There I was on holiday in Corfu, enjoying my sixth rum and coke beside the swimming pool, when the crocodile spoke to me. Not a real crocodile of course. It was a bright green inflatable toy that some kid had left beside my sun-lounger. Being in the holiday spirit, I’d been admiring it’s cheeky grin and probably encouraged it by smiling.
‘How you doing, mate?’ it said. ‘Having a good holiday?’
‘Yeah, having a great time. Thanks for asking.’ I wondered if I ought to cut down on the drinking. During the day at least. ‘What about yourself, Croc? How’s tricks with you?’
The crocodile sighed mournfully. ‘To be honest, I’m feeling a little deflated.’
‘Sorry to hear that. Anything I can do to cheer you up? I’ve few good jokes that’ll make you laugh.’
‘No, I really am feeling deflated. I’ve a slow puncture and getting all soft and flabby. Not a good state for a respectable inflatable to be. Listen, I hate to ask, but you couldn’t see your way to giving me a quick top-up could you? A couple of big puffs should do the trick.’
The rum had made me mellow and I was happy to oblige. ‘No problem. Where’s your valve?’
‘Underneath. If you turn me over you can’t miss it.’
I flipped the crocodile on it’s back and sure enough the rubber valve was sticking out prominently. Pulling off the cap, I sealed my mouth around the opening and blew as hard as I could. The crocodile gasped in what sounded like intense pleasure.
‘That’s it, big boy. Don't stop. Don't stop. You’re making me so fucking hard…………’
I removed my mouth from the valve and bunged in the cap, before hastily turning the beast back onto its stomach. My face was burning with embarrassment. ‘Why, you sneaky plastic …….’
The crocodile apologised. ‘Sorry about that. Honestly. Don’t know what came over me. Maybe it’s the heat. You’ve no idea what it’s like lying here all day in the baking sun. I know I shouldn’t ask, but could you help me out one last time?’
I shouldn’t have listened, but there was a note of pleading in its voice that tugged at my heart strings.
‘I’d appreciate it if you could put some sun lotion on my tail. You’ve no idea the agony I’m in.’
So like a fool, I poured a generous dollop of sun cream on my palm and smeared it back and forth along the creature’s tail.
‘What the fuck are you doing with my daughter’s crocodile?’
I looked up to see a beefy, red-faced man with tattoos, glaring angrily down at me.
‘Fucking pervert,’ he yelled as he pulled me off my sun-lounger and threw me head-first into the pool.
As I crawled gasping to the side, coughing up chlorinated water, I could see the crocodile grinning at me and too late remembered the old saying.
Never smile at a crocodile……..
Strachan McQuade is a retired Church of Scotland minister who enjoys cribbage, pipe-smoking and sausages in any conceivable combination. In his younger days he was a highly ranked shinty goalkeeper but missed out on representing his country at the Shinty World Cup due to an scandalous dalliance with royalty at Balmoral. To this day Prince Philp still refuses to play croquet with him.
He is is the author of the much admired shit-lit opus 'Invergallus' which is available from Amazon Kindle and several handpicked thrift shops.