Nightmare in NewquayA re-written version of an old Scary Story I've submitted for The Idler's forthcoming Crap Holidays book:
My parents always seemed to go camping in Cornwall when I was a teenager, and dragged along with family and dog, we were forced to make the most of the tourist traps we had visited many, many times before. With Newquay just up the road (a late, late contender for a crap town if ever I saw one), I fancied myself as a surfer. So I toodled off to Fistral Beach, hired a board at hit the waves.
Looking around me, I could see that my fellow surfers were split into two camps. One comprised the bronzed surf dudes who knew one end of the board from another, and were clearly attracting seriously gorgeous young ladies in bikinis with their manly surfing action.
The other was of slightly overweight idiots from the Home Counties in M&S swimming trunks and a "Frankie Says..." T-Shirt, referred to by the Beautiful People as "a bunch of numpties". The only female company I had was my mum, who sat on a picnic blanket with a flask of coffee and a windswept Daily Telegraph.
With the balance and coordination of a drunkard, this numpty found actual surfing nigh on impossible, and I was literally and metaphorically well out of my depth.
Then, by some freak of luck, I finally managed to get to my feet and rode my first wave like an old pro. For about two seconds.
Catapaulted into the brine, the elastic strap did its job of preventing the separation of surfer and board for the thirtieth time that day. It also sprung the evil thing back at me at 200 mph, catching me right up the bum-hole.
I fled the maniacal laughter of dozens of long-haired surf dudes and their female admirers, returning to the relative safety of a life of geekdom. The bleeding took two days to stop and I lay on my front in the tent, groaning for the rest of the holiday.
My dad ended up buying one of those inflatable doughnut-shaped cushions for the drive home. "He's split his ring" he told the lady in the chemist shop, who clearly hadn't
seen it all before.