Tilda "The Wave Machine"
One summer I spent in Rhyll, North Wales, will be remembered - always. Some swine robbed my wallet. This caused me an enormous amount of grief. Not only did it contain a substantial amount of money, signed pictures of a young Bonnie Tyler and a phone number of a bloke who would be able to deal with my troublesome exhaust on my original American Ford Mustang, but also my dry cleaning ticket. Never use "Treat'm'dry, keep'm'clean" in Rhyll. They still, to my knowledge, have, to this day, my specially made suit which I dropped in all those years ago. It was a lilac jumpsuit with diamante decoration, lined with pink satin and with my initials on the back. It was my Saturday night fever outfit that grabbed the attention and accentuated my moves and grooves. I described it to the owner: down to the fine detail of what colour had been used on the hem of the left leg and what I had left in the ankle pocket of the right leg (never enter a club unprepared). No matter how close in detail I went, he refused to give me my suit with out the ticket. Needless to say that I was down on my luck, so I decided to spend the afternoon in the Rhyll Sun Centre.
To the uninitiated, this may sound like some sort of solarium, or for those who think I'd visit a massage parlour (not on a Wednesday in Wales any way), some sort of den of hot hands. This was... is... a centre of aqua leisure with everything from a body board pool to an aqua slide. With my tourist pass, gifted by the local police on the loss of my wallet, I visited the centre to see what all the fuss had been about.
The main pool was a wonder. You could begin by splashing your ankles and then start to wade into the depths of the pool. As I splashed in the beach-like lip of the pool in my swimming shorts (I was one of the first to see that Speedo ballies were a huge no-no), I glanced down to the deep end to see that there was fair amount of excitement. Then, there was an announcement, "There will be waves in the main pool in one minute". It was like people had heard that John Lennon was peeing in the main pool. There were hoards of people charging in. Not one to miss out on something so new and adventurous I followed the charge. Although I felt a slight discomfort when my shorts begin to soak water like a thirsty sponge and the string tie begin to lose support I headed for the 'deep' water. There was then a huge hooter, screams of excitement and a scramble, by those whose fear got the better of them, for any buoyancy aid they could find. Thankfully, I remembered what you're meant to do in these sort of panic situations and lashed out at a number of those coming towards me. Like Ali, I varied my punches, but they all landed and I certainly won on points. For all my ability I was not prepared for an attack from behind. I felt someone throw their arms around my neck. I bobbed and weaved in the water like a bucking bronco, but to no avail. Then it started. The first of the manufactured waves came. I saw the first one, the second and the third. On the forth I was struck in the face by the parent of a panicked child I had hit earlier (he was at least 15) and the fifth I was dragged under by my attacker at the rear.
Lying naked in the shallow end of the main pool was the least I had expected of the day. What I also didn't expect was the accusation that I not only got into the pool naked, but also that I started the near riot, between two local gangs of thugs, in the deep end. As I regained consciousness I could hear people, mainly middle aged arseholes in Speedos standing behind their battleaxe wives, calling for me to be expelled and saying that I was a danger to all bathers. I coughed up some second hand chlorinated water and pointed out the facts. "Had I smoked in the pool? Had I executed a perfect bomb? Had I been involved in some heavy petting? Or had I been used as a float by some burly youths?" It didn't seem to wash with one particular battleaxe, who called for me to be castrated. This was followed, as quick as a bullet, by another shouting, "If you can find it?" Laughter rang in my ears - and in my dreams it still haunts me - as I lay naked in the cold water shallow end.
It was at this point that our eyes met. A pale skinned young women with smudged eyebrows and lots of teeth. I can remember wondering how so many teeth manage to fit into one mouth. She knelt next to me and whispered, "This is all my fault... let's get out of here." She then took off her swimming cap and placed it over my meat and two veg. The plum coloured rubber bonnet may not have been the most ideal cover, but it served a purpose. She helped me to my feet and whispered again into my ear, "You might like to thank Bernard... he resuscitated you." I turned to a large tanned, muscular man with a handle bar moustache and lime green 'Speedo Ballies' that were packed to capacity and held out my hand. He winked and I could think of nothing other than the immortal words, "No tongues, right?"
I was taken as far as the veruca pool by my woman rescuer. She told me to meet her outside near the soup-machine. I showered, dressed and used the blow-dryer as quickly as possible. I was outside trying to stir my golden vegetable soap with a milk straw when she came out of the women's changing rooms. Boy, did she turn heads.
Tilda was stunning. In my earlier state I hadn't quite taken in her beauty. She had long legs, blue eyes, blonde hair and a lovely chest. She was amazing... even in the glasses she wore. She looked over to the soap dispenser and I waved - regrettably - like a gimp trying to swot a fly with a damp tissue. She floated across the room to me. She offered her hand and introduced herself. I could see that her eyesight had been greatly improved by the glasses...she didn't look too impressed. She stood close and whispered in my ear that she was sorry for all the problems she had caused. I couldn't hear what she was saying as all I could smell was her gentle parfum. I have no idea why, perhaps it was chlorine, but I began to feel incredibly aroused. Even more worrying for me at the time was that fact that I couldn't control it. Worse still, it was packed the wrong way in my trousers, so it stood out like a golf jumper at a black-tie event. I tried to disguise it by leaning over, lifting one foot onto the chair next to me and leaning on my elbow, but it was too late. The jury was out... it was completely tasteless. And she knew it too.
Watching her disappear left me heartbroken. I had lost my wallet, my suit and my heart all in one day. I did see her again a couple of years later at a caravan park in Selby, but she didn't see me. Or at least pretended not to. The fact that I was pissed, part of the cabaret and told the audience of twelve (eleven, one had actually died through the performance) how I got a "stander" in a public pool may have put her off me. Who knows. Tilda, if you're reading this... I'm a changed man now. And a lot more in control.