anticipated Saturday night out in the finest hot spots of San Antonio's busy West End was gone, but there was still a chance to salvage something from the wreckage. After dumping our luggage at the hotel, it was off to the classily named Tiffany's for some Spanish lager.
Our group were soon moved on after one of the stags was admonished for dancing on a table. Honestly, these foreigners and their stuffy rules, eh?
We made our way to the West End, where we managed to get past the numerous African chaps attempting to sell low quality jewellery and sunglasses and carved a path throug the aggressive distributors of flyers to our chosen destination of Play 2, which stays open until six o'clock and pumps out grinding hardbag techno music.
Five euros for a tiny bottle of Heineken, since you ask.
One aspect of the trip was a competition for an imaginary trophy of Ibiza Superstars. This combined the three traditional holiday disciplines of five-a-side football, Go Karting and swimming. An arcane scoring system also awarded bonus points for such feats as Underpant Karaoke, Being Thrown Out of a Bar and Shagging a Lass. The latter achievement carried a particularly hefty twenty points and was therefore more desirable than usual.
However, since we had arrived at the arse end of the night, there was a distinct paucity of poontang in the bar, the "quality flap" presumably being long gone. Of our crowd, only one lad got anywhere near notching up twenty points, getting on famously with an Amazonian beauty who was, depending on who you asked, either Danish or Finnish.
He got nowt, mind. Un-lucky!
After the club closed at half-six, several chaps went off to procure some cans of beer, to be consumed on the beach while watching the sun rise. However, the older wing of the company, myself and my two room-mates, decided to make a strategic withdrawal and get some much-needed sleep. This wise course of action came slightly unstuck when we got lost and spent an hour making the journey home which, by rights, should only have taken ten minutes. The best laid plans and all that, what?
As the day ended and we climbed into our respective beds, we knew there would be even better times ahead over the next few days.
Day 2: Sunday
"How lads! There's load of fanny stopping here! They've aal got their tits oot!"
These are the words that I awoke to on my first morning in Ibiza. They were spoken by one of the lads from the room next door, who had climbed onto our balcony and strolled in through the french windows. An unorthodox mode of entering a chap's hotel room but his words interested us strangely. We quickly donned shorts and t-shirts and proceeded to the poolside area to sample the atmosphere, soak up the vibes and, more importantly, check out the knocker situation.
The knocker situation was good. Very good indeed.
Whatever your preference vis a vis breasts, there was something for everyone on show. From slim girls with pert ones with perky nipples to larger ladies with pendulous gigantic jugs of joy, they were all there, naked as God intended. To the left there was a surgically-enhanced pair that stood out and looked you in the eye, to the right there was a really long pair, as seen in National Geographic magazine photo stories about villages in Africa.
In short, there were lots of topless women, you've probably noticed this yourself if you've ever been on holiday. While it may just be an English thing to treat this phenomenon with such giddy excitement, for most of our party it was like being six years old on Christmas morning, the only downside being that, as humans, we only had two eyes each. At times such as this one wishes one were a housefly, possessing compound eyes able to look in all directions at once.
Even the best things in life don't last forever. Soon the gladiator spirit returned and it was off to the ping-pong table to dish out some lessons in table tennis to a young street punk who was after my crown.
How did he go out? He went out like a bitch.
Once the last ping had been ponged we repaired to the tennis court for the keenly-anticipated football tournament. Our team was not greatly fancied for this prize, as it contained two fatties and two gingers, both groups that tend to fare badly in hot conditions. However, our opponents may have allowed themselves to become complacent, fancying themselves the tournament favourites. Such pretensions were soon exposed as we played them off the park, judicious defending, well-timed movement and crisp passing enabling us to comforably see them off 2-0.
Modesty forbids me from mentioning the scorer of the crucial second goal, so I will quickly draw a veil over the sweetly-struck left-footed shot that gave the keeper no chance.
The football contest was off to a flying start but it was also over and done with. An irate member of the hotel staff took exception to our unauthorised dismantling of the tennis net and wasn't best pleased about their court being used as a football pitch. Opinion was divided as to whether our solitary win was enough to constitute an outright win in the tournament. The rest of the group considered the event was null and void, but our team contained both of the stags and their adjudication was final so we were named official Best Footballers On the Holiday.
In your face, Cristiano Ronaldos!
