One fine morning found me relaxing by the Red Sea taking in the rays, view and some smoke from a little of the local produce supplied in considerable quantities by the local Bedouin. It truly was a beautiful morning - the sea was a flat translucent calm and the sun glowed red as it edged over the distant mountains of Saudi far over the sea to the east. I mused to myself that, in the glow of such a sunrise, any ensuing day could be nothing short of perfect.
As though in answer to my euphoria, I felt that sensation in one's guts that anyone in their right mind dreads when faced with a two mile hike to the nearest Egyptian toilet. Stumbling to my feet and uttering, "Oh my god, I think I'm going to shit myself", I considered my options. I could either run straight into the sea and have done with it but risk ridicule from my compadres or try to reach a small clump of palm trees about fifty yards inland where I could settle things discreetly. To avoid any transgression of decorum, I decided on the palm trees and ran towards them as fast as I could.
About half way, events somewhat overtook me - not so much in the sense that the mouse had poked its head out, rather the stampede had flattened the corral. Given that all I was wearing was a pair of thin nylon boxer shorts, the effect was immediate and clear for all to see. Nevertheless, I continued with a singularity of purpose towards the palm trees. When I got there, it was obvious that I really needn't have bothered and I cursed myself for not having run into the sea when I had the chance. However, as I was there now, I might as well try to make the best of things and clean myself up a little.
I removed my shorts and, standing naked, marvelled at the fact that their original colour was now completely obscured - a mere memory. It then occurred to me that, as I would have to put them back on again at some stage, I'd better try to do something about their condition. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to flap them in the manner in which one might flap the dust out of a small door mat or hearth rug. Holding them by the waist band and with a single upward movement followed by a sharp downward snap, I managed to empty them of ninety percent of their contents in an instant.
It really is incredible how quickly one's instincts take over in the event of the unexpected and I was delighted to notice that, having scraped my eyelids clear of their new screed coat, I was still able to see. Looking downward, what I was able to see was that I had successfully covered myself from head to toe with my own diarrhoea. Spitting, cursing my stupidity and looking up again, my focus was suddenly filled by several dozen apparently awestruck faces staring at me from a large tourist coach which had drawn to a halt twenty or so feet away.
There was only one thing for it: I would just have to bite the bullet and put my shorts back on again before running post haste into the sea. I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth (literally), stepped into the now stone-cold shorts and with protracted revulsion, pulled them squelching back up to my waist. It was the fact that they were cold that really bothered me.
Without a second glance at the coach or my companions (one of whom simply said, "Wow!" as I sped past), I ran straight for the sea where I remained for a good while, breaking wind furiously and watching all the little fishes feeding around me.
"Never will I be so stupid again," I lied to myself.
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