Posts Tagged ‘Greek Myths’

This is the third and final part of the Sunburn diaries. Every word written here is true. Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here and here!

Part 3

I once went out with a girl from Finland. Trainee javelin thrower. Sadly she chucked me.

So, in Greece doing a very passable impression of a snow globe. There was a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there he stood. Bespectacled, bearded and wearing a duffel coat. It was 35 degrees Celsius.

“Hicky kovelainenen nokia hup hup heniekenb basta Lasse?” he asked. My javelin thrower dalliance stood me in good stead (Foreplay was a tad traumatic, what with her arm strength) as I recognised the Finnish language.

He held a can of tuna and began to twang the partially opened lid like a dolphin friendly juice harp.

“Twangly twang ikeloien pente arrikola?” He asked

“Mumbeerlenksi suomi arkande prestatyn,” I replied, hoping that telling him that I don’t like butter on bread rolls would suffice.

He smiled, raised the tin and twanged some more. The twang of his can became the signature tune of the holiday.

How Ma Fightback and I guffawed when we heard him in our vicinity! Although it was a different story when he was twanging his can at 3 in the morning outside our bedroom window.

Think of Deliverance’s duelling banjos and you will start to understand our concerns. Twanged canned tuna possesses a a sinister sound.

A Final Tip For Gingers In The Sun!

Always carry a fridge magnet of Roy Orbison with you.

When in sunny climes, look for a cave. A spot of troglodyte existence is always enjoyable and the cave is dark and cool.

The best caves, the ones with stalagmites and stalactites to watch during your stay, are normally occupied by hermits.

Often a broken heart has caused their hermityness. She done him wrong, upped and left with the milkman, baker, butcher or cobbler etc. The poor lad can’t cope and so naturally finds a cave to sit and mope in.

This is where the fridge magnet of THE BIG O comes in handy.

Place the magnet at the entrance to the cave. Then hum “Dum Dum Dum Dum Doo Wah”.

Hermit will have heard Orbison warble about the broken heart and he will be drawn to this sound. When at the entrance to the cave he will find the fridge magnet, pick it up and venerate it like an Orthodox Icon.

Then nip in, nab his perch in the cave and so have a Sun free holiday watching those naughty stalactites and stalagmites grow!

You will have to share the perch with a rather hirsute skinny bloke but at least you can perfect your Travelling Wilbury’s back catalogue.

But make sure you leave after two weeks. There is a danger that twelve or so years down the line the old Orbison Fridge Magnet Trick may be played on you.

“Alas,” said he to himself, “what kind of people have I come amongst? Are they cruel, savage, and uncivilized, or hospitable and humane? I seem to hear the voices of young women, and they sound like those of the nymphs that haunt mountain tops, or springs of rivers and meadows of green grass. At any rate I am among a race of men and women. Let me try if I cannot manage to get a look at them.”

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‘Taint No Fun Burning in Der Sun

Every year Gfb leaves The Crib for a few days for the Sun. Every year, “Be careful. Cover up. Factor 50 minimum.” Every year rogue rays pierce my Maginot Line like defences and turn my dermis into pork scratchings.

Jesus it was hot. My brains were melting and dribbling out of my ears.

Gingers and the Sun? No!

Bastard Sun. Bastard Heat.

Under a parasol, thirty seven feet in diameter, dressed in a Burkha and propped up in a lead lined coffin for extra protection.

Burn Baby Burn

Still copped it though. Top of the thighs. Right ear. Left ankle and Neckline.

“Ooooh, ooooh, aaaaah, aaaaah,” goes the song at night as I turn in bed. Cotton sheets cling to me like a rejected lover just to inflict further rubbed ignominy.

Bastard Mosquitoes too. Like Drones in Helmand they were. Despite the copious application of Agent Orange (the stuff strips skin in a fashion Hannibal the Cannibal would have been proud of) they kept on a coming. Strafed and chaffed for hours until they sated themselves on my olive oil enriched blood cells.

Mediterranean diet me arse.

“I didn’t get bitten!” Ma Fightback chirped. That’s alright then.

Day 2. To the beach. Prop my coffin under the 78 feet diameter parasol. He’s there.

6′ 3″. 16 Stone. Early 60’s? Very tight trunks. Extremely tight trunks.

Stands in the Sun, hands on hips, legs slightly akimbo. He’s the man he’s telling the beach. I hear him speak.


“Ich bein ein bein einstein knacke der Ooompah Band,” or some such he says to his wife who is on a lounger looking at pictures of Princess Kate’s breasts.

“Ja,” she replies. He stands over her. His foot on the edge of the lounger. He’s proud of his trunks. His very tight trunks. He plays with his hair. Flicks it. Shapes it. Teases it. He has mullet memories.

Beads of sweat form inside my Burkha.

“Wasser for dippen,” he says.


He changes trunks. Yes I know. The tight, very tight trunks are removed with the aid of a block and tackle rig and support of a passing sunglass peddler.

Budgie smugglers now adorn his crotch.

He stands by the water’s edge. Hands on hips. Legs slightly akimbo. He wades into the water and then dives in. He is under for a few seconds and then Kraken like, he resurfaces. Without his hair. Worse still, the hair has been replaced by some used toilet roll.

He reminds me of a boiled egg. A Big Tuetonic Boiled Egg.

“Meinen syrup has kaput in der wasser. Scheissen schellotapen.”

“Ja,” mutters wifey now looking at pictures of Prince Harry’s testes.

He looks around in embarrassed fashion. No-one is laughing. A coffin shakes slightly though.

Eventually I spot it floating rather listlessly towards Crete. Is this is how the legend of The Golden Fleece was born millennia ago? The Golden Wig – now there would be a Greek Myth to spice the imagination.

Or maybe not.

“Thus spoke Minerva, and Ulysses obeyed her gladly. Then Minerva assumed the form and voice of Mentor, and presently made a covenant of peace between the two contending parties.”

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