The Lighter Side of Spain - Laughing Donkey

Published on 06/07/2010 in Holidays in Spain

Tom knew it had been a mistake as soon a he put his foot on the plane with his wife Molly, and 3 kids. The youngest, Adam 3 had already spilt his sticky Ribena blackcurrant juice all down his father’s trousers in the airport. He knew he would come off the flight in Alicante with some white tatty paper hanky firmly stuck to his sticky crotch and with a dark stain all around the seat of his trousers.

DonkeyHe had told his wife it was a mistake to buy him new trousers especially for the holidays, after the incident when they had flown to America all dressed in their holiday best only to have chewing gum stuck to his inside leg with an old boarding card stuck to it which clicked like a defective joint in an artificial leg every time he took a step. His wife wearing her best holiday finery looked stunning except she had a trail of white lumpy sick from her shoulder down to her waist, compliments of the baby’s regurgitation skills on its way to the aircraft steps. They wondered, at the time, why they got funny looks from some of the other passengers who recoiled physically from them if they got too close.

Mandy, seven was in tears because she had not won the little donkey in the crane machine while waiting for the flight call even though Tom had spent as much on the wretched machine as would have bought a real donkey.

As for Christine his oldest 13 year old going on about 28, she was in a mood because all her friends were going to their bloody “Gites in France” and they were, like ‘just going back to, like, boring old Spain again, like, were she knew nobody, and, like, anyway, anybody she did know were, like, boring as well, like.”

Tom at times marvelled at her command of the English language and wondered why they even bothered to try to teach her English at all, it was not doing the slightest bit of good. However, surprisingly, he found her command of Spanish most impressive whenever dark eyed Spanish boys turned up with their predatory dark thoughts. She flirted bilingually with them and made herself easily understood with no problem.

He sometimes looked at his wife secretly and then at his kids and wondered how such a pleasant good looking woman could have produced such kids from hell. Sometimes he wondered if in fact any of these kids were not only his but hers. If it was not for the strong family resemblance he would have said that they were the spawn from hell and nothing to do with, not only his wife, but himself.

At long last they arrived at Alicante and the villa’s gushing owner met them at the airport in what appeared to be an old van with windows and no suspension, for the trip to Torrevieja and their ‘luxury villa’ in an exclusive complex. The owner, after looking at Tom with pity and sneering at his trousers, made him sit in the back and helped pass the time by politely enquiring of the children if they had a good trip and what they wanted to do for their 2 weeks holiday. She rattled on about other kids at the complex and how lovely the pool; was and Tom was quite surprised to find the journey quite short.

As they all piled out of the van the owner took him by the sticky sleeve and had a word in his ear.

“If you need a good Doctor for your little deaf girl there is one on the complex”

“Deaf?? What do you mean deaf?” Tom asked. When his wife heard the word deaf she asked “Are there deaf people here?. How will we communicate with them?”

Toms older daughter picked up the words, Doctor and deaf, and announced at the top of her voice “Like, if Doctor Death is staying I’m out of here, like”

It was only when Tom explained to the owner that his elder daughter was not ill or deaf, she was only a bit odd being a teenager and had a tendency to be a bit uncommunicative and morose if she did not get her own way. He explained to his morose daughter that Doctor Death was a figment of her imagination. He also told his wife that there were no deaf people staying and she would not have to learn sign language. Eventually peace was restored.

Tom now diplomatically disappeared in the direction of the pool ostensibly to ensure it was safe for the kids but really to let them all rush around the’ luxury villa’ and book their bedrooms and satisfy their other special needs. He was delighted to see that the pool was closed off from the public areas and it had a little bar which opened up to the street and the sun terrace.

The bar man appeared very friendly and Tom thought that it might be a good idea to test out the facilities as he thought he might spend a bit of time here. He had just thrown his sticky leg over a handy bar stool and got his hands on a cold pint of Dorado but when his parched lips touched the icy side of the glass he heard his name called. With a shrug he put the glass down again, probably the first of many interrupted pints he thought, and returned to the bosom of his family as they bickered bitterly over the allocation of bedrooms.

The rest of the day was a blur of tidying up and organising. He knew his wife would not send him to the shop for vital supplies as the last time she did that he was away for 2 hours having discovered 3 little bars on the way. The fact that the only things he remembered to buy were corn flakes, crisps, whiskey, beer and chocolate did not endear him to his beloved wife though he did make good friends with a few guys he met in the second pub.

