CAPTAIN CORELLI’S UKULELE
I watched Joe prod the glossy brochure with his sticky finger, smearing jam over a particularly skimpy bikini clad female wallowing in a hot tub. “Greece Mave, how do you fancy Greece?”
I leant over his shoulder to have a proper look and recoiled in horror. Joe had hairy ears. Eeeew….why hadn’t I noticed that before? I quickly made a mental note to consider a pair of ear and nose clippers for his birthday. “It looks lovely, just so long as it’s hot and there’s safe swimming for Ella, I’m happy if you are.” I playfully flicked the back of his left ear, which strangely enough was not as hairy as his right one.
Joe frantically scrubbed at the jam smear, clearing just enough from the top half of her body to check out her, quite unnatural in my opinion, assets.
“Kefalonia it is then”. He decisively circled the Travel Agents number and then poked the end of the pen in his ear. I dunked a digestive in to my mug and watched as it slowly drooped, bent and dropped off onto my leg. Kefalonia, sun, sand, sea and Joe’s newly discovered hairy ears.
What more could I possibly want?
For once, Ella was mildly excited.
“Muuuum, will this fit in your suitcase?” She swung her Pooh Bear onto the bed where it landed bottom up.
I checked my case. Eight full length dresses, five short dresses, six pairs of shorts, four bikinis, nine pairs of shoes and fourteen strappy tops. Mmmmm, maybe I’d been a tad excessive. Throwing a handful of clothes out, I made a little niche for Pooh, nestled him in comfortably, packed the clothes back on top and with a bit of a squeeze, closed the lid, locked it, strapped it up and dragged it downstairs, bumping each step as I went.
“Joe’s here mum…..I’ll let him in.” Listening to Ella’s excited chatter as she answered the door to him, I ran back upstairs to make a last minute check around the bedrooms. Breezing into the spare room I groaned. Ten pairs of PRIMARK thongs, in various colours lay neatly on the bed.
Oh bugger. How could I have missed packing them?
“Car’s loaded up Mave, we’re ready to hit the road….Ella’s got……” Joe’s voice tailed off as my head disappeared into the wardrobe. Grabbing an oversized handbag from the shelf I stuffed my Primark fineries inside along with a lipstick, a sticky packet of half eaten Polo mints, tissues, a pen, two hair clips, passports and my purse, I gave the room another once over, and ran downstairs to meet Joe.
“Hello gorgeous…..” planting a rather passionate kiss on my neck, he patted my bottom and gave a squeeze. “Err…can we just be a little careful….” I admonished. “…..we’ve got Ella to think of, you’re going to have to rein it in a bit.” He looked crestfallen.
An hour later we were checked in at the Airport with all three of us very much in the holiday spirit. Joe took Ella to buy a magazine and some sweets for the flight whilst I pounced on the opportunity to have a little shop in the Duty Free. There is nothing more satisfying than smelling like a Persian brothel after trying on several different perfumes, all on the same arm and are just about to sit in an enclosed space on a Boeing 757 for the next three hours forty five minutes with 230 other passengers who have probably just done the same.
I sampled a nice little bottle of an unpronounceable, but very heady perfume from ‘Tiffany’, her plastic name tag reflected brightly from the florescent overhead lights in the bustling shop. I couldn’t help but notice how her vivid red lip gloss complimented the sliver of lunchtime tuna that was stuck between her front teeth. Trying to break my gaze from the errant piece of fish I turned my attention to the shimmering blue bottle she had handed to me with a flourish. Giving myself a liberal spray, I inhaled deeply. It was reminiscent of the musky Midnight in Bootle perfume which every 16 year old living in Liverpool just had to have along with a Charlie Body Mist spray. I involuntarily smirked. There used to be nothing more enjoyable than asking a guy if he fancied a sniff of your Charlie and then watching the disappointed look on his face as you whipped out a small aerosol from your patchwork tasselled shoulder bag.
Waving my Boarding Pass with a flourish I paid Tiffany for my beautifully wrapped gift, subconsciously poking my tongue between my front teeth in the hope it would encourage her to do the same and dislodge the unfortunate flake of tuna, before breezing back through the shop and out into the busy Concourse. Joe was waiting at a table with a couple of coffees as I weaved my way through the crowd.
“Err excuse me, but I think you dropped these…” a young lad with a frisky grin was brandishing at arms length a rather fetching turquoise thong between his two fingers. I looked at him puzzled and shook my head. “….these, they’re yours” he persisted, waving them vigorously towards me. As I checked my bag, a sickly feeling washed over me. Jeez, not again. What was it with me and knickers? I looked over to Joe. He shrugged in mock embarrassment and hid behind Ella’s colouring book.
I brazened it out, hell would freeze over before I would admit they were mine. A quick mental calculation and I came to the decision that I would simply make do with being one pair down. I had at least nine other pairs still shoved in my handbag, ten if you counted the pair I was wearing.
“Sorry, you must be mistaken, they’re not mine, but thank you anyway.” Not daring to make eye contact with him, I swivelled on my heels and quickened my pace, desperate to reach Joe.
“Right, if that’s the case you won’t need these others then either?” my new found friend continued.
