In 2005 I entered the Plymouth to Dakar Rally. This was a rally from Plymouth to Dakar (the rally was well named!) in which I had to drive a car bought for less than £100.
I was raising money for Save the Children and, in our 1982 American Town and Country Station Wagon, we had pens and pencils, notepads and first aid kits to hand out to the villages on our route.
And, in the back, in a sealed case, we had filthy dirty erotica.
If we got into trouble, or were stopped by border guards, the organisers’s rules were quite clear, we weren’t to use cash to escape – we were to use porn!
Border guards were lonely guards….
So, for the first time in my life, I had to go into a shop and buy a girly magazine.
I didn’t know what to do.
I’m looking at all these different images: big jugs; bouncy butts; but all I can think is “What would Abdul likes as a kinky backhander?”
Cause it wasn’t like I was buying it for myself. It was a gift. I couldn’t give Abdul the border guard any old book. What would he like in his lonely Saharan outpost?
So, I asked for help.
That was a big mistake.
Don’t get me wrong, I now know that asking for help could come across as a little bit weird, but tell me this, what’s weird – me, asking for recommendations or the guy at the counter exclaiming in delight “I thought you’d never ask!”
I should have been shocked but all I could think was: “Cool, my pornography is bespoke!”
Sadly, for Abdul, he never saw his adult gifts. Although I was buying erotica like my life depended on it – because my life did actually depend on it – we crashed our station wagon near Paris and the car was wrecked. Our rally was over.
Luckily, the French scrappy who examined the wreckage offered to find a home for our pens and pencils at the local orphanage. Our charitable endeavours would not go to waste. It was only when he was gone that we remembered that not all of our gifts were meant for children….
But, I think the orphans were secretly happy when they discovered our secret stash. When you’re 13 you’re not looking for a pen or a pencil – all you really want to get is your very own dirty book.