Our blogger, Jonty Pearce, recounts a recent shopping trip with his wife to find a wetsuit

Carol felt that she needed a wetsuit. She had nursed this desire for some time, but finally decided on a purchase in order to properly test out a new ladies lifejacket. This would involve several sessions in the water – how many other husbands get the chance to legitimately push their wives overboard without considerable come-back? The wetsuit would also come in useful during our on-going researches into MOB retrieval (see YM Jan 2015 edition) and, more enjoyably, for canoeing.

She often bemoans that much of her lack of height is due to her short waist which makes any clothes shopping trip a time-consuming nightmare. Thus, to get a fashionable fit, a visit to a retail outlet was essential rather than searching for an online purchase such as I had; the 4XL Extra Large Fatb’staard size I sourced on t’Interweb fitted me fine.

The chosen outlet was in Wednesbury, conveniently right on the junction of the M5 and M6 – though currently suffering endless tailbacks due to the never-ending roadworks designed, I’m sure, to heighten the delights and relaxation of the rush hour commute. After the calming effects of a full-lead mug of caffeine laden coffee, we felt strong enough to enter the enormous store.

Wow! Imagine a Boeing 707 hangar packed with sporting gear for all activities and you are part way there. We were in seventh heaven and Carol insisted on working her way methodically down each aisle until the full range of merchandise had been inspected. Thus, by the time we reached the wetsuit section (remember the wetsuit? that was the reason for being there) Carol had bought cycling accessories, pack-away jackets, badminton shoes, and a badminton racquet (tested outside in a howling gale… shuttlecocks are hard to hit in windy conditions).

And so to the wetsuit. Muggins was the wetsuit fetcher while the whole store’s stock was tried on, finally, thank the Lord, with success. Mind you, after Carol had shrugged womanfully – very womanfully – into half a dozen different wetsuits she reckoned she had burned off 900 calories, had no blood sugar left and deserved a doughnut, now! Try placating a sugar depleted wife when you are in a sports megastore and the nearest doughnut is two blocks away. I tried to help matters by telling her that in her chosen wetsuit she looked like a lovely tempting seal and that if I was a Killer Whale I’d ‘ave her. At which point I had to run away bravely into the gathering laughing crowd to ask a member of staff for directions to the nearest doughnut shop.

After her blood glucose had been replenished by her doughnut she unfortunately continued into a sugar high and started to try on nearly every item in the ladies’ outfitter store that housed the coffee shop. I sighed, and went to the car for a snooze to build up my strength to battle my way back south on the M5. Retail therapy? Not my sort of medicine…


Jonty Pearce