Story Time: The Topless Tale.

All right, children. It’s time to put your things away and come over to the story corner. My last post sparked off some requests to elucidate the mystery of my half-naked sprint down a public road. So here’s your story, boys and girls, told in true Jackanory form with my best Joyce Grenfell Infant school teacher voice.

Quiet, now. Elaine and BW, please put those midget gems away, or I will have to confiscate them. PN, please stop fiddling with Mrs Sensible’s feet, or I’ll send you to the corner again… and no, I’m afraid you can’t sit beside OAC for story time today, because last week you dared her to bring home-made limoncello to school in her Thomas the Tank Engine flask, and you passed it round while we listened to WWN’s story about camping with  black bears. You don’t want to clean up the vomit in the Lego box again, now, do you? Fine. Now, children. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we will begin…

Once upon a time, before childbirth increased her waistline and diminished her neurones, MM was a wild young thing. She accidentally kicked a sexy Frenchman’s leg several times during a slide show about the Irish coastline, fell head over heels in love, and resolved to follow in his wake wherever he roamed…. Yes, that’s right, Tric, just like a seagull following the spill from a deep-sea trawler.

So when PF announced that he was to study for four years in the South of France, MM bravely slathered herself in goose fat and struck out across the English Channel behind him in an admirable quest to survive on no more than love, French wine and precarious TOEFL teaching contracts.

Old Sydney March 19, 1950. Bathing costumes ha...

MM posing with the girls before chasing PF across the English Channel (Photo credit: Alpa)

One of the advantages of their situation was the closeness to the beach. At weekends, MM traded in her suit and text books for a bikini and a towel, and she and PF drove to the beach in their faithful VW to partake in a tad of sunshine and a quick dip in the urine-saturated surf of the Med.

That fateful day, they parked up at the beach. MM cheerfully said “hello” to the holiday maker sitting on his deck chair at the side of the road – many people did this (-sitting in a chair, not saying hello-) because bad guys sometimes broke into their RV’s in their absence. MM should have taken this as an omen.

Our lovebirds wandered through the dunes to the beach, which was already teeming with  examples of humanity at its best. Do you like the beach? MM didn’t. She only ever seemed to see oily, sunburnt beer guts toppling over lycra swimming trunks, and bored children with a dual carriageway of fluorescent, sand-encrusted snot running down their faces trying to draw circles in the sand with their own urine. Poor MM.

Now, have you ever noticed that tourists on a beach are like buffalo at a watering hole? The closer you get to the water’s edge, the higher the density is. So clever MM and PF stretched their towels out at the top of the beach to avoid the crush. They planted the parasol at a rakish angle, then stripped off. And this is where MM made her biggest mistake. She tidied up. I shouldn’t tell you this, children, but tidying up can sometimes have terrible consequences in life. And in MM’s case, putting all her belongings into her rucksack and neatly closing the top was a very silly thing to do.

Our couple hot-footed it through the hoards of sunbathers before the soles of their feet burnt to a crisp and the insides of their nostrils were scorched by the cocktail of nicotine and Ambre Solaire fumes. They ducked under the waves and swam out to sea, scampily scantily dressed… No, TAC, MM didn’t have her bikini top on. Why? Well, because MM was an eternal optimist, and didn’t want white lines messing up her non-existent tan.

Suddenly, from her privileged vantage point suctioned to PF’s back, MM was horrified to see two olive-skinned young men appear from the dunes and sit down under her parasol. She grabbed PF’s ears and pointed his face North before blowing the whistle on the beach space invaders, dismounting and scrambling to save her belongings.

Pamela Anderson as C.J. Parker.

