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Before I start, I just want to point out that I take no pleasure in the misfortune of others… (much).
I wanted to share a story with you from my travelling days, that I thought was hilarious, but I don’t know… maybe you had to be there, anyway, here it is.

I was about 27 at the time, and had been working in the UK in a pub putting some money together to take off to Europe for a few months. I was over there with my girlfriend at the time whose name was Lisa. We had saved up enough money to last us for a few months, even with plenty of money left over for lots of grog and misadventure… as you do. We had even saved up enough to buy ourselves a car to drive around the continent in, it was a Talbot Solaro, and it looked a bit like this, except it was Gold (or metallic bog brown).

We had a friend who was staying in London whose name was Sue. Sue was a friendly girl, she had been a goth in a previous life and was clinging onto it a bit, however she was a good looking girl, and was always a laugh to be around.

Now Sue had just broken up with her boyfriend, and decided that she wanted to go to Spain, drink copious amounts of Sangria, meet herself a handsome Spaniard, and get laid. Seeing as we were headed in that direction, she figured she may as well come with us.

So a date was set, a roadtrip planned, the car packed, and off we set, we were headed to Pamplona first for the running of the bulls.

Sue told us that she was a bit short on cash, so if we weren’t doing anything major we agreed to eat and drink cheap where possible. This turned out to be a little too simple as it turned out.

We stopped at a big supermarket in France along the way to pick up some supplies for dinner, whilst the girls were looking in the food aisles, I wandered over to where all the alcohol was sold. Whilst I was there I formed a friendship with a lovely young girl who was working there giving away samples. Being the nice guy that I still am today, I told her I would keep an eye on her little display while she took a half hour break.

Being the type of bloke that always thinks of others I thought it would really help this nice girl if I helped get rid of some of her merchandise. That way she would run out, and then have to go home early, I thought a nice little early mark would really make her happy.

This was going to be tough though, as she was giving away little plastic cups of beer, under her little display stand she had a small keg. Well I went and got the girls, and some larger plastic cups from another aisle, and we selflessly ripped into it, drinking as much as possible, as fast as possible. It was like a skulling contest for the next 15-20 minutes, I hate to think how much lager we consumed, and for the life of me I still can’t figure out why we didn’t get booted out of the store. Anyway, Lisa picked 3 bottles of the cheapest red wine she could find, and I thought that it would best if we saved the poor girl the embarrassment of having to thank us, so best off if we legged it.

As our journey had been somewhat delayed by having to stop and sober up a bit after our unexpected private keg party, myself and Lisa thought we would stop and find ourselves a place to camp, as we were all staying in tents, and then go out for a bite. We stopped at a roadside Fruit and Veg place so Sue could pick up something to eat, as she wanted to save her money for going out that night to pick up her Spanish man she had talked about non-stop since leaving London.

She jumped into the back seat again and off we went.

As we drove along Sue was saying how clever she was, she’d purchased herself some chick peas at the shop, and was stuffing her face with them. Her theory was that they were cheap, and they expand in your stomach, meaning that she would save a heap of money on food, and therefore have more to spend going out to meet her man. It was all about saving a few quid.

About 45 minutes later we arrived at a campground in a town whose name I don’t remember, it was full of other backpackers, and we found ourselves a spot to put our tents up down the bottom end, reasonably close to the toilet and shower block, and a short stroll from the pool.

As we started to erect our tents, Sue began moaning, groaning and clutching at her stomach, she was looking particularly unwell, and was dealing with some rather bad stomach cramps. She told us that she thought she had eaten too many chick peas, and they were now expanding and causing her grief. Being the considerate guy again, I erected her tent while laughing at her total stupidity.

Unfortunately, Sue’s cramps were only getting worse by the minute, my advice to Sue was to wander over to the bogs and have a good spew. This took some convincing, as she had apparently never attempted the old two fingers down the throat trick before. After about 15 minutes of persuasion, and seeing as though she was constantly collapsing doubled up on the ground holding her stomach, she finally decided to give it a go, after all, she had nothing to lose.

About 15 or so minutes later, we saw Sue walking back with her head down, shoulders sagging, looking like she had just had the wind knocked out of her, but at least she wasn’t holding her stomach. When she got to us, Lisa asked her how it went and what was wrong. Sue replied “Do you think anyone will notice?”

“Notice what?” I replied, although I had noticed she was speaking a bit funny.

Sue looked up and opened her mouth, and I didn’t know whether to laugh at her, or cry for her, so I just sat there with my jaw in my lap for a minute or so dumbfounded. Then I freaked.

One thing that I hadn’t known about Sue, is that when she was a little girl, she had apparently had a rather nasty encounter with the bars on a trampoline. Legend says that she thought that coming down from a great height and trying to bite the rail at the side as she hit it was a good idea, but unfortunately for Sue, despite a valiant effort , she came off second best. The end result of all that was that Sue found herself missing 5 of her top teeth, including the front ones, and the trampoline found itself homeless.

It turned out the chick peas had been expanding at a rapid rate, and such was the pressure building up in poor Sue’s guts, that it only took the slightest touch to her throat, and whammo. The chick peas made their exit with the force of a freight train barrelling back up the tracks in her throat at full speed. Sue, leaning over the porcelain throne on her trembling knees, didn’t even realise that due to the chick peas coming up with such gusto, and in such a rush, that her teeth had gone along for the ride. Alas, it was only after she had clambered to her feet and pulled the chain, with a huge sigh of relief at the release of all that pressure, did she realise that her teeth, and her hopes of picking up, were on their way down the drain to a septic tank.

I have to hand it to Sue, despite being utterly devastated, she still managed to laugh about it amidst the tears. Even she could see the funny side. However, strangely enough, she would not allow any photo’s (she probably regrets that now).

Anyway, her bid to save money, cost her not only the chance to find love (although she had some offers which I’m sure I don’t need to go into), but also an absolute fortune. In order to get new teeth, her parents had to have new ones made back in Sydney from her dental plans, and then flown to London. She waited for them for what must have seemed like an eternity, and needless to say, they cost more than the dinner with us that night would have cost.

As for Spain, it was brilliant. The running of the bulls was absolutely insane, but in the best of ways. We saw a bullfight, and nearly caused a riot as we were booing and abusing the matador, it is a truly sickening spectacle and I advise you all to avoid it. The Salvador Dali museum was also a highlight, that man had more talent in one of his moustache whiskers, than most of us have in our entire extended families….

What’s the moral of the story? Well there’s two, don’t be a tightarse, it doesn’t always pay, and don’t headbutt trampolines, it’s a no win….

Also, if you have false teeth, check before you flush.

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