The next Saturday morning I was up bright and early, had breakfast, fed the cat, and settled myself down at my desk all set up and ready to take on Frank O’Malley’s challenge.
Just what was the funniest scene I could think of?
Nothing came. Two hours later, still nothing. ‘Some people actually do this for a living’ was one thought that did come. ‘God help them’ was another.
Eventually my mind turned to sex, as it usually does when left to its own devices for any length of time, but that did at least start me thinking about the comic possibilities of this activity, and suddenly I started to write:
The attraction one human being has for another is something that has kept poets in poverty for centuries. At its extremes it can encourage paedophilia at one end of the spectrum, necrophilia at the other. Between those poles of affection for the very young and the very dead, all manner of persons love all other manner of persons in such a bewildering way as to defy any sensible attempt at rationalisation.
There just is no accounting for taste in these matters, as a glance round any group of paired people will rapidly confirm. The most unlikely and outwardly unsuitable couplings have, do, and will continue to happen, ad hoc, ad nauseas, ad infinitum.
The meeting that morning of the Major, proprietor of a small seaside hotel and Eunice, who was one of his weekend guests, was just such an archetypal case of empathy at first sight. They shared just about a hundred years between them, her forty to his sixty, and the vibrations from their pair of experienced psyches pulsated and not pusillanimously. It was Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Popeye and Olive Oyl, Suddenly there was no tomorrow, only now. The Major felt this woman standing before him was the one he had always dreamed about in his wettest dreams, and that all his long years of marital infidelity had been but a preparation for this moment.
Eunice felt exactly the same way about him. It was the devastating combination of his black eye patch and toothbrush moustache that turned her on. He came across harbouring a delicious touch of menace, a combination of Blackbeard and Hercule Poirot. That carefully cultivated, precisely pruned and pomaded moustache, with its tiny optimistic up-twirl at each end, gave such a promise of neatness and exactitude in all things it made it almost impossible for her to bear to bring herself to think about its full sexual connotations for fear of rushing uncontrollably across to him immediately, and enveloping its two small waxed points in her large fleshy waning ones. These mutual attractions thus set in motion a double reciprocal action of the kind favoured by the first stationary steam engine engineers, and it was of about equal developmental force.
The Major’s amatory imagination favoured the Rubinesque, and Eunice’s qualifications on that score were nothing if not exemplary. The visible quivers of her delightful curves made his moustache ends bristle in exactly the way she found attractive, so each turned each other on and on and on and on. The establishment of this immediate need for each other was so strong it was obvious neither of them would survive a wait for the night hours to satisfy their passions so within moments they had arranged a tryst for that very afternoon, which was the earliest time the Major could get away for a couple of hours.
It would be natural to suppose when those other great lovers, Anthony and Napoleon, went on their first dates with Cleopatra and Josephine, they both made some special effort with the arrangements. The Major, though lacking any Empires to offer his swainette nevertheless did what he could with what resources he had, and he even went overboard, nautically speaking, with his preparations. The better to escape the all- seeing eyes of his family and employees, he hired a small fishing boat. Even going so far as to do it by telephone and incognito, thus not taking advantage of the 90% local rate reduction he would have been given if he had revealed who he really was.
Greater lust hath no man.
That deal successfully concluded, and aware from the total rapport he had already established with Eunice that she was certain to refuse him nothing, the Major soared to new heights of passion as he realised this was his chance to put into practice his most secret sexual desires. To this end he decided to take with him on board the boat some stores not usually found in an orthodox ship’s chandlery.
Immediately after lunch the two of them slipped away separately from Sea View and rendezvoused as arranged at the boatyard to collect their vessel, the good ship ’Tydos’.
The Major knew its proprietor Tom Thornton would still be incapable in some pub at that time, so there was no risk of him being spotted. All went exactly according to plan and he made immediate haste to put sufficient sea between himself and the shore as possible.
The early part of the voyage went particularly well. The sun was shining brightly giving an unseasonal warmth to the afternoon as they chugged out to sea together.
They were both very excited, their imaginations running riot at the prospect of what lay before them. He knew exactly what he was going to do, when and how. She didn’t, though from one or two hints the Major had dropped she gathered something rather special was in the offing and, not knowing the prime reason they were afloat was the better to keep prying eyes at bay, she decided he was on some nautical kick, so her thoughts turned naturally in that direction.
