Sunday, October 13, 2013
Time At The Beach Bar - Saturday
‘Keep your head down.’ I tell my wife. ‘They’re coming towards our table.’
‘Don’t be so anti-social.’ She replies tartly. ‘It’s our last day and they’re nice.’
‘They’ll want to talk about property prices.’ I caution, concentrating hard on the Greek salad I’ve been picking at.
The holiday is nearly over and I can feel the tension rising. The thought of my in-box and what is lurking on my desk has drawn a darker shadow than the ancient olive tree our beachside table is sheltering under. I’d rather spend the remaining hours with my wife drinking the all-inclusive wine package not discussing what sort of plot £100,000 would buy in an impoverished economy. No chance.
‘Hiya.’ Cries the well-honed lady in an excitable voice. ‘Thought you were hiding from us for a moment.’
I was. My wife waved pointedly.
‘How’s the old property pirate?’ Chortles her bald-as-a-coot husband, in an attempt at humour. I nearly lied, on first meeting, and said I was a writer but I coughed the information, half-hoping it might put them off. It didn’t.
‘Looking forward to repossessing a few homes when I get back.’ I reply, to a stunned silence. Momentarily, I think they might opt for another table. But the wife laughs hysterically and slaphead grins, pulls up a chair and says.
‘You estate agents, can never tell if you’re telling the truth or not.’
It’s a cross I have to bear.
‘Do you fancy a beer?’ Asks the man, skull gleaming so brightly I need to pull my sunglasses off my head. Terrific, the only time a member of the public has ever offered me a drink – apart from a backhander to secure a home they couldn’t have – and I’ve already paid upfront for as much as I can consume.
I decline and watch with waning appetite, as a trio of overweight German women with more cellulite than a naturist’s weight-watchers’ group, waddle in to the sea. If anything would make the waves part, it’s about 600lbs of Teutonic blubber displacing more water than a small oil tanker, but the sea takes them with an unpleasant sucking sound.
‘I’ll call Amy over.’ I say, as the woman starts nattering inanely to my wife. I’ve named most of the staff and a good number of the guests, in order to pass the time. The waitress in question has a resemblance to Amy Winehouse, her tartier peroxide-died colleague has the moniker Debbie, after Blondie’s horny early years and the portly waiter - who I tend not to use - is Elvis, for his likeness to the King in his spandex-stretched Las Vegas days. Simple pleasures.
‘What do you reckon a beachfront lot like this would cost in Euros?’ Asks Eddie – The Eagle.
I don’t know, but the crumbling clientele might not enhance the price - not unless it was a retirement development. The ancient women wading in and out of the sea are spattered with more liver spots than a clumsy butcher and if I see another pair of saggy bosoms in a one-piece, I might start to bat for the other side.
‘Ah, look at the cats.’ Sighs Eddie’s other half – I’m torn between Selina and Fiona at the moment. She’s referring to the feral moggies that plague the open air dining area, encouraged by a group of elderly French women. The Gallic cat-lovers feed the furballs with gnarled fingers then return to the buffet to ferret for food without washing their hands. And as for the buffet, well that’s an education in obesity-levels and portion control. At one end, you have the anorexic-framed women who expend more energy climbing the steps to the restaurant than they take on board with the frugal, fruit and celery selections they make. At the other end of the scales there’s an army of thigh-chafers who wobble back, plates layered high with gravity defying calorie intake, resembling some sort of obscene gastronomic Jenga game. Like most estate agents, I dislike humanity.
‘Oh dear, what are those cats doing?’ Asks Eddie, face as wrinkled as his shaven-head. Copulating fiercely, I think, suppressing a laugh as the cats shag uninhibitedly under a table of Croc-clad, mottled Parisian legs.
The end is coming.