Everyone has been on family holidays down through the years, they are great, especially when your 10 and you just spend the two weeks jumping in and out of the pool, drinking gallons of coke, orange and 7up, while annoying the life out of your aul lad every second you get “ Da, watch me do this dive into the pool”.. “Da, will you play table tennis with me!?”.. “Da, will you buy me a ball for the pool!?”.
Well in 1996 we jetted off to Santa Ponsa(wouldn’t be like us Irish to go their during the 90s) for a 2 week holiday. Myself, the mother, the Father and my older sister Carol. We were having a great holiday, sun was beaming every day, we had met plenty of sound folk around the pool to have the craic with and the entertainment at night was brilliant. One of the lads I palled around with at the pool had been to this top class park the day before, he said it was unreal, it had an arcade room full of the best of the best video games, it had a class big snooker area and it had GO KARTS!
So for the next 3 days I plagued the aul man to bring me to this park, “ Daaaa pleaseee” .. “No Rory, go play in the pool their like a good chap and don’t be annoying me”.. Well I kept at it and at it until eventually he gave in.. “ok ok, I’ll bring you tomorrow, just give me peace for the rest of today. “yeoooww” I shouted as I did a big ’bomb’ into the pool and drowned half the people who were sun bathing, “ Jaysus Margaret, what was that!?” says one man who had the ear phones in and got a right drop of water on his forehead.
So the next day myself and the father headed off to the park while the two women stayed by the pool and did what every woman loves to do – read books and try their very best to get a tan! The last thing I do remember my ma saying was “Joe, make sure he doesn’t get on anything to mad, you know what he’s like!!” and off we went.
We got to the park after 20 minutes or so, I was uncontrollably excited. “Da, can I go on this, da, can we do that”.. “Settle down now Rory or we’ll go home” !!
I went on a few different things in the park, was having a great day. I then asked can I go on the go-karts, at first he said “nooo way Rory, your far too young for them and your mother would kill me!” But like most fathers after minutes of pure harassing him, he eventually gave in. “Right ok, but just take er handy, these are fast!”
So I put on my helmet and got aboard the go kart – now if you don’t know me, when I was a young lad, I was desperately overgrown for my age, awful big gosson, so the Spanish people running this Go-kart business, well I’d imagine they thought I was at least 16, so they didn’t bother explaining to much to me on how the motor worked, or the possible dangers!!
The truth is folks, I was terrified deep down getting on the Go kart, but I didn’t want to let onto the father that I was a complete nervous wreck so I just went for it anyway. So there I was doing a couple of laps of the track at my own comfortable pace – about 9 miles an hour. I was getting lapped over and over again by the other people around me; I didn’t care though because I felt 10 feet tall. Then at one stage I just heard the aul man shout from the crowd “Mon Rory, give er a bit of welly…put the boot down Schumacher!!” and sure so I did, Well as god is my judge nothing could have prepared my poor father for what was about to happen!!
As requested by the big man I put the boot to the floor, the car shot off and straight away I knew I was facked. With the size 11 loafers I had at the time didn’t my lanky toes get caught and I couldn’t slow down…”Ahhhh, daddddyyyy” and what happened, I completely bulldozed straight through the tires that outlined the track and was heading straight towards a gang of aul wans who were having their afternoon tea.
As this Go Kart was heading towards the crowd of people my aul man was running behind me shouting “Holy god RORRRYYY, take your foot off the peddle” but sure I was in that much shock my body was frozen, luckily enough I had the small bit of cop on to turn the wheel away from the group of terrified women and crashed into a hape of tables and chairs where luckily nobody was sitting.
The whole eating area came to a standstill, every single person gawking over at me upside down in the Go-kart which had a tire hanging out the back of it, about 4 chairs on top of me and smoke coming out of all angles!! Dad ran straight over to the cart to see if I was still alive, I was thank god, so he picked me up, me wearing my fake Man Utd jersey which I had bought off the dell boys down the beach the day before. He then brought me into get ‘doctored up’ by the parks first aid team. I was grand just a few scratches and that, luckily enough!
So when we left the emergency area, the aul lad called me aside and said “now Rory, we can’t tell your mother about this because.. Well, I won’t be in her good books for a long time, put it that way”.
I says, “ok Da” so he bought me an ice cream to calm my nerves. So there I was a few minutes later going around on a Ferris wheel, still shaking with fear, while eating my Cornetto Ice-cream and being surrounded by kids no older than 5.
I think me and the aul man couldn't have been happier!!