As the tennis court reverted to being used for tennis, some of the chaps had a bit knock up with racquets and balls. This attracted the attention of a well-built cockney lass, clearly under the influence of mind-altering substances. She challenged one of our group to a game of tennis, during which she told us stories of taking pills at Space, writing off hired cars and purchasing cocaine. She had clearly played a bit of tennis in the past, but her drug-addled state was slightly impairing her reflexes.
In the end, our mate beat her. Proof, if proof be need be, that men are better than women.
Accompanying the dope fiend cockney lass were another, even fatter lass and a good-looking, thinner woman. They were later joined by a dark-haired woman with massive silicone breasts and a baldy bodybuilding fiance. Remember these characters, they may appear later in our story.
Ibiza is apparently famed for the quality of its' sunsets. Large groups of people assemble by the shore and watch the sun going down to a soundtrack of downtempo, relaxing "chill out" music. What makes Ibizan sunsets better than the ones we get home I don't know but that's the young people for you. We all schlepped down to the voguish Kania cafe bar to "take in" the sights and sounds of this Balearic dusk.
To be honest, in the opinion of this late-twenties thrillseeker, it was a bit of a spunk-drinking festival. A load of herberts sitting around all slack-jawed just because it's getting dark while a DJ plays Sting records isn't my idea of a cosmic experience. In the end I missed the actual sunset because I went back to the hotel for a shit.
Back to my fighting weight, I donned my legendary red disco dancing trousers and rejoined the company, who were headed down the West End for more thomasfoolery. After a few pints in different bars we settled on a place called Ground Zero where we would spend the vast majority of our time. Having chosen to go to Ibiza, which you may or may not know is famed for it's variety and quality of dance music clubs, it was considered preferable to stay in a bar where they play Oasis and Kasabian every other record.
Essentially, we were in our local pub, listening to the same tunes they have on the jukebox, but in the middle of San Antonio. Fantastic.
Now, I bow to nobody in my admiration of The Fratelli and their "Chelsea Daggers" heavy hit, but after a third airing in an hour a few of us thought it was time for something a bit more, how you say, Ibizan. Four of us headed off to get a taxi to the modish Space nightclub, where Belgian brothers in beats 2 Many DJs were playing a set at 2am.
Here come the Belgiums!
While queueing for a cab, we met two mad-eyed clubbing girls from Brighton who quickly arranged a lift with an unofficial taxi driving Spanish woman. She then showed us to her Fiat Punto which six of us managed to squeeze into. One girl was in the boot and another was laid across three chaps in the back seat. In the course of a hair-raising journey we managed to hit several potholes, causing the girl in the boot no little disturbance. Possibly more disturbing was the insistence of one of the lads in the back (not me) of trying to slip a cheeky finger into the knickers of the other girl. Not really playing the game, that.
Still, we got to the club in the end, where the doorman quoted us a jaw-dropping fifty-five euros to get in. In fairness, he did point out that the bar over the road would sell us tickets for thirty-five, so we took a quick trip there and saved twenty euros each. Bargain.
Those of you of a sensitive nature may wish to skip past this next bit, it's rather gruesome. Inside the club I was charged ten euros for a bottle of San Miguel. One of the lads paid thirteen for a Jack Daniels and coke.
Petty pricetaggery aside, the club was a hugely impressive arena and the boys from Belgium certainly rocked the bells. (ie, were good).
Also, it was a welcome change from listening to Feeder and Shed Seven at Ground Zero.
Day 3: Monday
Monday was the last full day of our too-short break. This was an excellent chance to see a bit of the island or to do something memorable and life-enhancing that every man in the group would always remember.
Another day swilling ale around the pool was the plan of action. As plans go, it was successful in every way. However, unknown to me, there were darker, more malevolent schemes afoot.
It is always my policy, when travelling abroad, to stay away from the water. Perhaps this is the result of one too many frightening Public Information films in the seventies, perhaps it is just innate common sense recognising that intoxication plus water isn't a good combination. Another theory is that I don't go in there because I am a big fat beached whale of a fellow, but frankly that seems a little far-fetched, don't you think?
Whatever, Trevor, the fact remains that I usually eschew the delights of the lido and shun most aquatic pursuits. This cut no ice with one member of the group, who had made his mind up that The Fat Guy Was Going In.
I was strolling amiably back to my seat, ambling past the pool when all of a sudden I was set upon, like a wildebeest meeting a hungry lion for the first time. "You're ganning in the pool" he airily informed me.
