The Beach Diaries #11
* Something called “Wheels 2011” is going on today. There’s lots of cars and Top Gear shit. Men who like cars are the most boring men. Trainspotters and “nerdy pooves who like books” get a bad rap, but if you’re reading this, and you like engines and the comedy stylings of Richard Hammond, culturally, it would be better for us all if you fell into a threshing machine.
* A kite with Justin Bieber’s face on it hangs high overhead, tied to the breakwater. Silently, it observes, like a peach-faced, omnipresent girlyman, or an inescapable Twitter trending topic that haunts the offline world as it does your Tweetdeck.
* A woman in her late 30s/early 40s swims in the sea. Her overweight and brassy friend joins her, as goaded by their pals watching from nearby deckchairs. She strips down to a black one-piece in a supremely confident burlesque manner, dropping the shoulder straps and laughingly posing like Marilyn to their hooting approval, before pulling the suit up to expose her huge bare arse. You know, for a laugh. She shivers as her ankles make first contact with the lapping waves. Her friend, submerged some ten yards out yells –
“Wait until you get your minge in it!”
A pair of the women’s male friends join them in the sea. I’m such a working class snob. When I look at them, all I can see are pubs, Ibiza holiday videos where people sing mucky comedy songs about gangbangs where someone falls off a table and ends up on You’ve Been Framed, and those people who sit in the audience at the darts wearing a jester’s hat. As Sharon-and-Tracy-cackles come from the sea, I suddenly feel like Brian fucking Sewell, or Noel Coward.
“I’m just going toi-lot” yells one of the sea-hags, triumphantly, while pissing.
* The wind changes, and Justin Bieber crashes to the ground. Prescient, I think.
* I almost died today. I know you probably think I sometimes exaggerate things for the purposes of humour, but mark July 30th 2011 as the day that I truly had a brush with the great beyond. It was on an ill-conceived walk through the Wheels exhibit that I very, very nearly died – of boredom. There’s a car. There’s another car. Car car. Car car car. Not even interesting cars, like Ecto-1, or the one that ran over Brian Harvey; just cars. I first begin to feel faint by a giant picture of The Stig. Colour ebbs from my Fun Gland; my upper intestine floods with yawning blood cells; Lady Death tugs gently on the back of my Eternal Sunshine t-shirt.
“Here lies Millard, 1979 – 2011, bored to death by some fucking cars.”
Like a thirsty man crawling, near-death, through endless desert sands, I knew I must find my way out, lest the Reaper take me, and I be condemned to forever haunt a patch of dirt where a man in a polo shirt is pointing at a car. My life-force was rapidly fading; it was all so tedious, so fatally dull. If this were old kid’s TV show Knightmare, by this stage one of my eyeballs would have rolled away, leaving nothing but a flashing skull-hole. With the final breath being bored right out of me by a silver mini (that is about the only car name I know), I instinctively think back to last Sunday’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. “I’ll fuck the Jew out of you!” rouses me like the needle plunging Mia Wallace’s heart, and I find the strength to make my way clear of the tiresome cars and tiresome people who like them.
As I break loose, I think that I am surrounded by the worst people in the world, posing for photos with their gel-combed hair next to a cardboard cut-out of The Stig. Hateful dullards who think The Hamster is “a proper ledge” and throw around the word genius for toss-arses like Chris Moyles and Fearne Cotton. We’re from different worlds, them and I, and the kind of people who would make it through the Wheels exhibition and not die of boredom are the kind of people I could never, ever connect with, on any level. It just can’t happen. Not ever.
Then I see Hot Lifeguard, in a crowd of people watching some kids racing go karts around a little track. She’s probably just there for work, I think, in case someone drowns. Drowns while looking at a car. Safety first. 😦
* What is a Top Gear Simulator anyway? Do they strap you into an oversized Herman Munster outfit, with pubes for hair, and have you throw handfuls of shit at minorities, while a squawking audience of millions inexplicably clap their hands?
* Since the last Beach Diaries, I had a search hit for “How to seduce the hot lifeguard”. If that is competition, good luck finding the answer on here, idiot.
* Hot Lifeguard herself walks by, looking AMAZING; so amazing that any Top Gear sins are instantly forgotten. Christ. I should have just let the boredom take me. She is ogled by a man who pouts out filthy intentions and legitimately has his hand deep inside his trousers (from an ongoing flirtatious exchange with some other girls). On the perv scale, him, ogling with his penis actually in his hand, and me, with my pen in mine, scrawling the whole scene down and “admiring” from afar, are probably pretty even.
* A family hand me their camera and ask me to snap off a family portrait. In return, I have them take one of me weeping forlornly in front of the Beach Patrol hut. (Actually, I don’t. I take the photo wholly without incident.)
* Outside the Harbour Lights café, a pack of youths are handcuffed by two squad cars worth of police. As I pass, a bride in a full wedding dress approaches from the opposite direction, her train held aloft by a man who looks terribly hot in his wedding day suit. The whole scene would make for a mystifying tableau.