Summer’s here again! Not that you’d know it from the weather, mind you. August, and it feels like October already. Of course, the British weather shouldn’t be worrying us, as we shouldn’t be here. We should all be on holiday by now, in Ibiza or somewhere similarly hot and sweaty, ‘having it large’ and ‘bigging it up’, as the young people call it. I’ve often thought that I’ve missed out by not spending my two weeks of Summer vacation in some nightclub, getting blind drunk, throwing up and entering wet Y-front competitions. So, what the hell, I thought, this year, that’s what I’m going to do – go to Majorca and enjoy the sun, sand and sea by day, whilst having my eardrums blasted out by night. Get down with he kids, that’s what I need to do, I told myself. So I dragged out my suitcase, threw in a couple of pairs of speedos and several packets of condoms (surely all I’d need), and prepared to set off. But that’s where the wheels came off – I no longer have a valid passport, (I let it lapse as I hate travelling overseas), and I don’t like flying, anyway. Now, I could, of course, have enlisted the help of my Vietnam buddies turned elite mercenary band, to drug me and smuggle me aboard a Magaluf-bound plane. However, as I’m not a large black man with a Mohican haircut and several pounds of gold jewellery around my neck, and I didn’t actually serve in Vietnam, let alone escape from a high security stockade there, this wasn’t really a serious option. But why go abroad at all? Most supposedly exotic locales are full of residents to whom it all seems as mundane and ordinary as where you live. And let’s face it, it is increasingly difficult to tell the difference between Birmingham, Berlin, Brussels or Barcelona. By and large, the shops, the fashions and the brand names are all the same. It’s only the language and the differences in climate which give any clue that you aren’t still at home. Why waste time and money going abroad when you can get just as drunk at home? These days we can even enjoy the exotic languages at home – nothing sounds more exotic than Polish. All-in-all, staying at home and ‘having it large’ here instead, seemed a better option.
Indeed, as I’m becoming ever more misanthropic, the opportunity to avoid hordes of other holiday makers was an added bonus of my chosen holiday strategy. Why put myself through the ordeal of being crammed into a nightclub with hordes of drunken, sweaty and utterly obnoxious holidaying Brits, when I could recreate my own dance floor experience in the privacy of my own home? All it needs is the central heating put on full blast, a few cans of cheap lager, Russ Abbot’s ‘Atmosphere’ blasting out of the CD-player, Big Sleazy flicking the light on and off, and my front room can easily double for the BCM Planet Dance in Magaluf. I mean, it isn’t as if I don’t have experience of this sort of thing. Only last year I decided to spend my holiday recreating 1967’s ‘Summer of Love’ in my back garden. OK, in retrospect, perhaps it was a bit over ambitious. I’m not sure that the neighbours have quite forgiven me for all those semi-naked hippies with flowers painted on their breasts and buttocks cavorting in their raspberry canes. Then there was that business with Two-Ton Toby from the chippy and his Doors tribute band. They climbed on the roof of the Kwik Fit across the road and performed ‘Light My Fire’ and other hits. It was all going quite well until Fat Toby stripped to the waist and gyrated around the roof in his leather trousers, before shouting “I am the Lizard King” and whipping his plonker out. Now, bearing in mind that Two-Ton himself hasn’t seen his todger, without the aid of a mirror on a stick that is, since 1992, nobody on the ground really noticed it. The problem came when he decided to follow this up by leaping off of the roof into the arms of the crowd below. Naturally, it caused a mass panic and several people suffered minor injuries in the resulting stampede. Still, that was nothing compared to the furore which followed Big Sleazy’s attempt to recreate the cover of John Lennon’s ‘Two Virgins’ album with his girlfriend, Lazy Eyed Lisa, by walking through the local children’s playground stark bollocking naked. Trust me, they’re not a pretty sight fully clothed, so I wasn’t unsympathetic to my neighbours’ complaints – they reckoned that some of their kids had been traumatised for life.
Nevertheless, despite these minor glitches, I thought that, overall, my Summer of Love went quite well. So well, in fact, that I decided to try and recreate 1968’s days of unrest and student protests over Easter this year. A bad mistake, as it turned out. It was going OK until someone slipped into the parking space Big Sleazy was trying to reverse his camper van into. The argument got a bit out of hand and ended up with the offending car upside down and on fire in the middle of the street. I felt its owner overreacted a bit by tearing up paving stones and hurling them at Big Sleazy’s van. Inevitably, the police turned up and Big Sleazy and Lazy Eyed Lisa barricaded themselves in my house. The outcome was never in any doubt. I’m still trying to get the smell of tear gas out of the place. Myself, Professor Mire and Little Miss Strange only managed to avoid arrest by hiding behind the garden furniture stacked in my shed for three hours. So, for my Magaluf at home adventure, I’m keeping the invitations very exclusive. Thankfully, Big Sleazy and Lazy Eyed Lisa’s bail conditions mean they can’t come within two miles of my street, so they won’t take their exclusion personally. My only worry this time around is Little Miss Strange – she can get very aggressive after a few pints of that strong Czech lager. I once saw her punch out a horse after a session in my local. Quite what a horse was doing in the lounge bar has never been satisfactorily explained, but whatever his reasons for being there, he shouldn’t have tried to eat her packet of pork scratchings. That was well out of order. Anyway, he ended up a crumpled heap in the corner, missing a couple of teeth, and Little Miss Strange had another pint. Having said all that, the likely levels of rowdiness will probably be no worse than we usually have to put up with around here when the pubs and clubs turn out – shouting, drunken arguments, vomiting, vandalism and pissing against cars. I really don’t know what locals in Greece and Spain are complaining about when they remonstrate about the levels of drunkenness and lewd behaviour amongst British holiday makers. They should try living here – it’s all year round, not just for a few weeks each Summer. It makes me wonder why these people go abroad at all – I always thought the point of going on holiday was to do something different than you normally do. So, this August Bank Holiday, think of me as I’m ‘bigging it up’ in my garden (I’m having some sand and a paddling pool delivered to simulate the beach experience). Two-Ton is going to DJ and he’s promising to rock my front room with some wicked mixes involving his Rolf Harris collection and a couple of Craig David CDs. Radical, man.