Pamela Anderson showing off her integrated buoyancy aids.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, children. Who has watched Baywatch on TV? Who remembers Pamela Anderson, running up the beach with her buoyancy aids bouncing in her swimsuit and her designer rubber ring tucked under her arm?… Ah, well done, Duncanr; you do. Well, they cheated when they filmed it, because running up a sandy beach is about as easy as swimming across a pool full of baked beans wearing a ball gown and a pair of lead-lined Doc Martins. By the time MM and PF had got to the top of the beach, dodging inert bodies, screaming kids, sand castles and inflatable crocodiles in a half-naked impression of the Normandy landings, the bag and its thieves were disappearing through the dunes towards the road.

Dripping and furious, our anti-heroes gave the 100 m dash their best shot, PF taking the lead. A coach load of tourists applauded MM as she pelted barefoot down the burning asphalt, gesticulating and screaming like a banshee. It was only when she was awarded an enthusiastic thumbs-up from a car driver awaiting a parking space that she realised that her feet were not the only bit of her that was bare.

The thieves had disappeared into the labyrinth of dunes on the other side of the road, and PF returned for an emergency summit on the side of the road. A master plan was put into action. As PF continued to comb the dunes with all the determination of Hollande sniffing out something new to tax, a red-faced MM jogged back to her car. The sunbathing RV-dweller was surprised to be faced with a scantily dressed English girl asking him to intervene if a complete stranger tried to disappear with her car, keys, papers, clothing, cheque book, credit card, and house keys. Beaming vacantly at a point a few inches below MM’s chin (those were the days), the tourist assured MM’s onboard lactation facility that he would be happy to help.

MM then returned to the hunt. After 30 minutes, the bag was found, hidden in the shrubbery at the bottom of a tree. Empty bags belonging to other victims were littered around the ground. The contents had been rifled and the untraceable stuff had disappeared – MM’s watch and the hard cash.

So the moral of this story is…. don’t take anything to the beach with you that you wouldn’t donate to a complete stranger. And never leave your keys in your bag, children… or you might have to hitch-hike home… in your underwear.

The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking

(Photo credit: c@rljones [modelling])

91 thoughts on “Story Time: The Topless Tale.

  1. “…and resolved to follow in his wake wherever he roamed”.
    I still remember your phone call to get his address when he was at Gervais’ appartment in Nice !
    And he roamed, indeed, from Nice to Montpellier to Tahiti, and so on …
    Happy you followed him all along

    • You’re right that he was hard to track down at times – do you think he didn’t want to be found? 😀 I’m happy I followed in his wake too – now you have Anglo-saxon blood in your family tree! Big hugs to you and the Seniorita, Papounet xxx

  2. Ha ha! I enjoyed the story (I used to love Jackanory, even when I was probably too old to be watching it!) – and had I actually got a bag of Midget Gems in front of me, I may not have dipped into it because I was so enthralled. It sounds like one of those scenes from a filn or tv programme where you think “oh yes, as if THAT would ever happen!” 😀 😀

  3. Cool! I have an almost starring role in your tale. Thanks! That was a brilliant story. Which of the six bathing beauties (obviously taken before you lost your modesty) are you?

    • See? I wanted to link to all the blogs but I was worried that WP woulld throw a fit for too many kinks. oop, klinks, oops LINKS. (only on first coffee here, sorry). I’m still wondering about those poor bears waiting for their takeaway at the forest drive-in (i.e. you drive in, they eat you) by the way. Can’t stop imagining bears knocking at you window and saying “I’ll have a camper and chips to go, please” 🙂
      Now your question is very good – I did actually wonder if you would ask it, and had a good look at the pic. My alter ego is probably the second in from the right (we have the same capillary explosion on our heads) although she’d need to eat a bit more to attain my waist girth 😀

  4. I had to stop massaging Mrs Sensible’s feet, because the tension and excitement of reading about the half naked MM racing across the dunes in hot pursuit of the baddies made me squeeze Mrs Sensible’s toes too hard. If she has sore toes tomorrow when she is stood in her classroom teaching her chilblains it is your fault. 🙂 🙂

    Ps Brilliant I loved it

    • I’m worried that Mrs Sensible will want to chop me up into little pices and feed me to Gisele and Scooby Doo now because you were reading about a half naked blogger on the beach. I hope you explained that it was a case of Benny Hill and not Mills and Boon (vomit).

