I was lying on a sun lounger, boobs and body lazily covered in a bikini which I had drunkenly thrown on with reckless abandon. We’re talking head thrown back, mouth hanging open, limbs akimbo gesturing heavenwards, beseeching some gracious God to just kill me now and save me from my desperate misery. Last night had been a very good night. In a gesture of herculean proportions I managed to drag my pulsating head up under the weight of my very large ‘don’t look at me’ sunglasses and squinted over my shoulder to look at my friends lying beside me. I was delighted to see that in an intimation of solidarity, we had all decided to look extra shit today. It was a scorching beach in Mallorca, but looking at the state of the six of us, you would have believed you were on Omaha Beach at the start of Saving Private Ryan.
I felt the sun lounger beside me vibrating. Blondie was flapping her arms as hard and fast as she could in an attempt to drag herself into a sitting position. There was some grunting. We all politely, but very slowly and painfully, looked away. We had all been vomiting at random all morning. I believed I was all vomited out but the sight of what was about to come from Blondie’s face may have inspired a fresh bout.
None of us moved. Blondie had the tone of someone requesting something and I didn't particularly feel like sitting there holding her hair back, so I chose instead to believe it was just some extremely unusual vomiting noises.
‘Guys. Pfaaaddle Boat!’
I turned to look at her. She was vomit free and....smiling? She found her voice.
‘GUYS! THE PADDLE BOAT!’
Oh no. Blondie had been raving all week about how we absolutely had to rent out one of the hilarious novel paddle boats on the beach and go for a spin. Blondie had also requested we rent things like rollerblades and quad bikes so when faced with this relatively normal activity, we’d all enthusiastically agreed yesterday. But today, suffering from my drink affliction, the prospect was right between ‘scratching my eyes out with a spoon’ and ‘eating horse shit’ on my Things I Want To Do Today list. It was now our second last day and pretty much our last chance. Unable to protest, the 5 of us shot Blondie a variety of looks which varied from ‘Please Die’ to ‘Are you clinically insane?’. Undeterred, Blondie launched into her Tourism Spain mode and used the Guilt Offensive on us. Did we want to just spend our whole holiday just lying on the beach and drinking? Didn’t we want to do anything else fun? Wouldn’t it make some great pictures? Exhaling sharply through my nostrils I raised my head and glared venimously at the Swan shaped paddle boat bobbing innocously on the shore line.
‘It’ll be fun!’ Blondie beamed, sensing my defences being lowered.
Somehow, I doubted it.
Suddenly, there I was. Four of us bobbing in a paddle boat; three of us frowning sourly, one of us in euphoric excitement at the prospect of the miscellanious adventures we were about to have on the high seas.
‘ARE WE READY TO GO GUYS?!’
She took our silent, glaring faces as an ‘ABSOLUTELY!’ and so we set off.
Most of us were not doing our fair share of the paddling, I’ll say that much. I had no intention of spending today laboriously breaking my heart paddling around the beach like a Viking slave. Most of the rest of the girls were on the same page as me, with the obvious exception of Blondie, who appeared to be paddling so hard, she ran the risk of sailing us back to Ireland herself.
And what harm, I thought? Why not let her have her fun. She appears to be enjoying herself. For a moment, in my emotionally vulnerable condition, I actually leant back and smiled admirably at my best friend, doting at her childlike excitement of the basic physics of a paddle boat.... Until a large formidable object caught my eye.
I followed Blondie’s hysteric paddling direction and eyeline and saw The Island. How could I have been so stupid? By the expression on their faces, the penny had finally dropped with Blondie’s other two victims, aswell. We were quickly speeding towards an ‘island’, if you’d call it that, about two miles off the beach in Magaluf.
She turned to grin at us, a psychopathic mix of guilt and delight.
I’m sure most of you have heard about that women on the news who fell creepily in love with the Eiffel Tower and kept a picture of it beside her bed? I’m sure most of you scoffed and thought such a disturbing fixation with an inanimate object was extremely improbable to happen again. As did I, my friends, as did I. That is, until of course, Blondie became completely infatuated with this ‘Island’ off the beach.
She’d seen it in the pictures on holiday websites....
‘Ooh, look how pretty that island looks...’
On the plane, as we lowered over Mallorca she’d smashed me into the side of the plane in an attempt to get closer to the window ‘TO SEE THE ISLAND, SAUCY!’
