As I trudge from the beach with my sandy, air filled friend I’m developing a new found sympathy for grooms on stag weekends in Magaluf made to carry some unwieldly object deemed hilarious by the rest of his party. I feel like someone might offer me 15 pints and a stripper.
The shark is supposed to belong to one of my 9 year old sons, who begged me to buy it for him as it looked so realistic, not like those bright blue inflatable ‘cartoon’ sharks, apparently THEY look ridiculous.
The Great White look-a- like provided hours of beach and sea entertainment for my kids, if not for bathers a nervous disposition and at least one least terrified snorkeler. Apparently he’s an excellent underwater wicket keeper (the shark, I’ve no idea about the snorkeler), which might give anyone contemplating “Jaws 4” meets “Bodyline” some food for thought.
However, as they do with puppy training or incontinent ancient relatives, when the going gets tough, the kids get going. Now, when it comes to transporting ‘Sharky’ as he’s been imaginatively named, home in our Ford Focus, he’s all mine. After 10 fun -filled minutes under the blistering sun in a Spanish car park with, variously, the boot up, parcel shelf out, all the doors open and me in more compromising positions with an apex predator than Anastasia Steele, I finally manage to wedge Jaws into the passenger seat, although I do have to sandwich my right arm under his dorsal fin to change gear.
By the time I get to the main road, I’m getting the hang of it, I can’t really see right but I do have a ready-made airbag. At the roundabout, the Guardia Civil are waiting as always, hoping to single handily refloat Spain’s economy through a variety of on the spot fines for not having the receipt for your car tax, driving too close to the car in front, or wearing an unfortunate hat. We’ve often contemplated appropriating a friend’s car rental sticker to keep them at bay. I’ve now found something far more affective. The macho guardia looks from me to my inflatable travelling companion with amusement, then distain and finally, I think, pity. I am the epitome of every northern European tourist. He waves me on without checking a thing. Perhaps Sharky has found a higher calling.