      • You never know, you might have a set of silent secret admirers in your very own village. Have you never been spooked by the sound of hysterical chortling at midnight brought on the wind from down t’ road?

      • Yes, I’m regularly awoken by hysterical laughter, but it’s always PF when he comes to bed and finds me asleep with an open book in my hand 🙂 I don’t think any of the locals find me funny for my blog, although they may think I’m strange by local standards.

  5. A friend had something similar at Malindi…in his bathing trunks he shot off into the undergrowth in pursuit of his girlfiend’s handbag:
    Caught the beast and was asked by the police why he was strolling around in his underwear….much more suspicious than a handbag snatcher

    • Had to google Malindi there – nothing better than improving your general knowledge 🙂 I must admit that finding a man in his undies in the undergrowth who is clutching a woman’s hand bag and manhandling another man could initially be a source of suspicion. Poor man! I’m glad he caught the thief – I have an unfulfilled need to slap mine so hard he’d end up with his kecks on back to front.

  6. Brilliant… It could have been worse I guess, you could have been on one of those ‘special’ beaches that the French so love. That would have made the hitch-hike home interesting!

  7. Ha ha, superb! I nearly choked on a midget gem so I wish I’d taken your advice and put them down first. Love the image of the coach load of tourists applauding your bouncy 100m dash! Hilarious!

    And you’ve just reminded me of an incident from my ‘youth’ when, after breaking into the local outdoor swimming pool to go midnight skinny dipping, my friend and I had our clothes pinched by some young scoundrels…

  8. Hilarious….this post AND your comments!!! Can’t stop laughing at the RV dweller addressing your perky ‘lactation facility’ :lol:.

    • Thanks 🙂 How strange that my weird sense of humour actually does people some good. When I talk to people the way I write, they look at me like I’ve escaped from the local loony bin. So I write it down for the blog instead and pretend to be normal…

    • Please don’t cry, Andra: I don’t know who can swim around here, and Pamela’s gone to Malibu for the winter. I could wade into the salty water wearing the stork inflatable ring that my pal gave me as a leaving present, I suppose… By the way, I was so happy to see that photo of you and Debra – it was the second time that I heard news of fellow bloggers meeting up yesterday, and it’s heartwarming 🙂

  9. Haha! I love the description of running up the sandy hill– I would probably have just sunk to my knees, stretched my hands out with fingers spread and screamed “Just take it, take it all!”
    I’ve been robbed and stolen from and broken into more times than I can count, but I have yet to chase anyone down sans clothing– kudos to you for going topless! I’d have to spend way more time at the gym before I could wrap my mind around that…
    PS I’ve seen these flip flops that have thick soles with a hidden pocket where you can stash a key and your cards/cash. Maybe a good idea? Unless you’re in SE Asia because everyone steals each others shoes. It’s a thing.

    • What flummoxed me was that the people sitting beside our stuff didn’t do anything whatsoever to stop the little ratbags from pinching our stuff – they just gaped at us as we ploughed past them.
      I wouldn’t go topless today; this post describes the time before my boobs started migrating South
      Those James Bond flip flops sound interesting! Platform shoes with a difference 🙂

      • I agree- but I’ve noticed that although many people expect others to look out for them, it never crosses their minds to do likewise… Luckily, not everyone is like that though. Now I’m off to slip into my Ursula Andrews bikini and my platform flipflops, and I’ll sing “Diamonds are forever” on the balcony.

  10. That is exceptional writing. Why? I was amazed by your ability to glibly describe the event as you ran with it. At times, I could envision phrases like: “MM’s onboard lactation facility;” “Camping with black bears;” and, for example, “You don’t want to clean up the vomit in the Lego box again.”

