Christmas Boogie Empuriabrava finished on the 4th of January. This was the evening of the 5th.
The year was 2010 and I was sat on a wide bodied jet somewhere over Greece on my way to Dubai.
I had been hired to commentate and present a brand new competition. The Dubai International Parachuting championships. In association with the Gulf Cup.
That cup had been going for a few years. Someone had the idea of expanding the meet and inviting the best in the world to compete in Classic accuracy, Formation skydiving and canopy piloting.
As I sat there on the Dubai bound flight I was slowly shaking my head at how I had got thrust bang into the middle of it. I had a lot of experience with working an audience having been DJing for many years before.
I also had history with talking about swooping after MCing the King of Swoop events on the Empuriabrava beach 2005/2006. But wow, what was I walking into? My bosses at Skydive Empuriabrava were not too impressed with me going to do a freelance job for a couple of weeks. I was on a contract and salary as a formation skydiver load organiser with them. It was uncharted territory. I just took annual leave and decided I was doing it. I would deal with any contract problems and issues when I got back. I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.
There was actually quite a large crew from Empuria working the event. From technical to camera and admin, a few had arrived the day before. My little group arrived at the hotel at 6am I think. Exhausted after the travel and having just finished the boogie without a day off, I shuffled up to the desk. I remember it having the London, New York, Dubai clocks on the back wall. Just like in the movies.
“Welcome Mr Tetlow” the extremely well groomed gentleman on reception beamed. “Your suite is ready, with the complements of the higher organising committee”
SUITE? Woah I thought, who did they think they had hired? I was a bit concerned, but also very tired. I just wanted to get to bed.i mumbled some sort of thanks, signed the papers and made my way to the lifts. At the room, I swiped the card and pushed the door open.
I couldn’t see a bed. I saw a big open room. Plush. Massive TV, sofa, then another room leading off from that that I thought must be the bedroom. It was.
I couldn’t believe where I was. I had never seen anything like this before. I decided to unpack a few things, have a shower and crash. As I leaned against the bathroom wall, hot powerful jets of steaming water realising the tension in my back, slamming onto the underfloor heated tiles and pooling around my feet, i wriggled my toes and began to laugh. This was insane. Like something out of a Bond movie.
I pulled down the fluffiness thickest towel I had ever held in my hand and dried off. Feeling totally awesome, I pulled back the lush thick white duvet and began to slide into the impossibly big bed. Right then, the bedside phone began to ring.
“Yes?” I said with the earpiece pushed against my temple, feeling like something must be wrong, maybe this was not my room.. “Meester Teetlow?,(In a very thick accent) this is reception, can you please come down to the desk?”
“Ok” I said I’m a resigned tone. I guessed it was too good to be true. They had given me the wrong room.
I began to put everything back into my case, got dressed, grabbed a bottle of water, and having one last look at this incredible room, walked out of the door, dragging my two bags to the lift.
I hit the G button and rode down the floors feeling confused and fed up. What a mess this was.
As the lift doors opened, the first thing I see is Bruno Brokken stood there, bent over and laughing his face off with that high pitched giggle of his.
IT WAS HIM!, the voice on the phone! The gag clicked into place.
“BASTARD!” I smiled and shook my head as I backed into the lift and made my way back to my lovely suite. It was still mine after all. Next morning he told me he was hiding around the corner as I checked in, waiting to pull off the stunt.
Every now and again, even now, five years later, When I meet Bruno, he sometimes utters the words….