A couple of weeks back I was away in Bundoran for my brother-in-law's stag party. A group of his friends are as much my wife's friends as his, so I know them pretty well at this stage and get on most chummily with them. One of the lads, Kevin, who is also soon to be married, was laughing at the fact that his bride-to-be had, at one stage or another, snogged several of his mates. He doesn't care, this was long before his time and such things inevitably happen between any group of intergender mates. Then he looked mischievously at me and, expecting to get a rise out of me, said "But do you know which of the lads has snogged Rosie?"
It so happens that I do. Barry is sitting opposite me and, bless him, has started shifting uncomfortably in his seat. Barry is the very definition of a decent skin and is happily settled with a lovely young lady, so I really don't have an issue with my wife having kissed him on a night out many moons before we even met. We don't talk about exes much but she had told me about Barry, perhaps to help me avoid an awkward situation such as the one Kevin has just tried to engineer.
"Yeah, just Barry, right?" I hope Barry doesn't take my just as being dismissive of his tonsil-tickling abilities, more that I'm glad he was the only one. The direction of conversation is swiftly turned to the direction of 'Members of the Irish rugby team whom Kevin has nearly come to blows with in a nightclub' and everyone is drunk and happy.
The next morning, cruelly, we go surfing. I manage to avoid everyone seeing how bad I am at surfing by never even attempting to mount the board. "Waves just weren't right for me, man" I opine to anyone within earshot. Back at the surfclub everyone hits the scaldingly hot showers to try and reverse the damage two hours in the North Atlantic in October can do to a body. Barry is in before before I am. He is the only bloke to have dropped his trunks. Barry is a hurler and you can always recognise the lads who play team-sports as the ones who are happy to let everything hang out in public showers.
Here is, roughly, my thought process:
1. Dropping my shorts will surely help my frozen, shrivelled bollocks to resume normality that bit faster. It's only sensible.
2. Barry's a hurler and I'm a hockey player. Hockey players get a bad enough rap in the man-stakes without people thinking we're afraid to get it out.
3. Barry (and everyone else there) might think he has a far bigger lad than I do. I can't honestly tell if he does or not but, nevertheless, This Will Not Do. Sometimes things are just that primal.
4. HE KISSED MY WIFE.
So I strip off my shorts and stand there with Barry and six uncomfortable-looking, beshorted men. Hot water dribbles down our flaccid mickeys as I will a restoration of girth and pretend not to be sneaking glimpses.