There were four of us. We needed some refreshments. Now remember, in Britain, in very hot weather, refreshments could mean a hot cup of tea.
So I went to the kiosk, not a hundred yards away from where we were, to get said refreshments.
They serve tea in polystyrene cups with a lid to keep the content piping hot. To help carry the cups they have small cardboard trays with four holes. You put the four cups in the four holes, you put individual sachets of sugar and milk in the middle and hey presto … you can carry four cups at a time and not burn your fingers holding the cups.
I decided also to get four choc ices. Why not?
These are chocolate bars that look very much like a Mars bar only twice the size. It is covered with chocolate and inside its lovely ice cream.
I could not carry the four choc ices in the tray. The heat from the tea would melt them. So I put them in my shorts pockets – two in each pocket. I was only a few yards away, anyway!
On my way back I met my boss. What the hell is Quentin Theobold-Smythe doing here? He is the boss and owner of the whole business.
He was the typical Englishman. In bare feet. Wearing trousers with the legs rolled up to his knees. A pin-striped shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows. And a knotted handkerchief on his head to protect his bald patch from the sun.
He stopped to have a chat … pleasantries at first … “Jolly hot what? Don’t you say? Rather humid too I shouldn’t wonder!”
Then he started talking about a business project we were working on. Why do some people always talk business even when on the beach in hot weather looking like a typical Englishman on holiday?
I politely discussed the project with him, nodding and agreeing in order to shorten the conversation.
Although it was very hot that day, I began to feel a freezing sensation in my private area as the ice creams began to melt. He did not notice.
I tried to concentrate and look him straight in the eye whilst hopping from foot to foot trying to dissipate the cold front moving in from the South.
He just would not stop talking. I was getting colder and colder down there as the freezing ice cream began to shrivel to extinction whatever I had left to be shrivelled. He continued talking oblivious of the new Ice Age engulfing my very being.
Slowly but surely a brown creamy liquid began to trickle down my legs. Luckily he didn’t see it.
My teeth began chattering uncontrollably even though my head was sweating from the burning sun.
It is then that I got this urgent need to go for a pee. It started small but became more insistent by the second. The cold gave me a frisson up my back, even though we were not in France at the time.
Getting totally numb down there with the freezing cold I really had to run to the bathroom.
Eventually, I had the courage to excuse myself and tell him my friends were waiting for me.
I rushed to them, gave them the tea tray and rushed to the toilet.
They just would not believe my version of the story!