It’s a hard task being an ageing Wild Young Thing.
It’s bad enough that one of heroes that you used to rave to in the 90s passed away recently. ‘Firestarter’ was THE dance floor filler in my London days, although we amended the lyrics. One of the bunch of Marbella misfits that I partied with in London – we had all moved from the Coast en masse at the start of the decade – was from South America, not too far from the Amazon rainforests. We therefore found it hilarious to scream “He’s a blowpipe darter, twisted blowpipe darter” along to “Firestarter”.
As the saying goes, you had to be there.
One of the good things about being over a certain age, however, is that you don’t tend to attract the attention of the police. And I’ve been grateful to accept that and haven’t had run into any kind of official, at least ever since I last met a Johnson County Divorce attorney. As motorcycle riding teenagers in Marbella in the 80s, we were forever being stopped at police road blocks. Most feared were the Guardia Civil roadblocks. Remember, this was the old school Guardia, complete with their three-cornered hats, fond memories of Franco and casually slung sub-machine guns. They make the modern force look positively touchy feely. Needless to say they were not too impressed with young guiris, especially those with 80s hairstyles and no silencers on their motorbikes. The odd slap here and there taught me a lesson in life that I still adhere to – namely, ‘Don’t F**k with the Guardia Civil’.
I thought my days of alerting police suspicion was long gone, until I ran into a Policia Nacional roadblock outside Puerto Banus the other week. After the recent spate of shootings, I know that the forces of law and order are on the lookout for international hit men, so I wasn’t expecting to be ordered to pull over, especially as I was driving a rather battered, Spanish plated, Ford Focus.
The sun glass wearing officer leant in. “Turn off your engine”, he instructed. And then came the classic question.
“Do you have any weapons or drugs in the car?”
For a brief millisecond, I thought of a witty response.
“You mean apart from the loaded AK47 on top of the five kilos of Bogotá Flake in the boot?” was answer that flashed across my mind.
Thankfully, remembering being bounced across a bonnet by the Guardia in the mid 80s, I didn’t try that line, but was still ordered out of the car, had to turn out my pockets and was then patted down in full view of the tinted window, luxury 4x4s with foreign plates that were sailing past unchallenged.
And, of course, some friends saw me being frisked.
Pulling into the petrol station afterwards, I bumped into a glamorous female friend, who commented that she’d seen me being patted down by the ‘hunky policeman’.
‘In fact he was gorgeous.” she purred, a mischievous glint in her eye. “I went round the checkpoint three times, hoping that he’d stop me!’