We stood in line to get on the bus to take us out on the tarmac at the airport on Gran Canaria - the Canary Islands sound so exotic to us Americans, who rarely know that they are the southernmost outpost of the European Union (though geographically they're part of Africa, sitting 100 kilometers west of Morocco) and the only part of the EU with guaranteed January temperatures in the 70s (Fahrenheit) and an ocean warm enough to swim in. Gran Canaria is a tourist trap, but a glorious one - long and wide beaches with pale sand blown over from the Sahara mixed with black volcanic sand, rugged mountains, even an old colonial capital with a certain charm. I guess the Canary Islands are Europe's equivalent to Florida. (Strangely enough, in tacky Playa del Inglés where we were staying, there is a shopping mall with sleepy little souvenir shops during the day and something like 20 gay bars at night - drag shows and leather bars and discos and pubs where they played show tunes. WTF? Fun, though...)
Anyway, we were standing in line, the husband, the children's book author, the sea captain and I, when a drunken bearded Swede started talking to the children's book author.
"Where are you from?" he asked.
"How long have you been in Sweden?" he asked.
"What do you do for a living?" he asked.
"Do you have a condom?" he asked.
He told the children's book author he wanted to jerk off in the bathroom and didn't want to make a mess. He said he wanted to join the mile-high club. The children's book author didn't tell him that the mile-high club takes two - mere masturbation doesn't count towards membership.
Then he told the children's book author that he was very drunk because he's terrified of flying, and his girlfriend would be furious because he did crazy things when he was drunk.
"I have to pee really bad but I have VD so it really hurts," he told the children's book author.
All this in two minutes as we waited for the bus to take us onto the tarmac and to the plane that would take us back to Stockholm.
Once we got on the plane, the children's book author saw him go to the bathroom before we took off, and we tried not to think of him jerking off, or peeing painfully. A stewardess finally had to open the door to get him out, and the children's book author saw her brief look of disgust. "Don't use the bathroom on the left," he warned me.
When we got back to Stockholm, there was a foot of snow on the ground and it was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
"We should never go without a sunny and warm vacation in the winter ever again," the husband said to me.
Home, snowy home.
The Swedish word for the day is charterresa. It means charter trip.