    On and on, it was a rich banquet of ideas. I was throughly engrossed. WOW! Or shall I say, PHEW! I am tired. I felt like I just ran a mile in someone else’s shoes.”

    • Thank you (MM blushes and hops up and down with glee). I enjoyed your writing too – very visual and thought-provoking. It’s better to read me than to listen to me – I am an exhausting person to be around, or so PF says 🙂

  11. Love this story…you tell it so well and had me laughing although really awful to have your things stolen like that…grrrrrrrrrr!

    I remember Jackanory and Midget Gems…there’s a giveaway 🙂

  12. Hilarious, darling. Best line: running up a sandy beach is about as easy as swimming across a pool full of baked beans wearing a ball gown and a pair of lead-lined Doc Martins.
    I’m Helena, and I’m cheating on Andra’s prompt to say hi to the person above you — I’m trying to say hello to everyone there.
    Drop by sometime — I write quirky stories myself *usually*… lately they’ve been sad — so if you want the funny, visit the table of contents….

    • Hello, Helena! I’m glad you popped tround to say hello. Gosh, it’s getting busy in here today… pull up a chair and I’ll grab a bottle of rosé and some glasses. It really IS that difficult, believe me- not that I’ve ever swum across a pool of baked beans, but never say never, hey?
      I’ll be delighted to come for a mosey around your blog. I like reading everything, not just funny stuff – I hope I won’t discover that your sad posts are due to real life, though.

      • Then I wouldn’t start with “Scary Story” then, darling — you’ll feel like you’ve just walked in on something uncomfortable. Might I suggest visiting the Table O’ Contents and finding a title that tickles your fancy. (Many apologies for the innuendo, darling, sometimes I just can’t help myself)

  13. Pingback: Dick In A Box | The Accidental Cootchie Mama

  14. That was truly a case of “George, don’t do that”. 🙂 Wonderful writing as always, MM. Some of those images will stay with me for a long time. Onboard lactation facility had me choking with laughter. 🙂 I’m afraid we’re too wary nowadays to leave stuff unattended on the beach, but back then we were more adventurous too.

      • Overnights are a killer 😦 My actual life just goes out of the window for a few months…

        I wasn’t in public but my cat did give me A Look.

  15. Yay! I was in your story time! *TAC does a happy dance with a big smile plastered to her face!* Thanks MM! I love, love, loved your story time and think you should give it a regular spot… we all promise to sit quietly and be good (though I can’t vouch for PN) 😉 Brilliantly written, you had me laughing my head off as always… especially the image of you grabbing PF’s ears to turn his head towards the scene of the crime and the coach load of tourists clapping your pursuit of the bag snatchers! Excellent! 😀

    • TAAAAAAAC! How are you, sweetie? 😀 We all know that PN is incapable of sitting down for a whole story-time, but that’s something to do with a previous adult life when he was mistreated by a white cat called Scooby Doo so be nice to him. Glad you enjoyed your star appearance 🙂

      • Hahaha yes you just know that PN would be the little boy who poked other kids in the side and pulled the ponytail of the girl in front of him! All in good, mischievous fun though! I did enjoy my star appearance… chuffed I was, that you would include lil ol me 😀

      • I have just been rereading some of your old posts to cheat myself up. I think this is one of my all time favourites.

        PS To the amateur camera. I once cut off a girls pigtail during a lesson. I wasn’t totally naughty, I did leave her with the left one. I wonder if she remembers that particular art lesson.

      • Why do you need cheering up, PN? Hope you’re ok. I’ve put a new post on line today – that might help too. As for cutting off pigtails: I should tell you it’s bad, but i’m jealous because it must have been really good fun.

      • The ‘people’ can I call them people? Who rent my house in the UK have decided to stop paying the rent and see how long it takes me to evict them. I am not a happy bunny.

      • Oh no 😦 Hopefully UK law is better designed than French law for getting people to pay up or leave. If not you could try gentle persuasion tactics (prawns hidden in backs of wardrobes is a good idea).

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