For starters she noticed there was no mast she could be lashed to and whipped, which was unfortunate, as she would have quite liked that. The two large bags he’d stowed looked promising though. They could contain rubber masks and tubes with ping- pong balls so they could have it off naked underwater. She rather liked that idea as well. He could be King Neptune doing delightful things with his trident, and she could be a Sea Goddess granting his every wish.
At last, feeling they’d sailed far enough out of sight of land, and with not another craft anywhere within miles of them, Major Neville Ingleton Thwaite, to give him his full name, throttled down the engine to a gentle hum, wedged the tiller to keep them heading away from the coast, and began the final preparations for their mutual seduction of each other.
The care with which he had prepared for this moment was revealed when, in the twinkling of his visible eye, he opened one of the bags he had brought on board and produced a lilo mattress which, inflated, transformed the bottom of their craft into a perfectly usable imitation of a water bed. Entering into the spirit of things Eunice in turn transformed herself into the nearest approximation of a mermaid she could manage. That’s to say she took off all her clothes, and unpinned her hair to let it hang down provocatively to its full length, half way down her ears.
But this was as nothing to the transformation of the Major. All his clothes came off too, and after pausing to pack hers and his neatly into one of the bags so they wouldn’t get wet, he turned his back on her and donned the contents of his second bit of luggage.
When he faced her again the effect on Eunice was almost beyond belief. There before her, attired in just white gloves, leather apron, bowler hat and highly polished black shoes, stood not just plain old Neville Ingleton Thwaite, but instead the full blown Worshipful Grandmaster of Northpool’s Masonic Lodge.
This really would be bringing his year of office to a fitting climax.
The significance of this betrayal of the most sacred oaths of Masonry was not lost on her, nor was the bulge in the lower third of his apron.
Her delight knew no bounds. To be taken in broad daylight, out of doors, on the high seas, and by such a personage in full regalia, with a patch over his eye, who was a Grand Master, a Mayor, a Major, and who had a moustache, would have been almost too much for any woman to bear.
Not wishing to be outdone, in a manner of speaking, and aware of the inadequacy of the embellishment she was bringing to their union – a mere Teacher’s Certificate - she could only stammer out that she had once been Head Girl at her Grammar School and wish desperately she’d brought her sash with her to wear at this glorious moment, but it was still on her bedroom wall at home.
These thoughts were anyway soon swept aside though in a wave of sensual delight at the first touch of his erect salty sausage on her hysterectomy scar.
The Major had done his fair share of fornicating over the years, ranging from quick blow jobs in the hotel cellar, to night long nookie with sex crazed shop assistants. All this experience he now intended bringing to bear on the bare Miss Bracegirdle by way of achieving a perfect coupling between them.
By word and deed she was to be stimulated to a height of passion above and beyond anything she had ever encountered before, and in so doing his own feelings would be transported to the very highest level the depths his depravities were capable of descending into.
Surveying her panting form before him he had to make his first mind blowing decision.
Where to Begin? And he came to the same conclusion as the equally inspired Michelangelo, starting out on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the top left hand corner.
In Eunice’s case this was her shoulder, but passion got the better of him and aiming slightly lower he stooped slowly over her, the better to heighten her mood, and went to brush her naked breasts with just the tips of his moustache.
It was indeed the touch of a master, and when he went on to kiss her moist and parted lips with his own slavering wet ones it gave her such paroxysms of delight she went into multiple orgasm immediately. Then in the effort to save some of her climaxes to coincide with at least one of his, she relaxed her body as much as she could.
Her idea was to become completely compliant to his inordinate demands, and the more inordinate they were the better. In this relaxed mode she opened her legs deliciously wide, and waved them about in gay abandon at the thought of what was about to befall her. Too gay an abandonment as it turned out, as in her ecstasy she kicked the bag containing all their clothes clean over the side.
In his instinctive dive to try to retrieve it before it sank, the Major stumbled on the uncertain footing provided by the lilo and tripped over Eunice’s leg, causing him to land on top of the outboard motor with enough force to send several important bits of it to join the bag on its way to the bottom of the bay.