In our taxi she’d commandeered the window seat herself, and provided us with chirped updates every minute or so on weather or not she ‘thinks she could see the island!’
When we arrived to our beautiful, amazing apartment, she’d frogmarched straight through all the rooms and onto the balcony, to confirm that ‘yes, it’s ok guys, we can see the island from here.’
The term ‘island’ is extremely generous for this miserable floating mound of earth.
Back on the boat, we’d realised our fate:
‘Blondie, ARE YOU FOR REAL?’
‘I’m not getting onto that thing...’
‘CANNOT BELIEVE YOU DRAGGED ME OFF MY SUN LOUNGER FOR THIS....’
But she wasn’t listening. She had taken control of the boat like a Somalian Pirate and wasn’t turning back for anyone. The rest of us were weak and impoverished from our binge drinking and simply didn’t have the strength to paddle against her. I glared at our captor and weighed up weather or not the strength of nearly 5 years of friendship was enough to gain forgiveness for pushing her off the boat....
We were still close-ish to the beach though, I looked into the water and weighed up my chances of survival if I made a break for it, rather than accompany Blondie on her quest for The Island.... I looked at the water again, and again. Then looked around me. More water. Then looked back at the rapidly shrinking coast line. Oh my god. Oh my god.
‘I’m afraid of water.....I’m afraid of water? GUYS, I AM AFRAID OF WATER!’
In my hungover stupor I had unwittingly crawled onto the boat, completely forgetting how petrified I am of the sea and all it's inhabitants. Taken over completely by blind panic and desperation, I began to shuffle awkwardly around the boat, trying vainly to find some sort of water free escape route.
‘WOULD YOU STOP ROCKING THE BOAT, PLEASE?’
‘WOULD YOU RECOGNISE THE FACT THAT I AM GOING TO DROWN AND DIE, PLEASE?’
‘WOULD YOU ALL CO-OPERATE AND PADDLE US TO THE ISLAND, PLEASE?’
I hovered awkwardly on the boat as we all glared at each other, extra vicious glares reserved for Blondie in particular. Tempers were flaring and I could see this happy-go-lucky boat trip quickly turning into an episode of Lost.
‘Look Saucy, just sit down. You’ll be fine. You’ll be staying in the boat the whole time!’ Po tried to reassure me.
‘Well, and you’ll be on the Island...’ Captain Crazy interjected. It was official, we’d lost Blondie. She was turning way too Tom Cruise in Castaway.
I sat down, sulking. We were all starving and dehydrated at this point too.
‘Guys, you all agreed to come with me. You could at least help me paddle? The sooner we get to the Island, the sooner we get home...’
‘I agreed to go for a lovely spin around the beach, I never agreed to come with you on your fucking famine ship...’
Mini-spats broke out. We were developing cabin fever. Other holiday goers who were having an absolute whale of a time on their paddle boats began to stare as we started acting out our own version of the Lord of The Flies.
We finally arrived at the Island. Ecstatic, we began to turn the boat...
Blondie was having absolutely none of it.
‘Aw come on! We’ve come this far... we should just get onto the island for a second :D’
‘Blondie, the island is quite clearly surrounded by a deadly slope of lethal jagged rocks...’
‘Nooo it’s fine, if we just paddle up onto the rocks, we could...’
At this very moment a paddle boat of boys who clearly had a Coxman as deranged as our own were also trying to mount the rocks. One boy naively stepped off the boat onto the rocks to try and drag onto the island, took one step, slipped underneath the boat and cracked his skull on the rocks. All you could hear on our boat was the sound of waves lapping and silent fury.
Even Blondie’s faith in the Island started to wane.
Just at that moment, the group of boys who had just dragged their semi-concussed friend up out of the water turned to us and offered us some clearly much needed assistance.
We stopped attacking each other for a moment, faced with the higher priority of cute boys in shorts. There was much shameless hair flicking and giggling as they dragged us onto the island. Giving us her smuggest grin, Blondie hopped off the boat.