Glancing back, I was met by an embarrassing rainbow of lace and cheap polyester as he swung several pairs in assorted colours from his fingers. A tropical heat of epic proportions quickly flushed from my toes to my face as I checked my bag again. There was only one pair remaining, dangling tentatively from the half open zip.
Shit, shit, shit!
Oh well, there was only one thing for it if I wasn’t going to claim my colourful butt holders – I’d just have to go Commando in Kefalonia.
Now there was a thought………. as I disappeared into the crowd.
“Oh Joe it’s beautiful, what an amazing view.” I let out a small sigh of happiness. We were nestled between two coves with a view out to the ocean. It was idyllic.
“Mum, mum, look it’s got two pools and a waterfall….can I go and have a swim now? Please mum, purleeeeeese..”
I smiled at Joe as Ella ran into her room to get her swimsuit. Maybe this holiday was just what we needed to help Ella accept our relationship.
Reading my mind, Joe winked. “I do hope we’re going to get a little bit of ‘us’ time too Mavis”.
I playfully thumped him on the arm. “The walls are paper thin, I could hear Ella unzipping her suitcase from our room; think we might have to curb our enthusiasm or better still, wait until we get home”.
Joe grimaced and looked at his watch. “A whole week Mave! Bloody hell… can’t we just whisper ….or better still lip sync whilst we’re doing it?
I thumped him again.
By day three, I was happy, relaxed and starting to show a decent tan. Ella had made friends with another little girl called Millie and Joe, although not happy about it, was sort of getting used to my nookie ban. I had admired his tenacity, but I wouldn’t budge from my decision. He had been sulking by the swimming pool all afternoon, spasmodically coming up with all sorts of novel ideas to get around it.
“Oh for God’s sake Joe, it’s a week, just give it a rest…no means no..!” I smacked him with my paperback.
He rubbed his arm, swung his legs over the sun lounger and stood up. “Coffee then…..I suppose the amazingly chaste Mavis Upton can indulge in a coffee..?”
Stomping off like a petulant child, I couldn’t help but laugh. I looked over to the pool where Ella was splashing around in her flippers, snorkel and mask with her new found friend Millie. She was really enjoying herself and as an added bonus, she was starting to accept Joe too. I wasn’t going to let anything spoil that.
“Mave, Mave……” I looked up to see Joe with his ruffled hair and obligatory Ridiculous Shorts, strolling back from the bar with a coffee in each hand. “Hey Mave, guess what? Millie’s Mum has just said she’ll watch Ella if we want five minutes to ourselves, you know…wink, wink….”
I sighed, exasperated at his persistence. “No Joe….how many times do I have to say it?” I shook my head in annoyed resignation at Millie’s Mum who was following behind him.
She rolled her eyes. “Oh go on Mavis, she’ll be fine with me for half an hour”.
They’d worn me down and to be quite honest, I felt a little cuddle wouldn’t go amiss, so like two giggling school kids, Joe grabbed my hand and we disappeared along the path to our apartment.
Joe slammed the door shut behind him as I ran through to the bedroom. Peeping through the curtains I could see Ella happily playing in the pool as Millie’s Mum gave a cheery wave.
“Come here my elusive little dumpling….” Joe grabbed me and threw me onto the bed, almost bouncing me off the other side.
“Joe, those shorts…..please, they’ve got to go…they’re a real passion killer..”
He grinned. “Your wish is my command…..”. He gave a little dance around the bedroom as his Ridiculous Shorts where whipped off and thrown in the air. They disappeared over his head, landing on top of the wardrobe.
Now in the time that it took to remove a sarong, a pair of bikini bottoms and Joe’s Ridiculous Shorts and just as we were about to embark on a frisson of foreplay, I heard a rather strange noise passing the bedroom window and onto the terrace.
Flip, flop, flap, slap……flip, flop, flap, slap……..
We froze in an entangled embrace……………….
Flip, flop, flap, slap…….flip, flop – ………………
…..and then a tap, tap, tap on the window.
Launching myself off the bed and grabbing my sarong, I pulled back the curtain only to be greeted by a dripping wet vision of Ella in flippers and mask. I slid back the patio door.
“Hmmmpppppffff, pheeeeet…… I’ve been….. pheeeeeeet…… looking for you…. Phhhharp….. everywhere Mum….. phffffffftttt……hmmmmpppffftt…..”
As her muffled voice emanated from behind the mask and snorkel amid more snorts, squeaks and rasps, I tried to keep a straight face. “Ella what on earth are you doing…?” I held my hands up in exasperation waiting for a reply but before she could answer, I caught sight of Joe behind her. He had wisely taken the opportunity to quickly vacate the apartment via the front door and was now running hell for leather across the grass towards the swimming pool.
My eyes widened in disbelief as I watched Millie’s mum look on in horror whilst Spiros the waiter juggled four gin & tonics and a tray in utter astonishment as Joe cut a dash through the sunloungers. I clasped my hand over my mouth just as loud, unladylike snort escaped.
Clearly Joe hadn’t had time to retrieve his Ridiculous Shorts from the top of the wardrobe to wear for this marathon sprint………
………because his ample hairy backside was now tightly encased in my cerise pink, polka-dot, testicle crushing bikini bottoms that had ridden up with each stride giving him a rather unattractive wedgie.
Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Primark Thong (c)2015