Posted by: Sam Olsen | December 2, 2011

The Chronicles of Larry 14: elephant boy

We’re on holiday. I’m not amused. We leave the only sane person I know behind – Tessie – and get on some plane surrounded by strangers where I’m not allowed to show off my running skills. Not happy.

So, what can I do? Well, I hear these trips are meant to be relaxing, but I’m not going to have that. I decide to wake up every three hours during every night to make sure they know not to take me next time. Welcome to the gates of hell.

But then we arrive at the hotel and I see Uncle Jez and Aunty Cathryn and I’m not so disappointed anymore: Larry will have his intelligent conversation now. But I’m still set on doing the wake up thing. Oh yes.

So we head to the beach. Normally I love a bit of wave action. But on the way to the sea we passed a huge sign. “Jellyfish are common in the tropics. Thailand is no exception.” Then we saw another. “Danger. Many people drown on this beach due to the strong riptides.”

And what do They do? Establish camp on possibly the most dangerous place in Phuket. Brilliant. All they need now is some high voltage and some fires and we’ll be complete.

It doesn’t stop there though. Like some episode of Casualty, we head into the water en masse. Luckily I’m wearing my all in one shark suit (Mum’s sense of humour never stops) but Dad’s just in some shorts. In less than two minutes he’s hopping around like a frog on a hot floor with lots of little red welts on him. Mum is the same. They both look like Mr Blobby (one more than the other, I can tell you). Laugh? I nearly split in half.

Back on the beach, Dad builds me a castle. Well, he says castle, I say pile of sand with a ditch round it, but I’m not cruel. A big wave comes in and destroys his edifice. He starts constructing another. I suggest he goes lilo-surfing on the riptides. Bizarrely he doesn’t take me up on that.

Next day we go to breakfast with Uncle Jez and Aunty Cathryn. Mum and Dad have been up at least three times during the night with me, so I’m in a good mood, if not a tad sleepy. But any talk of never-never land are blown away by the most ghastly sight ever: a huge great ball of grey flesh looming into view, lead by a grinning clown in a purple cap. What on earth?

Apparently it’s an elephant. Not seen one of these before, although its foot looks like some umbrella-stand I saw once. It’s got some huge nose that it keeps swirling around – he touches, no kisses, Uncle Jez at least twice – and these two small teeth sticking out the side of its mouth. Man that beast needs to see a dentist. I’m only a year old and I’ve got four of them, and they’re all inside my mouth.

Dad made me sit on one of these

This beast looks like something a Salvadore Dali would have designed if he was on morphine and suffering from extreme dehydration.

Right, I thought, we’ve had our dose of surrealism today, but oh no. Next thing I know, the elephant – called Meena, I believe – is bending down and Dad is putting me on her back. Now I’ve been on Aunty Cathryn’s horse before, and quite liked that for some reason. But not this. She may be a baby but I’m still like a hundred feet up. I’d rather be anywhere else, even a burning Taco Bell, then right here right now. Smile for the camera, Dad says, as Mum snaps away. The flash is going berserk, and I’m increasingly concerned the elephant is going to snap and charge through the resort. Hmm, come to think of it…so long as I’m not on it at any rate.

Soon it’s time to go home. Thank goodness. At least all the Thai people were friendly, even the one who Aunty Cathryn spilt her pina colada on. But give me beast-free Hong Kong anytime.


ps Dad says more photos to follow of my adventure once he buys the right cable for his blooming camera. Such a tehnologist.

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