We were greeted by desolate landscape, creepy black lizards and a mysterious electrical buzzing noise. After an argument - the brevity of which was determined by our sheer exhaustion to argue with Blondie - it was decided we would scale the stupid island and stand at the top to ‘see the view’. I’m not even going to credit getting to the top of the island with a description. Let’s just call it anti-climax of the millennium and skip to the getting back down bit. This took 15 minutes for everyone, 30 for me because I never got the memo to ‘bring shoes’ as I had innocently believed we were just going for a boat trip. As the others ran ahead I was left lagging behind and sobbing silently to myself and gingerly tiptoeing through brambles and high grass as I imagined the cheap tabloid headlines back home after my imminent death: ‘HOLIDAY GIRL KILLED BY ROGUE LIZARD WHO HID IN BIKINI.’ When I finally got back to where we parked our boat, which I now hated more than any boat in the world, I found my three so called friends sitting there bobbing two metres out from the island. What’s this about? Are they leaving without me or something? Had the three of them been voted off the island? Am I the only survivor left?
‘Come on Saucy!’ they yelled joyously, ‘Hop in!!’
Hop in? Hop in?! I stared at them incredulously.
‘Guys, you need to paddle back here and collect me.’
‘Saucy don’t be ridiculous, just swim out to us and we’ll pull you in.’
‘What do you mean, you can’t?’
‘...I’m scared of water.’
They all stared bemused at the four feet of water which they’d asked me to cross.
‘Saucy, it’s like a kiddies pool....’
This, on top of the hangover, on top of the lizards and the rocks and the sea, well. It was too much.
‘IT IS NOT LIKE A KIDDIES POOL! IT IS NOT! IT’S PART OF THE BIG BAD OCEAN, OK? I TOLD YOU I WAS SCARED OF THE SEA, I TOLD YOU, BUT WOULD YOU LISTEN, NO! NO! DO YOU SEE NOW, WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE LISTENED, DO YOU SEE? IT'S A PHOBIA, A GENUINE PHOBIA, SO DON'T TALK TO ME LIKE YOU KNOW! YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT, BITCH!’
I was creating quite the scene. Many many paddle boats which were bobbing nearby started to stare. The people on these paddle boats were 80% male, of course, and of that 80%, they were 100% gorgeous. And now I had their complete and undivided attention.
The girls sensed this too and decided not to provoke The Crazy further and began to paddle back to the island. Problem. There were no longer any beautiful young men to drag to boat up onto the razor sharp rocks, and without them our beloved S.S Useless simply couldn’t do it by itself.
We all realised this at the same time. The girls looked at me with dread. I was slowly crumbling into an emotional wreck. Maybe I could just get the girls to drop me out a friendly volleyball and some crackers later and I would just stay on this island forever. Maybe Blondie wasn’t wrong, this island wasn’t so bad...
‘Saucy, you’ve got to step onto the rocks.’
‘Saucy, we can’t get any closer...’
This went on for many minutes, culminating in me crawling pathetically onto the killer rocks and sitting there hunched, like Gollum in a bikini. I sat there and prayed that if I did slip, I’d kill myself on the rocks before the water got me. Drowning really would have made this the worst hangover in history. I glanced back at the hunky men in boats. What were the odds they would all appreciate this as some sort of art installation piece?
What followed was a hilarious kind of sea saw.
The tide would drag the boat close to the rocks, where I’d have only a few seconds to get my self together and jump onto the boat. The pressure would inevitably prove too much and the girls would be swept back again by the tide. Every time the girls were swept back out they would start screaming encouragement in anticipation of the moment the tide would sweep them back to me again. It quickly transpired then, to my audience, what exactly was going on. This peaked their interest in goings on. The girls were swept out again.
‘COME ON SAUCY, JUST JUMP JUST JUMP, READY READY....’
The tide swept them in again. The sight of all of them floating towards me, arms outstretched proved too much, and probably more from mental exertion than anything else, I exploded into giggles. I’d have just recovered when they’d be brought towards me again, and I’d explode into laughter once more. The performance anxiety was getting too much. Soon surely someone would get the coast guard. Suddenly from behind me, I saw something wiggle. One of those sinister bastard lizards was creeping down the rocks towards me. Motivation, my dear friends, like no other. It's amazing how quickly a fear of the ocean can vanish when faced with such a slimy beast. I sat there hunched staring at him, in the most awkward and for me, terrifying mexican stand off in history. Alright, he may have been 5 centimetres long but it was the sinister stare in his eyes. He stared at me, deadpan, and took one bold almost taunting step towards me. With a glorious leap I threw myself onto the paddle boat, and there I lay on the floor for the entire journey, refusing to look up until we were safely, finally, on dry land.
You’d be surprised just how much a hungover person can dislike water.
The Saucy Cow