However, he had reckoned without a store of cunning and a willingness to fight dirty accumulated over a lifetime of knife fights with Mexican guys and drinking in pubs in Blyth. It was the work of a moment to allow my legs to buckle, dragging my assailant to the ground with me, where he was dealt a vicious John Fashanu-style elbow to the face.
Undaunted by such resistance, the felled assassin began dragging me towards the pool, in the manner of a crocodile who has happened across an American tourist. Here, fater intervened as my shoe came loose, he lost his grip and fell backwards into the pool, while I made good my escape, minus a shoe.
It was with a warm glow of having done one's duty and fought the good fight that I tucked into a celebratory San Miguel. They had signally tried and failed to snuff the rooster.
Of course, this was a mere setback for the forces of darkness. An hour later, two of them caught me in a pincer formation, picked me up bodily and chucked me in the pool, creating an almighty splash. I felt I had made my point, though, and the water was surprisingly bracing. I think I may pack the old Speedos for the next foreign expedition.
Further poolside entertainment was to be had from the fat cockney lass from the previous day.
We encountered her sitting at the bar, nursing a king-sized hangover and sucking a thoughtful tooth. It transpired she had engaged in a threesome in her hotel room the previous night. The lucky recipients of her generously proportioned bedroom smorgasbord? The dark-haired cockney bird with the silicon knockers and her 'roid abusing baldy boyfriend. Her verdict on getting down and dirty with a chap and a lady at the same time: "Oh my gooood! I am, like, so fucked. I'm never doing anything like that again. I gotta stay sober today."
So, a lesson learned and a new leaf turned over then. Splendid.
However, mark the sequel. Not twenty minutes later, a group of chaps from the Liverpool/St Helens area were ordering drinks, swapping stories and generally being agreeable chaps. One of them happens to mention that today is his birthday. Up pops Fat Cockney Lass with a generous proposition.
"It's your birthday, yeah? Do you want to come upstairs and fuck me?"
Pausing only for a moment to take in the full majesty of the lasses bulky frame, our brave scouser accepts the challenge and off they go.
This is what's it's like on tour, as Ice T once mentioned.
An hour later, the happy couple, by now re-branded as Rough and Becks, return to the fray with faces shining like glazed doughnuts. By getting them alone and having frank face-to-face discussions, two disparate stories emerged. The female half of the sketch reported that they had taken turns going on top, that her beau was quite a good lover and that she had thoroughly enjoyed herself.
The chap, on the other hand, was able to disclose that she was the fattest lass he had ever schtupped, that he had considered asking her to break wind in order to give him a clue, and that he had nobly "taken one for the team".
In an age of love-rats, rips and roues, such chivalry is a wonderful thing to encounter.
Hats off too to the lad from our party who, on being told that the lady in question had taken part in a threesome one night and had sex again the next day, asked incredulously "Fucking hell, your fanny must be right sore?" while clearly unable to imagine a female body able to cope with the rigours of having sexual activity on two consecutive days.
One suspects that his relationship with his good lady isn't exactly a ball of fire in the bedroom department.
The night time saw the familiar pattern of West End, indie rock, cold drinks, dirty sanchez, projectile vomiting, getting lost, staggering home. Just another day in paradise.
Day 4: Tuesday
The final day dawned and everyone had to be up and out of their rooms by midday, some say noon. Inevitably, the inmates of our room rose from our slumbers rather late, scratching a thoughtful knacker and blinking away the daylight at the crack of one pm. After three swift showers and a frenzied bout of bag-packing, we alighted from the room just in time to prevent the cleaners from kicking in the door.
As we weren't heading off to the airport until six o'clock, this left an ideal window to grab a spot of lunch and do a spot of last minute gift shopping. Horrible sticky sweets for your fat-arsed office co-workers, a straw-titfered stuffed donkey for your beloved, some dirty playing cards to use when gaining associate member status of the Mile High Club, you know the shiznit.
F that for a game of s, I thought. This is the time for heads-down, no-nonsense daytime, too-much-sun, boozing.
Launching into the San Miguel with little regard for personal safety, it was time to catch up on the gossip from the previous evening. The front page headlines were all taken up with the sensational news that two, count 'em, two, of our party had gotten lucky, knocked boots, bumped uglies and eventually emptied their bins up two lucky ladies.
