Oh What a Lovely Pair

Another drop of sweat dropped down my forehead and off the end of my nose as my eyes moved vigorously behind my dark shades. “Oh what a lovely pair!” I thought to myself, however I seemed to have thought out loud rather than to myself. My curious wife, who was lying on her sun bed next to me queried: “A lovely pair of what?”

“A lovely pair of sunglasses, they are great at keeping out the glare.” I was getting rather bored on his sunbathing outing to the beach, so I decided to take some money out of the wife’s purse and head up towards the main town, where I could have a beverage and possibly a bite to eat. To get up towards the bars and restaurants I had to cross over a main and very busy road, there were always mopeds rushing by, not even giving you the slightest of chances to cross over. Even though there are plenty of zebra crossings throughout the resort’s roads, I think that the locals just assume that the black and white stripes across the street are a nice decoration.

Finally I managed to get to the other side of the mad obstacle. It would have been a good twenty-minute stroll up past some tacky old souvenir shops until I reached the exciting part of the holiday resort.

Another drop of sweat dropped down my forehead and off the end of my nose as my eyes moved vigorously behind my dark shades. “Oh what a lovely pair…I’ll have to get hold of them.” I thought to myself while looking in a shoe shop, at the young lady on the till. Unfortunately, I must have thought a little on the loud side. An elderly lady, who was stood behind my asked: “A lovely pair of what?”

So I replied, “A lovely pair of moccasins, I’m sure they would keep out the rain, and not rub your feet the first time you wear them!”

I continued with my trip, from the shops to the main shopping centre of the holiday resort. There were lots of clothes and designer gear in these shops; they were the upper class stores of the Spanish town. I fancied a new pair of trousers as the ones that I was wearing were a little on the small side and were beginning to go a little on the shiny side, a bit like the tradition of schoolboy’s trousers, short and shiny.

I started to browse each designer store, on my search for a new pair of nice looking trousers, within my tight price range of course. I certainly could not afford any of the clothes in these upper class shops; I come from a lower class household back home in England. I thought to myself, “I can’t be dreaming about these clothes, I’ve got to look for a respectful charity shop such as Oxfam or even Scope.” But then I realised that we are in Spain here, not England. I was sure that in this foreign country they wouldn’t know what I was on about if I asked directions for a charity shop!

I decided that it would be a good idea to give the local bookshop a small visit to purchase a Spanish phrase book. So I headed towards the book shop, that wasn’t too far away from where I was, just a couple of hundred yards away from the designer shops in this shopping mall.

I arrived at the shop and noticed that it was closed for lunch, but it reopened within five minutes. So I went to buy a sandwich from across the way. I sat down on a relatively new bench that was situated right outside of the bookshop, munching away at the sandwich. I came across quite a few grizzly and rather chewy bits of ham, they were spat straight out. By the time I had finished eating what could have been eaten of the sandwich, the bookshop was open. I entered the shop and asked the sales assistant whether he sold phrase books. He spoke perfect English, so this task was not too much trouble for me at all. I followed the man to what seemed like an educational section of the shop. He picked up a phrase book off the shelf and gave it to me to have a look. I decided to buy the book I paid in cash.

I exited the posh shopping mall and headed up towards the small, tacky old souvenir shops. I took the same route as earlier on. I came across a young man, who looked well educated; he was in a business suit with a lovely pair of trousers on. I was going to ask him where he bought his trousers, but then noticed what a silly thing that would be. I could have asked him where the nearest charity shop was, but he would have thought that I was a scruff or something, in the end I decided to just ask the man for the time.

I was trying to pick someone out of the passing crowd who was normal looking, and not an over-paid businessman. After a good five minutes of searching I decided to approach an old lady, she was wearing some old and tatty clothes, to be honest, they looked as though they were bought from some kind of charity shop or car boot sale. So I caught eye contact with the lady and asked, “Hay una tienda caridad por aqui?” Which in English means, “is there a charity shop around here?”

The lady replied, “Si, esta a la derecha” which means, “Yes, it’s on the right.”

So I looked to my right and there it was, a small charity shop, not up to as good as a standard as the ones home in England, but it still sold the same type of goods and proceedings went to a charity in the local area. As it was very hot outside, I dedicated myself to purchasing a pair of Hawaiian shorts rather than a nice pair of trousers. I tried them on in the fitting room, they were slightly loose and baggy, but this didn’t bother me as I had heard my nephew talking about how good it is to have baggy shorts, I thought that these would pull the girls and would be a cool fashion accessory.

I walked over, in a cool way to the counter; I looked in the mirror and said to myself “Wow baby, you look sexy in those!” I pointed to the phrase in my phrase book that translated to “How much?” and I was pretty much surprised at the cheapness of the garment, 250 pesetas, that is around �1 in English money. I handed over the money and the lady gave me a used plastic bag to put my old trousers in. I exited the shop.

As I started to walk up towards the bars and restaurants, in my cool stroll, I got the impression that people were pointing and laughing at me. I soon realised that there was one huge draft coming in from the rear end of my new shorts, there was a great big hole in the back of them. No wonder they were so cheap!

I started to go excessively red in the cheeks, I felt like curling up into a small ball and going into none-existence. Looking for a public toilet, the draft was becoming increasingly gusty. I found a nice little local caf�, so I thought that I would give the toilet a bit of custom, while I made a quick change of pants. The bar was full of locals; they greeted me in a warm fashion, until I walked past them, towards the toilet. The whole place just burst out with laughter. Not pleased with the fact that people could humiliate me in such a way, I locked the door behind me and got changed as soon as possible.

Another drop of sweat dripped down my forehead and off the end of my nose as my eyes moved vigorously behind my dark shades. “Oh what a lovely pair!” I celebrated at the top of my voice. I had learnt my lesson the hard way, “Don’t buy items from foreign charity shops ever, ever again, at least if you don’t want to be ripped off.

I ran out of the local caf� and headed towards some English bars. I ordered a large Scotch.

After my session in the bar, I flagged down a taxi from the main road and took a ride back to the beach. There was my angry wife, she had the properties of a raging bull, and some Germans had stolen our sun beds by draping their towels over them while she was bathing. “Where have you been? I’ve been worried out of my mind.” My curious, hag of a wife asked.

So I looked at her with a frustrated expression on my face. I produced the dodgy pair of shorts from the used plastic bag that the lady in the shop had given to me. My wife asked, “What is wrong with those? They look fine to me.”

“What? I asked furiously. “These shorts have me more bother in the last couple of hours than you have since our marriage, it is unbelievable.”

My wife still couldn’t see the ‘slight’ imperfection in the garment, so I decided to point it out to her. “Now do you see what is wrong with them?”

The look on her face was outstanding, I wish I had my two for the price of one disposable camera with me; it would have made a great picture for her fiftieth birthday in the local newspaper. We both laughed together, she still brings that point up now, twenty years on.

I should never have stayed with this woman; I should have approached the babe on the beach earlier on, or even the stunner in the shoe shop for that matter!

Another drop of sweat dripped down my forehead and off the end of my nose as my eyes moved vigorously behind my dark shades…

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