It didn’t take long for the implications of Eunice’s actions to sink in. From a safe tryst with hours of pleasure before them, they now found themselves marooned out at sea, virtually naked, and completely at the mercy of the brisk North East wind that now sprang up around them.
Frankly, as captain, the Major should have set a better example to his crew by behaving better than he did, but he didn’t.
‘What have you done you stupid cow?’ He bawled at her.
‘It wasn’t my fault,’ she screamed back, fear supplanting passion now. ‘Coming out here on this contraption was your idea.’
She was beginning to get cold too, as the sea spray was really getting to them with the boat pitching and rolling all over the place, which didn’t help matters either. ‘Do something man.’
‘What for God’s sake?’
“I don’t know. Send a flare up, wave a flag or something. We need to get rescued before we freeze to death.’
She was right. But the Major fully understood just what sending that kind of a signal would mean in terms of the attendant, very unwelcome, publicity.
‘Maybe there are some oars here somewhere so I could row us back in again.’
‘Rubbish” said Eunice. ‘You don’t even know which direction we should be going in.’
This was true. They were completely out of sight of any land. He could easily end up taking them across to Northern Ireland, a place with troubles enough of its own.
Luckily, as if to mock their thwarted romanticism, a pale crescent moon then came over the horizon, and in so doing made the tide turn and begin to conduct them back within range of the shore.
Neither of them had sufficient seamanship to know what was happening, so Eunice continued panicking by throwing all sorts of bits and pieces over the side in a frantic hunt for anything that might be useful to them. Then in desperation the Major decided that maybe the engine could be kick started into action again, so he kicked it, but in his temper used so much force he dislodged it from its moorings altogether.
Luckily Eunice was on hand to grab it and stop it falling into the water.
Unluckily it proved to be heavier than she realised so she dropped it, and it still went into the sea. But instead of going over the side it now went straight through their vessel’s rotten hull, leaving a large hole behind it, in a place large holes are not meant to be.
Much more panic ensued, but Eunice recovered her composure first and was quick to make sure her captain was the last to leave the sinking ship by stepping on his face as she gained the safety of the lilo, now floating fortunately alongside them.
It was at this juncture, from the Major’s point of view, that the worst disaster of the afternoon struck them. Steps to rescue them were put in hand.
A coastguard, with no point in keeping his binoculars trained on the sand dunes now all the courting couples had gone in for tea, pointed them out to sea and spotted the danger Miss Bracegirdle was in of being killed by the Major, still struggling to get on board the lilo himself.
The coastguard followed correct procedure. He sounded the lifeboat alarm, to the alarm of the lifeboat men. They only expected to turn out once a year on Armistice day when they sailed as far as the end of the pier, to drop a wreath on the spot where Coxswain Turncastle was supposed to have fallen off and drowned while celebrating the end of the first world war, with one triple whisky too many.
Nevertheless, out of practice though they may have been, the crew of the aptly named ‘Unlucky for Some’ mustered at the boat, de-mustered to shift all the Kosy Kabins selling ‘Jug’s of Tea for the Sands’ on the boathouse slipway, then re-mustered again to clear sufficient small boys off the lifeboat to be able to see out of the front windows.
Then they were off.
Their present cox, Arthur Dunks, plucked straight from his day job as brake-man on the scenic railway, took the sudden transition badly, and was sea sick before the lads, at only their third attempt, got the boat into the water. He further disgraced himself when coming alongside the lilo by forgetting he wasn’t on the scenic railway and doing his usual trick of leaving the braking late to give everyone an extra thrill.
What worked well scenically did not work nautically.
The ‘Unlucky for Some’ ploughed straight into the lilo and punctured it, depositing the Major and Eunice to Port and Starboard respectively.
But not before Harold Chesters, the Northpool Bugle’s Editor, Roving Reporter, and Photographer, had captured those scenes on board the airbed for posterity.
And these scenes were well worth recording. The slow speed at which their salvation approached them had given Eunice time to negotiate terms with the Major for allowing him to join her on the lilo.
When the lifeboat did finally arrive it was she who was wearing the Masonic apron, leaving him just with his chain of office, white gloves and the black bowler that he used to hide his manhood as much as possible, as the lifeboat came towards them.
The shock of the two boats colliding knocked it out of his hands though, and Harold Chesters’ camera caught to perfection the moment he dropped it.