I wouldn't say I was a show off. In fact I would say I am a quite unassuming man. I don't court attention, I don't like unannounced visitors and I absolutely detest my mobile ringing when I am 'in the middle of something'. In fact I don't really like it ringing at all.
What else could it be then? I am 47, happily married to a beautiful wife who somehow understands every odd little thing I do. I got over my mid-life crisis a few years ago. I am not completely bald and I am not that bad at golf.
So why is it then that with all this happiness, contentment and a nice home in the sun I have somehow discovered a death wish, and why has this death wish manifested itself in the form of a "quad bike".Yes - I have bought a quad.
Not a nice sensible little utility quad for going up tracks, oh no I have bought a SPORTS QUAD. This is the sort of thing young bucks of the town ride. It sounds like a WW2 spitfire as it screams though the village and is normally seen on 2 wheels or doing what's known as doughnuts in the Plaza Almijara.
Not only that but it's also in bright red! And what's even worse is that I bought a bright red helmet to go with it. Now, the fact that I bought a helmet at all is bad enough, but one that matches the colour of the bike, well I think you know what I am trying to say.
Normally I am a man who likes to research purchases to make sure I buy the right thing. When I bought my, 'ever so practical 4x4' for living over here I read every magazine, went on every website, read every review and examined the specifications of every make and model before deciding on what to buy. And now that I have got it, I think it's great, even though it does slow down when going up hill on a motorway.But why a quad? Maybe it's an antidote to the 4x4 I thought. But no, I don't think so? I think there is something more primeval happening here.
Maybe this extract of what's going on inside my head when I ride it might give a clue."Put it in gear. Getting it moving now. Don't stall, please don't stall. Ah we're off. Jees this thing can move. Ok now into 3rd and floor it. 'Bloody hell' right now into 4th. Oh sh*t there's a bend ahead. Ok down into 3rd. No not into 5th you plonker. Ah that's it, slowing down now. I wonder how quickly I can get round this corner? Christ it's like it's on rails. Bugger another bend, even sharper, down into 2nd. Aaaaagh a f#*&^%g lorry! Phew missed it. Ok now back into 3rd, and floor it.
Now, let's see how fast I can go before the next bend."
I think the reason I chose a quad is that it's the nearest I can get to owning and riding a wild animal. It's a bucking bronco with a bad attitude and it's my job to break it in. I'm never going to own a horse so it's the next best thing.
So far, it and I have got to the stage where we have a grudging respect for each other. It knows that it can throw me off any time it feels like it. But it also knows that I feed it and give it a home. As long as I take it out every now and then and let it scare the death out of me it's happy.
The next thing is to earn its respect. To do that I need to make it rear up on two wheels and teach it how to do a doughnut. But for now I will be happy if it's my friend, or just pretends to be.
So if you see a red thing flying along the road as if it'd possessed by the god of erratic driving, then the terrified man wearing a stupid red helmet and clinging on for dear life is only me being taken for a ride by my (not broken in yet) quad!!