Monday, 3 October 2011

In praise of Speedos

We’ve just had a family holiday in Menorca and I thought I’d take this opportunity to balance the alluring views of my previous blog entry with one about men on the beach.

It seems that you cannot go more than a mile along a Mediterranean coastline without seeing somewhere that sells John Smiths. You will also find yourself British and German tourists. They are usually quite easy to tell apart. The Germans tend to be taller and healthier looking. Oh yes, and the men wear Speedos not ‘beach shorts’.

However, times have moved on and just as German women no longer seem to sport hairy armpits, the German men have now opted for sporty ‘hot pants’ style shorts that are mouth-wateringly tight (for both wearer and anyone else who is interested). In a society where it’s usually the females who wear tight clothes to accentuate their assets, it’s unusual to see a man’s backside in such high definition. However, I began to see the attraction.

Looking after two young kids on the beach meant that I tended to be in the sea for very short periods of time. Just long enough to get my beach shorts wet. Then they take ages to dry off. Also the shorts fill with air every time the kids pushed me in the swimming pool (a not particularly successful tactic to encourage them not to be scared of the water). You also only get a suntan from the knees down.

I looked around and saw a few British men with shorts almost down to their ankles and it all seemed a bit stupid. So I bought some German style shorts, not the spray on variety, but a lot shorter and tighter than my current shorts.

Guess what? They are comfortable. They dry quickly and they don’t fill up with air. What’s not to like? It’s true that women do tend to check out the groin area as you walk past but that seems fair considering the behaviour of male eyes on the beach.

Another interesting side-effect is that people assume you are German, but that’s fine with me. I like the Germans. Just as long as they accept that my German is strictly limited to ordering alcoholic beverages…

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