Monday, January 05, 2009

The big toe is next, bitch

They call it The Rapids... the new water slide adventure at the Atlantis Resort where you sit in a rubber ring and get Tsunami'd round a water channel left behind by the Mayans... except it's not that rapid so after about ten minutes of stultifying drifting, you start geeing things up by fighting with your friends. So there I am, drifting along, admiring the Aztec ruins, basically minding my own business, when Marty and I start a minor splash battle. We kick water at each other a couple of times and then suddenly I hear - and feel - a strange crack. I lift my foot out of the water and there - in place of my normal award-winning toe silhouette is a replica of Stonehenge.

Toe No. 3 on my right foot is virtually at right angles. I am astonished. "Marty, I think you broke my toe."

Marty looks at my toes - now swollen into the Roman equation for four divided by two - and says: "Are you sure? Don't they normally look like that?"

I hold up my left foot as a comparison. It's pretty obvious Toe No. 3 does not look normal.

I start laughing (shock) and we swirl on for a bit and by now my toe is throbbing. At this point, the Incan water channel splits in two and I go right and Marty - wisely - goes left. I am on my own. I have a broken toe. I am approaching Grade 5 white water and also, I realise, accidentally fast-tracking back to The Abyss - a vertical plunge slide only suitable for people over 48 inches tall with good toes. I really didn't want to do it again.

Luckily at the next bend I spot some Mayan life guards and shout out my predicament. One brave Mayan dives in to the water, grabs my rubber ring and pulls me to safety. They golf-buggy me to the nursing station where someone I am absolutely convinced had no medical training whatsoever gets out some sellotape and straps up the 45 degree toe to a lollypop stick. She tells me my toes are unnaturally short. I ask her if I can have some morphine for the pain.

Marty comes in and I can see he is positioning for Bravado Denial. First, he downgrades my injury to "inflamed". Then he announces I broke my OWN toe on HIS foot. Then, for good measure, he says the nurse is strapping me up wrong.

We all hobble out. Marty starts doing impressions of me limping which I consider tactless in the extreme.


90 minutes later and it's time for the Welcome Party. Hass sees me hobbling into the Coral Bar and immediately suggests we get a wheelchair from Guest Services. Sadly they don't have any Doylemobiles but we get an NHS version and start the long journey to Royal Deck. I swiftly realise what a bad idea it was letting Hass wheel me around. First he is trying to get me to pretend to be Andy in Little Britain. Secondly, he is trying to mow down toddlers. Thirdly, if he sees a girl he fancies, he is trying to mow her down too. His plan at the party is to wheel me straight on to the dance floor and leave me there but I suss that one out and throw myself out of the chair at the party perimeter.

During the party, I realise the toe is a great leveller. Everyone has a toe story and sharing these anecdotes gives us all a chance to bond. Also, even though it was pretty much a freak accident, and I secretly know Marty wasn't to blame, I revel in the frequent opportunities to point him out in the crowd, and shout: "It was that guy there. He broke it."

For some reason, I have to get the wheelchair back to Guest Services by 10pm. I look around for someone to wheel me and spot Laurence. Hoewever after he's crashed me into two dustbins and a tank full of manta rays, i realise he's DUI. Ricardo Pinto appears and, the perfect gent, takes me all the way back to the Coral Lounge. I drink four more whisky colas to add to the three Bahamamas I had at the party (drowning the pain) and decide to call it a night.

I wave goodbye to Marty. He waves back. "The big toe is next, bitch"

Further reading: Wikipedia toe page | Great broken toe pics