IT'S Sunday afternoon and the girls are glad to catch up with our pal Mae who has just returned from two weeks in Tenerife with her other half Kenny who has an apartment and a car there.
Mae looks great. She's tanned, smiling and full of chat.
"So, how was it?" I ask, knowing that, while the holiday would have been fine, Mae's fear of flying was always a cause for concern.
"To be honest I was in a bit of a state in the run up to the flight," sighed Mae. "But it passed really quickly and smoothly … except at the end."
"Why? Was the weather bad?" I asked.
"No. the weather was great. Hardly a cloud in the sky. I was chatting most of the journey to the man next to me which kept my mind off things.
"Then the captain announced we were descending, which as you know always gets my nerves really jangling.
"Anway my chatty passenger asked me to let him out for the toilet.
"Now, he was at least 20 stones and it was quite a squeeze for him to get out of his seat.
"But, the second he stepped into the aisle the plane took a sudden sharp dip to the right.
"My heart was in my mouth. I grabbed on to a head rest to steady myself and before I knew it I started shouting at the top of my voice. 'Sit down. Quick, sit back down. You're tilting the plane! '
"I don't know who was more embarrassed. Me for roaring or the poor guy after me drawing attention to his size."
The girls couldn't stop laughing.
"So next day," Mae continued, "we drive into Los Christianos. The traffic is really busy and I was relieved it was Kenny driving.
"We drive round and round in circles with no sign of a parking space when Kenny suddenly pulls over and parks in a loading bay.
"'I don't think you are supposed to park here'." I told him.
"'No you're not'," he replied, "'but the bank closes soon. If anyone comes along, drive off'.
"Me?," I shrieked. "I've never driven abroad before and I don't have my driving licence with me."
"'I'll be back in no time'. Kenny shouted. I've left the keys in the ignition."
Mae told us she just knew something was going to happen but she still agreed to the plan.
Sure enough Kenny had just gone around the corner when Mae, texting a friend, felt a shadow.
The shadow gestured to her.
"You drive?," the figure who she now saw was wearing a police uniform asked.
MAE nodded and slid into the driver's seat to start the ignition. Beads of sweat were already forming on her top lip.
The police officer walked away.
Shaking like a leaf, Mae drove the car and parked three spaces ahead. But the irate police officer was there again and gestured for her to move on once more.
Mae pulled out and found herself on a busy roundabout.
"It was like the bloody Wacky Races," Mae said. "There were cars and lorries cutting in and out."
Three times she drove around the roundabout. Each time she got more exasperated. Eventually, she saw a gap and decided to take the next exit and found herself off the main road and at the entrance to a hotel where she finally parked.
"I was so relieved to be off the main road." she told us.
"I knew I had no licence and I was terrified I would get arrested."
Frantically, she called Kenny who could not make out any of her garbled conversation.
Kenny, of course, had by now arrived back at the empty loading bay. Not having understood her phone call and not being able to get her back on her mobile he waited and waited.
After, what seemed like forever standing in the baking sun with no sign of Mae or his car, Kenny spotted a police van and waved it over and tried to explain the situation in broken English.
He was quickly ushered into the metal cage in the back of the police van to go search for Mae.
Nervously, Mae was still waiting for Kenny, wrongly assuming that he had understood her phone call and was heading to her rescue.
But no. All she could see now in her rear view mirror is a police van … and it was heading her way.
"This is it I thought," she told us. "They're coming for me. I'm going to get arrested."
Of course she was unaware Kenny was in the back of the police van.
"I panicked. I didn't know what to do. So I drove off to hide from the police behind the hotel," she explained
KENNY, recognised his own vehicle and jumped out of the police van. He started bellowing 'that's my wife and waving his arms like a madman and shouting on Mae to stop.
Now regular readers of this column will surmise that what happened next was not likely to be that Mae did the sensible thing, pulled over, got out and hugged Kenny before they and the police officers all shared a good laugh.
No, the bold Mae, not recognising Kenny, continued to drive off.
The police officers were now out of the van watching Kenny trying to catch up with his own car, which seemed determined to evade him.
Kenny, running (according to his later testimony) faster than the Six Million Dollar Man finally caught up with his car and banged on window.
"I saw it was Kenny," she told us, so I rolled down the window. "Kenny, I'm being followed by the police. I'm going to get arrested for driving without a licence."
"What are you rambling on about?"
By this time the police were beside the car shouting in Spanish and pointing at the pair of them.
Neither Mae nor Kenny understood a word but somehow got the gist of the officers' fury and politely smiled and thanked the officers before Kenny helped a distraught Mae out of the car.
"So it sounds like you had a stressful day ," I said.
"Stressful?" said Mae. "The next time Kenny asks me to drive the car abroad he can forget it. He can get towed away for all I care.
"Next time?" I thought. "Next time? You really think there may be a next time?"