Friday, July 30, 2010

The Incident

It is time, I fear, to tell An Incident from our recent holiday. It has nothing to do with the spud bar the fact that he was 20 feet away but missed it entirely. This is a Good Thing as seeing one's mother pulled naked from the ocean is possibly 'scar for life' material. But I digress.

It was lovely and hot in Biarritz that week. Sadly however work was the order of the day and so I could only manage to get to the sea quite late. Luckily it was still hot and sunny, less luckily the tide was coming in making swimming a bit iffy.

Late one afternoon we went to one of our favourite beaches; a beach with quite dodgy swimming as the sand shelves off quite sharply. This forces the waves to pound their way into the beach rather than roll beatifically into nothing and makes paddling almost impossible. There was a sharp cross-current and after the Frog lurched back from his swim with sand in his hair it was clear that the sea had teeth.

I am, however, made of the sort of stuff that is likely to see me swimming off the coast of Devon in March and jumping into freezing mountain pools for the fun of it. I'm a strong swimmer and secretly I rather thought the Frog was exaggerating and had just bungled his dismount.

The swimming flags were close together and probably 100 people or more were crammed between them, some on the shore, the majority just into the surf line and a brave few in the breakers.

Cockily, I (dressed only in a bikini that someone should have stolen and burned) waded in, expertly dodged the waves and was out beyond the surf in no time. The cross-current was perfect for allowing a good long swim without the dreary necessity of actually going anywhere. 'Heavenly' I thought to myself, swimming endlessly on the spot 'being able to stretch my muscles like this'.

Presently I felt I'd had a good amount of exercise and should probably go in. I monitored the waves. I rode the swell. I held back from the breakers. I was carried into the shore, perfectly vertical, ahead of a wave. I landed, en pointe, daintily in front of the crowd. Just as I was at my MOST cocky, a wave I'd ignored because, after all, I was walking up the shelf on dry land, knocked me flying.

As I got up, I realised with horror that it had pulled my bikini bottoms clean down to my ankles and I was now sitting, naked from the waist down, in front of 100 gurning tourists. I sat in the swirling tide hanging on to my kecks trying to pull them up discreetly and was halfway there when the next wave dragged me under. I emerged still hanging onto my knickers and nearly had them up when the next one came and took me for a proper dragging.

This time when I sat up, I realised my bra was now hanging by one strap and I was entirely nude. Feeling nothing but embarrassment I let the next wave take me, hoping to get back out into the deeper water but suddenly, what's this? Two strong arms had me from behind!!

Was it the Frog? Was it Superman? No! It was a young, handsome French lifeguard! Woo hoo! Sadly, he was trying to drag me out of the water. A wave came, he gestured with his head and we dove under, me still hanging on to my clothes.

At that point, a second life-guard joined the party... and THAT, my friends, is how it took two strapping young men to drag me from the sea, naked, resistant and shouting 'Non! Non! Mes culottes! Mes culottes!!!'

I think being 45 helps in these cases as I managed with some level of experience to both shrug back into my bra and pull up my pants before they stood me up in front of the over-excited crowd. I tried to maintain a semblence of dignity but within seconds realised that there was so much sand in my drawers that they were sagging down to my thighs like a wet nappy.

Lifeguard number one looked at me, puzzled and possibly put out that I wasn't melting with thanks. I looked at him. We looked at the sea. 'C'est dur' he said. 'Oui, c'est dur' I said, manipulating sand out of my labia and pretending nothing was happening.

Ursula Andress, eat your heart out...

26 comments:

glummymummy said...

How in the world did all that happen? If that ever happened to me, at the point where the hot lifeguards grabbed onto my arms, I'd ...



wake up.

Nicola said...

Oh My God! I had exactly the same experience several years ago while on holiday. I'm also a strong swimmer, swam out past the surf, cruised back and forth somewhat smugly for a while and then headed back to the beach. I was still out of my depth when I got taken out by a wave. It took me under, smashed my face into the sand and whisked my bikini bottoms to my ankles in one swift and polished move. I finally came up for air, before being taken down again. I honestly thought these were my last moments. I felt like such an idiot. I managed to swim a few feet forward, until my feet touched the bottom and then got ceremoniously hauled out of the ocean by a German hunk. As soon as I could I fell onto my hands and knees and - as luck would have it - my bikini bottoms came floating up beside me and, with waves crashing around me, I managed to get them back on. I limped back to my towel and promptly burst into tears, to the embarrassment of my then boyfriend.

Honestly, it's funny now but it has given me such a huge respect for the power of the sea and I only ever venture in if it is deadly calm.

So glad you are okay!!

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

Glad yer posting again btw.... knew it couldn't last forever...

Read the latest to The Mench. Fortunately I’d read it myself first so I knew to tell him NOT to have a mouthful of beer for the duration!



OOOHHH do tell – what noctural prezzie did I deliver?????????

My brain cells are actually (aacckkk) mumble years older than yours and without the daily contact ….. well you can see where this is going right?

You probably thought is was Arnistead’s because that’s how I said it. Because that’s what I heard when Torontonians said it. I once asked someone for directions to H.E’s whilst actually standing in front of it.

A story I got to tell to my kids this year on the very piece of sidewalk upon which I originally made that gaff!

Ah gaffs revisited... the stuff of family legends.... rather like this bikini story will be for you!

