Mr Grumpy . . 9th August, 2018
Part two of his “holiday special”.
We pity the girl at Thomas Cook when he went in for his currency… and the people at the airport… and air traffic control… and the pilot… and everyone on the island and…
In a street poll, people asked “who do you think are the biggest scumbags on the earth?” would probably have car salesmen or double-glazing salesmen near the top, followed by people offering to “measure up in the comfort of your own home” for window blinds and sofa re-covering (if you halve their initial price, you’ll be somewhere near, if not, charge them £50 for the brew, extra for luxury sugar) and maybe even vets and dentists (there’s always a sharp intake of breath within seconds of you or your dog opening your mouths, and the realisation that they are about to get you to pay for a full re-tiling of their Spanish villa’s pool). Politically aware punters might add Vladimir Putin or Donald Trumpypants, or cheeky music fans might say Cliff Richard (“Congratulations!”). I’d like to add to this roll call of (in)famy that slowly dying species of… the travel agent.
Put simply, they – and their brochures – are lying b*****ds.
First up, the blurb for our villa last week didn’t mention the place was popular with train-spotters on the basis the place was seven minutes and 30 seconds’ drive from the airport exit – and that’s in the Suzuki Dogturdo which even had the steering wheel on the wrong side, and that was supposed to be an upgrade! Another cheating scoundrel was at the appropriately named “Alamo Car Hire” desk. She should be chasing Indians (cowboy link there, for Love Island viewers). Honestly, I got so sick of planes landing and people at the window pointing at me wrestling with the huge inflatable pool panda, I started dropping my pants, only to find the captain of the return flight to Manchester doing the same from the cockpit – so who was flying the plane?
Allegedly, the island boasted one of the top 10 beaches in the world – my a**e it does! It took twice as long to get to it as the brochure said, not least because I couldn’t get the Suzuki beyond second gear as we crossed the Andes to get to it. Edmund Hillary got across Everest quicker on the back of a donkey! And I hate, hate, HATE beaches full of sand, although this one was full of the same “crush and run” gravel I get from Jewson’s for £80 a ton to fill the holes in my drive! I reckon the builders’ yard in Congleton is missing a trick – if this hot weather continues, it should open up on a Saturday afternoon as a luxury beach, as I’m sure it’s the same stuff.
The rep from Sunny Villa Bandits called to see us to check everything was OK. I thought she was Welsh but – as I actually only understand the Queen’s Mancunian – Mrs G pointed out she was actually more Geordie than Ant and Dec’s mother (I am convinced they are twins, albeit by different fathers) and I’m not sure if my humour was lost on her as I lifted the sofa cushions looking for the sound system (there wasn’t one, another lie) and her promise to replace the broken sunbed was as reliable as a British Gas promise to call me back to discuss an overpayment of £129.37.
I took it out on Sky customer services when, bored, I called them (on my company phone) from the relative tranquillity and cool of the kitchen where I’d been preparing some healthy salad to go with the gently grilled family when they returned from the pool, and negotiated 10 quid a month off my bill and the Man United channel for free. I started by telling her (they are always delightful Scottish women when I call) I was on holiday and suffering from both sunstroke (in the kitchen) and boredom (my laptop wouldn’t connect to the office server) and that when I’d been approached by one of those Sky salesmen in the Traffic Centre and said: “I already have everything you do, pal, for £150 a month”, the cheeky sod said: “You’re paying too much – ring them up and complain!”
I was pleased about getting more footy for free. I have a bit of a man-crush on José Mourinho (I think I look like him) and wrote to ask if we should go out on the town in Manchester on the pull together as I think we’d clean up. He’s yet to respond, because he’s busy in America.
Back to bandits, and I’ve just got back from another traditional Greek meal, which confused me as I thought the Italians invented spaghetti bolognese and I tried to start a fight between the waiter and the guy next door (who clearly was Italian because his name was Gondola), although I did get a round of manly applause when I ordered traditional Greek pie, which was effectively meat and potato pie but with rice instead of the potato, and possibly goat instead of beef, but I didn’t dwell on that too much.
In one of the tat shops, Mrs G wanted to buy a pack of cards so we could teach the kids to play Rummy and I spotted some naughty ones that had Greek gods and soldiers in sex positions, which resulted in a bit of a row. After a pause, I was allowed them (schoolboy humour and I had a plan!), but was outwitted when I got back to find the smug shopkeeper (who clearly agreed with her) had swapped the contents of the packet with the set showing assorted pictures of caves, beaches and boats from around the island. Cowbag.
In summary, any country that can’t drive on the right side of the road – possibly because they bought a load of duff cars built in China with the steering wheel glued in wrong – is suspect, and certainly when they put stickers on the loos saying you can poo in them, but not put toilet roll down after, is just stupid.
I’m not sure who we can trust anymore…
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