Nice shootin', Tex!
Close cross examination of one of the participants, who shall remain nameless, revealed details that are somewhat less than romantic.
"So, Andy, where did you do the business?"
"On a building site."
"Classy. One more question, Mr Doyle, what was the name of this star-crossed lover of yours?"
"Erm... I didn't quite catch her name."
"No further questions, your Honour."
Needless to say, both chaps got the full Shabba Ranks treatment for the remainder of the holiday. Any appearance by either of the dynamic duo was greeted with a bellowed "Mister Loverman... ...shagger!" from this mid 50s high-diving enthusiast. They bliddy love it.
The other chap, also a single lad and perfectly entitled to engage in such shenanigans, probably had similar lo-jinks to report, but this reporter had drinking to attend to.
As the cold ones began to work their magic I fancied I could feel the spirit of deceased American rapper ODB enter my body. What other explanation could there be for the irresistable urge to mosey around the pool bar hollering "OOOH NIGGA, I'M BURNING UP!" into the unsuspecting faces of companions and strangers alike?
More worryingly, something of lanky scotch professional gay Mika had entered me as well. This elicited itself in a compulsion to sing the entire chorus of "Fat birds you are beautiful" at intervals throughout the remainder of the day.
Eventually though, it was off to the airport for more cold ones and a quick photograph of an amusingly-named shop. While drinking aforementioned COs we chanced upon a charming group of young scotch lasses. From Dumfries, if you please, there's posh. It turned out that the gorgeous foursome had all been classmates of soaraway chart-topper Calvin Harris of "I get aal the blart, I get aal the blart" fame.
Apparently, he didn't get all the girls at all when he was at school. The lying disco-pop sod.
Fortunately there was no gargantuan delay at the Ibiza end of the operation and we boarded the iron bird in good time. Once we reached our cruising altitude no time was wasted in endeavouring to buy up the plane's entire stock of overpriced tinned lager, two at a time. After two hours of high-octane refuelling and loud, oafish banter the supply was suddenly cut off. Due to some trifling misunderstanding the air stewardesses would no longer sanction the sale of alcohol to myself, instead offering a refreshing can of pop.
Between ourselves, I rather think they believed I was intoxicated. The reasons for this misconception are numerous. Perhaps they detected a little unsteadiness in my gait as I barrelled down the aisle, cans akimbo, high-fiving well-wishers as I passed. Perhaps the constant witless jabbering throughout the entire flight gave them the wrong impression or maybe, just maybe it was when I requested that they perform a lapdance for me that tipped the scales.
Also, attempting to drag two of the to the cockpit to re-enact the video for "Dancing with the Captain" can't have done me any favours.
The shame and ignominy of being refused drink on a Sleazyjet flight!
Eventually, we touched down at Newcastle airport, picked up our bags and headed off to waiting loved ones and dads in brown Audis. Having neither of those I managed to cadge a lift with one of the chaps' parents and we headed back to civilisation.
I ended the evening by weaselling my way into my local alehouse a shade before midnight and cajoling a last pint out of the landlord before stumbling home in the wee small hours.
It's good to go away, but it's good to get home.
On that cliched bombshell, I'll bid you a good evening.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Word up, dawgs. I trust you all be gettin' plenty stank on you hang-lows, what?
Anyway, as Alan Sugars might say, to bidness:
You've probably noticed the glorious summer weather we've all been having. The sunshine splitting the stones, sales of Funny Feet lollies through the roof, the Sun photographer who takes picture of "stunnas" in bikinis on Brighton Beach on call twenty four seven. All good stuff, the very thing that summer was made for, I trust you will agree.
Just one tiny flaw in all of this: British people.
A dreadful shower of rat soup-eating oiks, aren't they? Whether it's shaven-headed thugs clad head to toe in Lonsdale and Bench, corpulent single mothers with vast expanses of hanging stomach flesh unwisely exposed before a cringing world or their dreadful offspring getting under one's feet, all snotty noses, half-eaten pasties and foul-mouthed attitude.
Not the sort of company a refined boulevardier such as I enjoys mingling with. The answer? Head off to the continent for some sophisticated good living.
With this in mind I shall be shortly be leaving for three days in the salubrious San Antonio district of Ibiza. In Spain. Pretty darned swanky, eh?