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

PS Ursula could indeed eat her heart out-- I've seen you in a bikini -- no contest!

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

PSS what no pictures of the delightful french lifeguards?? Wait 'til yer in yer 50's .... you'll be askin' them to wait while you get yer camera!

Promising to shuts up now... if post will stop tickling funny bone.

cactus petunia said...

Holy Cow! Glad you're okay!

Elsie Button said...

OMG!!! Sparx! I am speachless, for so many reasons....

Glad you were rescued, and saved the bikini though.

Am now passing to Tom for a bit of (only a tiny bit, i got most of it!)french translation

Carol said...

Eeek, I think I might have nightmares about that!!

Glad you are alright

C x

Sparx said...

GlummyMummy - Haha!! No, sadly this all really happened...

Nicola - wow, sounds like exactly the same thing. Luckily I didn't get pulled out or under, just dragged around a bit. When I was about 7 months pregnant I did actually get pulled under and struggled for a moment in deep water but there was no massive surf and I came up and got to shore easily - although with my sinuses completely full of water - so I'm not quite as cocky as I make out. I think once it's happened one is never too cocky...

Helen - where to start! Firstly, you haven't seen me in a bikini in probably 20 years so... let's say it's not all good! You gave me a tiny jade buddha which has had a safe and treasured spot on many a shelf in many a flat. I tried to take a pic of him for you but he's so tiny he needs a good macro lense, which I don't have.

Cactus - thanks! I was fine all along, just, er, naked... cough.

Elsie - oops, sorry! Actually I decided last night while drifting off to sleep to remove the 'L' word from this post, however I'm not so sure anymore... OK, culottes = pants and dur = hard or difficult - he was talking about the sea. I was talking about the state of my under-carriage!!!

Carol - no no, it wasn't that bad, I never struggled for breath; they rescued me because I kept being swept away and wasn't getting up; they thought I was in trouble. Little did they know!

That's Not My Age said...

That's hilarious. I'm a bit intrepid when it comes to the beach - once in Greece, I clambered down some quite dangerous rocks desperate to go for a swim, slipped and ended up lying on a bed of sea urchins. It took weeks to get the blasted needles out of my palms, feet and backside. Ouch!

Kathryn said...

OH shit. That is just too funny! (Glad you are ok of course)!

[Unstalking myself - I have been reading for years (!) I think I even commented way back when - sorry to come and giggle as my unmasking ;)]

Potty Mummy said...

Hilarious Sparx - and that is why I try never to swim in the pesky sea... Swimming pools only for me, darling...

Sparx said...

That's Not My Age - oh my... ouch ouch ouch, I feel for you - still... how awful...

Kathryn - welcome! And thanks SO much for unmasking yourself... it's lovely to get comments.

Potty Mummy - you have a good point you know... but it's (normally) so lovely to swim in the sea... I can't resist. But I've invested in a one-piece suit now... no no, I'm no dummy. Mostly.

DJ Kirkby said...

OMG you are SO Canadian. Fact. You KNOW what I mean. xoxo

Sparx said...

DJ - Hahahaha!!! Nope. Oh only kidding, yes, it's true...!!!

darth sardonic said...

i have to say that story was incredibly funny. of course i am glad nothing but a bit of your pride was hurt. and i think perverts like myself engineer and build bikinis cause they seem designed and created to be pulled of by any wave over a foot high...

Sparx said...

Hi Darth - I have to say I am still laughing about this; pride cometh before sand in one's knickers...

Raz said...

I have to say the only similar thing I've had is a very over-enthusiastic sports-style dive from the side of a pool resulting in the loss of bikini bottoms. NOT my proudest moment!

Sparx said...

Raz - Ha! I know that feeling. I lost a one-piece that way when I was 15.. it was a halter top, not tied v tightly. Needless to say I held my breath for a record amount of time retreiving it from around my toes and putting it back on before surfacing!!!

veryanniemary said...

I'm blushing for you, honest, but heck, 45 and in a bikini? You obviously have the bod for nudity...if I was naked in the surf I would probably be mistaken for a sea mammal and harpooned by a passing Japanese fisherman.

Sparx said...

Veryanniemary - aha, well it was in Biarritz where bikini crime is so rampant that nobody can fail. Overweight? Elderly? Baggy skin? Inappropriate hair? While 90% of the French women and tourists on the beach are tiny, skinny and immaculate, the other 10% are fantastically immune to caring about how they look and seem put there to make the rest of us feel at ease...

2 kids and a dog said...

Oh-my-god
This is hilarious
I love your writing style
thank you for sharing and making me laugh!
At least your suffering/humiliation wasn't in vain...it's all in the name of entertainment.

Sue said...

ROTFLMAO

I would leave a comment but I can't type from the floor.

Oh man, my sides hurt.

I was having a really rotten day till now. Thank you. :D

Iota said...

I'm a firm believer in a one-piece.

Sparx said...

2 kids - indeed, and why I couldn't keep it to myself!

Sue - you are surely welcome!

Iota - oh yes. I'm with you. Now.

Valiant gandys said...

Long Story, I laught because this quotes "As I got up, I realised with horror that it had pulled my bikini bottoms clean down to my ankles and I was now sitting, naked from the waist down, in front of 100 gurning tourists." hahaha :D Very nice posting Sparx. Visit my blog too menghilangkan bekas jerawat