Having arrived many days before the main event began, I was already more than familiar with the beach and happy to be back there after the event; bobbing in the sea and mentally rehearsing my new bad beat stories. A few days earlier a bunch of us had leaned on our UltimateBet host to finance some shenanigans, and we’d sampled the delights of the banana boat (and by ‘sampled’ I mean involuntarily consumed 9 pints of sea water, and by ‘delights’ I mean having been rendered blind). Another member of the gang and I were ready to take things to the next level, and opted for the deadly ‘Ringos’. You could tell these bits of tubing were going to be more intense than the banana boat simply because you had to sign a piece of paper that said “If you kill me, it’s my own fault”. Oh, and if you’re wondering who the other player in this story is, I can only refer to him as “21” because he asked me not to use his real name in stories unless he looked ‘cool’. However, chances are you’ll never find out his real name because I’m struggling to think of any stories involving him where he looked ‘cool’. He has a perm you see.
So, anyway, we found ourselves back at the water sports hut, where some 19 year old local lad (with an obvious hatred of “Englishers” who eat all his mangos and shag all his sisters) seemed far too happy to accept twenty bucks to drag us along behind his boat. As we stood there waiting for said boat to arrive, 21 asked me how long I thought they’d be. “I don’t know... Why?” I asked. “Well, I think I need a piss." he replied, "I'm wondering if I have enough time.” However, don’t be fooled into thinking 21 was calculating how long it would take him to make a return trip to the pool loos. Oh no; his gaze was fixed firmly on the azure sea.
Now we’ve all pissed in the sea folks, but if you’re a half-decent human (well, the sort of half-decent human that discharges themselves in large bodies of water anyway) then you at least have the class to swim out a bit - away from others - and do your best not to look like you’re having a slash. It was with this thought in mind that I looked over a scant minute later to find 21 standing, as a man might at a urinal, hands on hips, obviously topping up the sea. He’d gone in just deep enough that the water was above waist-level, but… only just. Take the ocean away and he’d have just been some bloke standing in the middle of a field proudly wetting himself.
Returning from his mission, clearly relieved and smiling like some demented incontinent, I was glad we’d opted for the individual Ringos rather than the two-man version. These puppies had linings, and the thought of being dragged behind a boat in an inflatable bucket filled with someone else’s piss (or my own, for that matter) was hardly after-dinner speaking material.
Ultimately I found out why the disclaimer sheet I’d been asked to sign was so necessary because, as I sit here some three weeks after the event, I’m still in agony every time I sneeze thanks to two cracked ribs. They say that hitting the sea at 30 mph is much like running into a wall sideways at 20mph. I’ve no idea who “they” are in this case, but they aren't fucking wrong I can tell you.
And the worst thing about my injury was that I was now much slower on both land and sea, and 21 – the bastard - knew it. Which is why, for the rest of the trip, he’d stand close to me in the ocean with his hands on his hips and a smile on his face, laughing as I flapped and yelped in pain, desperately trying to get away from the expanding cloud of warmth that enveloped me.
Not waving. Pissing.