That night, as they sat out on their veranda with a stiff night cap, watching the sun go down, they discussed what was happing the next day to a background of quiet family rowing and threats of violence emanating from the younger children’s’ bedrooms. Tom had arranged for a taxi to collect them at 8-00 am the next morning before breakfast, and deliver him to the car hire office. He was taking no chances on wasting a morning looking for a car hire company. He was in fact quite impressed with his organisational efficiency as no time would be lost messing about with buses and maps.

His wife hearing his plans and realising that he would in fact save a lot of time collecting the car that way, decided to go with him in the taxi and whilst he was signing the forms and kicking tyres and other manly things, she would take a quick rush to the local supermarket and get the essentials Tom had forgotten about the previous day.

Sure enough they all slept in and it was fortunate that Tom was woken by the ringing of the door bell by a bad tempered, large plump Spanish taxi driver, who usually never got out of his Mercedes unless it was to clean it in the taxi queue, and now resented having to walk 10 metres to the door.

Tom shook his wife out of bed and pulling on whatever clothes, sticky or not that they could find in the darkened bedroom, they told the kids they would not be long and dived into the taxi only to find the youngest child trailing after them in tears at being left out and abandoned by his parents. This wretched child had spilled another glass of its favourite drink of more sticky bright red juice full of E-numbers down itself. It had then kicked off its stained pyjama bottoms and was now running about sucking its thumb with its nether regions a very dark shade of purple, which looked a bit like a severe case of some dreadfully infectious tropical skin disease.

Molly reached out of the back door of the taxi and hauled the child in across her lap and with a mad jolt the taxi, now late for its next appointment, took off like a rocket bumping the child’s nose on its mother’s hard bony knee.

With squeals and howls of distress Molly thumped Tom on the head to get his attention and shouted at him to help her get the child strapped in. Tom, being firmly strapped into his own seat, could not lean back to help, so he undid his seat belt and reached over to secure his child. Lights and hooters now began to bellow and squeal and the taxi driver became excited and even more bad tempered and started to pull Tom by the hair back into his seat screaming at him in foul Spanish, which Tom fortunately did not understand, and tried to strap him back into his safety belt.

Tom, taking exception to this violence, thumped the taxi driver in the eye, which caused the car to swerve and bounce over a footpath serendipitously arriving outside the car hire establishment which was in reality only a few minutes away from their villa.

Tom was delighted with this turn of events and gave the taxi driver a very large tip and walked towards the cool modern office where a snooty girl with long bright red nails and a very haughty air about her was speaking witheringly to some poor sod on the phone. She had seen their arrival and noticed that the man approaching her immaculate desk appeared to be beating off an irate taxi driver and was wearing a woman’s pyjama bottoms and a tight woolly cardigan. She found this a bit strange and was wondering what was going on, when a hysterical woman jumped out of the back seat of the cab dragging a young child naked from the waist down with a deep purple coloured skin tone.

Her worst fears were realised when the maniac dressed in woman’s clothes crashed through her door and hurled himself at her desk. It got worse. This vision of cross dressing British manhood expected her to hire one of their brand new cars to him for a week. She had unfortunately no choice as it was pre booked and she did her best not to stare at his odd form of dress. When the mad woman with the half naked multi coloured purple child appeared demanding money from him she said nothing. She just doubled the insurance premium as she had a bad feeling about all this.

She photographed Tom beside the new car in all his sartorial finery, showing the car was perfect and the mad man she had hired it to, handing over the keys before disappearing quickly back into her calm cool office.

Meanwhile Tom opened the back door of the car and fastened the seat belt around his struggling sticky multi coloured child and with a flourish and a gallant sweep of his arm, directed Molly into her seat fastening her seat belt tightly around her. She started to speak, but Tom put a finger to his lips and closed the door firmly. He wanted no gratitude from his wife. A bit of manly courtesy was the least he could do. He did feel a bit smug though at his efficiency in getting the car sorted so quickly. He had visions of large early breakfast with helpings of bacon and egg with maybe a few sausages. His stomach started to rumble.

He went around the car to the other side and got in and was very surprised to find that there was no steering wheel. It took Tom a few seconds to realise what was wrong but it was only a moment to change sides with his flustered wife, quickly start the engine and accelerate briskly up the wrong side of a very busy dual carriageway against, what was by now, rush hour traffic.

In the mean time the posh woman with the long bright red finger nails in the car hire shop, was watching and the moment her new car disappeared up the dual carriageway on the wrong side creating havoc with the traffic, she turned off the telephone put up the closed sign and ran out the back door. Life was too short to become involved with suicidal people on holiday. If they where like this when they were relaxed on holiday, what in God’s name were they like when they were stressed back at home. She thought to herself.

