Wet Suits Are For Girls
20 October 2011
We went to Bantham beach in Devon at the end of August. It wasn't the warmest day in the world, but you know, it was August on the south coast, so it was mildish and the sea wasn't cold because, no matter how rubbish the summer was, the sea still got up to a high enough temperature that alien species such as great whites and coelacanths were hanging around in British waters.
As usually happens, me and the kids went in swimming, while The Parent Currently Known As Mum stood on the sidelines, waiting to come off the substitutes bench, but then, when push came to shove, pulling a Carlos Tevez and refusing to play centre forward for the last fifteen minutes.
The water was so mild that I don't think there was even that initial holy fuck, holy fuck, holy fuck moment that you get when you swim anywhere in Scotland, and not for a moment did I even have recourse to consider the future well-being of my testicles.
It being the August bank holiday, the beach was mobbed, despite the less than perfect weather. There was one kid in swimming trunks, and then there were our kids in swimming trunks/swimming costume respectively; and every single other kid on the beach was wearing a wet suit. Hundreds of them. And there it is, right there, why we're such a fuck-up of a society.
Seriously, why does any kid need a wet suit to go swimming at a beach in August? Get in the water, for God's sake. Have fun. Be cold, warm up, play, mess around, get cold again, wrap a towel around yourself, warm up again, run off back into the water… That's what kids do. Is it a little uncomfortable the first time you get into the cold water? Of course it fucking is! Suck it up!
Kids have wet suits because:
- everyone else has one and they bleat to their parents until they buy them one or
- their parents don't want their blessed little off-spring to suffer even the slightest discomfort in life or
- fuck, I don't know.
This is the economic downturn the country is panicking about. The middle classes won't be able to afford to buy their kids wet suits. By God, how society will crumble.
Me and Two of Two went pier jumping at Findhorn on the Moray Firth earlier in August. Once again, TPCKAM stayed on the touchline to keep the towels warm. Now the bay at Findhorn, that was cold enough to shrivel one's testicles into a painful and desperate oblivion. There were another couple of kids there, in the usual garb of their generation; me and the lad in the garb of past generations. Even then, in the north of Scotland and the water cold enough to keep sushi fresh for a month, you get used to it. Of course you do. That's what happens.
The moment an innocent child plunged into the freezing water,
with his parents refusing to provide a safety harness
How we scoffed at the wet suits, as later we stood shivering, wrapped in a warm towel.
And when I say scoffed, obviously I mean that Two of Two said, 'Can I get a wet suit?' and I said, 'No you flippin' well cannot! Suck it up, it's good for you. Bloody kids…'
I'm going back to the 1970's now. Where's my Rubettes album?