Yes, it's a jet-setters life for me. Relaxing with a cool drink and watching the sun go down, chilling out to the strains of some vaunted DJ johnny playing downtempo heavy hits, trying unsuccessfully to persuade some Dutch eurobabes to "get their rat out", stuffing my fat maw in Kentucky Fried Chickens, all that. Such modish european cultural exchanges are what this mid-20s trustafarian was built for.
I know some of you who read this aren't exactly as well-travelled and worldly wise as I am, so here is a quick rundown on the dos and don'ts of foreign travel.
- Do as the Romans do. I don't mean build roads and aqueducts, that would be the way of the fool. I mean try to harmonise with the social and cultural mores of the place you are visiting. Visit the local shops and buy some of their rustic peasant artefacts. Obscene playing cards, flick knives, high-powered water pistols and t-shirts with amusing slogans are always present, so make sure you try at least most of them.
- Music sounds better with you. Wherever you go in your holiday resort there will be all kinds of sweet, sweet music being pumped out. However, most of it will be emetic foreign boyband monkeyshine, dull, grinding trance bollocks and tacky holiday novelty megamixes. Not the thing at all. With this in mind, you will be carrying at all times a masseeve boombox/ghetto blaster of the type carried in 1980s breakdance movies. Whether it's round the pool at 10am, on the beach in the mid-afternoon, or in your hotel room at four in the morning, never be without your trademark soundtrack of foul-mouthed gangsta rap, early 90s cheesy house, ironic soft-rock anthems and The Greatest Hits of Living In A Box. Select-ah!
- Try the local food. The British abroad have come a long way since the bad old days of the 1970s and refusing to eat "foreign muck". These days Brer Englishman will try all manner of exotic cuisine. You can now get pizzas, kebabs, curries and Big Macs in Spain, so be adventurous.
- Vive la difference! Take advantage of the more relaxed pace of life overseas. You can drink around the clock thanks to the enlightened licensing laws and simply drive home when you've had enough. This is because there is no law against drink-driving away from fuddy-duddy old Great Britain. Also, all drugs are legal so get on one and have it large!
- The early worm catches the birds. Never mind this "chilling out in the apartment, going out about midnight" tommyrot that seems to have become en vogue in recent years. What are you, some sort of cockney metrosexual, eh? Ask yourself, what would a Geordie do? It's a little known fact that if you go out on the town at half-past seven, the only people you will see are Geordies, dressed in their finest Bigg Market tapping uniform of horrible shirt, stonewashed jeans, black shoes and chunky gold jewellery. Oh, there will also be a smattering of bleary, unshaven Glaswegians who haven't changed out of their football shirts and bermuda shorts since their plane arrived a week ago and who will remain drunk throughout their entire stay. Who has more fun than Geordies and Weedgies, eh? Nobody, that's who. Get yourself out early before they drink all the beer and shag all the women.
- Get jiggy with it! Go on, you're on holiday! A bit of no-strings adult fun will always be on the cards wherever drunken northern slatterns gather to eat chips and drink suggestively-named cocktails. No need for intrusive birth control measures either, as you will never ever have to see them again. Bareback mountin'!
- Have fun with it! International travel is a great way to meet new people and broaden one's horizons. What better way to achieve this than with a bit of playful banter with John Q. Foreigner? Whether you are breezily reminding some squared-headed krauts about their dubious head-to-head record in World Wars and World Cup finals against England, airily reminding Dutch fellows that they are all druggies, perverts and wearers of unorthodox wooden footwear or making snide remarks vis a vis cuckoo clocks and Nazi gold in the direction of Swiss fellows, feel free to explore the broad spectrum of customs and traditions in today's Europe.
- Live on the edge. You're away from home for the first time, it's a rite of passage, a trial by fire, if you will. Take some risks, you only live once, right? Express your individuality and renegade status by getting a tattoo. Who cares about the risk of hepatitis B? You're going to have a great big Celtic band round your arm, angel wings on your back and "Sham 69" across your knuckles. These aren't just examples of tasteful body art, these are fanny magnets! Get stuck in there. Once you're all inked up, show off your tatts by hiring an incredibly noisy moped and fleeing around on it, wearing only shorts and flip-flops. Did Carl "Foggy" Fogarty die in vain? Of course not, rev it up and show those donkey-eating dagos how to give it some welly!
There we have it then. Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember that you are representing your country.
Make us proud.