Meanwhile Molly casually asked Tom why the big lorries were flashing their lights, honking their horns at him and swerving all over the road. At the same time Tom asked “Why are they driving the wrong way done the fast lane straight at us?”

Tom’s life now flashed before him at the speed of light and his instincts took over. In a flash, and to the sound of screaming rubber and similar screams from his beloved wife and himself, they suddenly found themselves miraculously now going the right way down the dual carriageway, but this time at about 90 miles an hour in the opposite direction. The multi coloured child who had been crying in the back seat, now thought this was a great game and joined in the screaming match.

After about 5 minutes, when the sweat had dried on their faces and the child had stopped screaming and chortling at such adventurous fun in a strange car, they suddenly realised that they were heading off somewhere at great speed but had no idea were they were, let alone going to. The car had no maps but they decided that they had better get off this road and onto a smaller road heading in the other direction. They came to a junction and pulled off and started to return back the way they had come. After about ten minutes Tom asked Molly

“Have you got our address?” “Yes of course I have got our address” was the testy reply.

“OK! What is it?” Tom asked. There was a long silence.

It’s written down on the back of our tickets”

“Oh!! Good. Well done. You took no chances there then. Were are the tickets”

“Shut up and drive and see if anywhere looks familiar” she shouted very red faced.

Now there is a very prominent structure in the town which looks like a huge space rocket but is no use to anyone. A lot of people use it as a land mark but there is no point. It is nearly impossible to get to and when you do, you can think of no good reason why you bothered.

After 3 pointless visits to this landmark our heroes now decided that they would keep driving until they saw somewhere familiar. This would not be easy as they had spent the trip to the car hire shop struggling with their multi coloured child or trying to beat up the poor bad tempered Spanish taxi driver. They had not thought to look out the window once to see where they were going. After spending about 40 minutes driving up and down a motorway they decided that the local roads would be the best bet as they had not gone down a motorway originally. Anyway it had only taken the taxi 4 minutes to drive from their ‘luxury apartment’ and they had now been frantically driving for 1½ hours so surely they should be nearly there now.

Fortunately the multi coloured child in the back had fallen asleep in the heat and the pair now seemed to be out in a very dusty country area with the hot Spanish sun beating down relentlessly.

“We should drive with the sun to our right” said Tom his Boy Scout survival training starting to surface, that way we are going North which is the direction we need”

“Anything to get away from this terrible dust” replied Molly tiredly as she choked again on a lungful of good Spanish country dust. Over to their left they saw a sleepy little grey donkey standing aimlessly with its head hanging down, beside the road wearing a straw hat with its ears poking out through a couple of holes.

“Ohh look!” exclaimed Molly “How cute and very Spanish” The donkey raised its head, looked up and let out a very life like “Eeaauugh haw” laugh as they drove by in a cloud of choking dust.

“Ohhh! You would think he was laughing at us. How very quaint” said Molly cheerfully

They continued until Molly shouted out that the road looked familiar and that Tom should turn right immediately. With relief Tom turned and started down another country dusty road relieved that at last somewhere looked familiar.

“Ooohh Look.!” said Molly pointing. “There is another little donkey wearing a hat and look. He is laughing at us just like that other own we saw 10 minutes ago” On they went turning right and left and Molly got more and more convinced that the area certainly looked more and more familiar to her.

They turned right again through the choking dust that which seemed to be getting thicker and there was another little donkey wearing a very similar hat having a little laugh at them as they stormed past. They could not close the windows as it got too hot, and when they left them open they choked on the dust. They were both starting to get anxious now about the remaining children left at the ‘luxury villa’ and were beginning to panic and become testy with each other. They rounded yet another corner and Tom stopped the car with a screech of brakes and grabbing a plastic spade belonging to his multi coloured child leapt out of the sweaty car with an angry roar.

“What are you doing darling? Are we there yet?” his beloved wife asked him.

“No. Not yet. But I’m going to give that bloody donkey the hiding of its life. It will not laugh at us the next time we drive past.”

Written by: Stephen Reid

About the author:

I am an Irish story teller but not the type that would immediately spring to mind. Whist I tell Gaelic stories as part of my repertoire I also tell contemporary stories and short funny stories. I have been doing it now for nearly 7.  See my website at www.storytellerman.com




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Comments:

abbbb1 said:
30 August 2010 @ 18:38

It's fantastic. I laughed and laughed and laughed

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