I slumped down onto the sofa, wishing there was a no-smoking rule at these house parties. "Where are Bodie and Doyle?"
Lighting yet another cigar, Anson shrugged. "In their room."
Lucas burst into the lounge. "'ere, Murph, Anson, come and listen to this."
Curious, we both followed Lucas up the stairs, to where all the others were crowded on the half-landing. The sounds emanating from the room ahead were drawing a mixture of smirks and uncomfortable glances.
A strange sort of wheezing, gasping noise, rhythmically repeated, reached my ears. Before I could ask anyone what was going on, we heard Doyle's voice. "Are you sure that's the right hole?"
"Wouldn't it be better if I used my mouth? Oi, not so hard! It's getting difficult to keep it in."
"Bodie! Can't you hold anything for a couple of minutes?"
"I can't help it - it keeps slipping out."
"Well, get a grip. Look, that's better, it's getting harder now. When are we going to change positions? This is killing me."
"You could always try it on your back with your feet against the wall. Or it might ease your lower back if you stick your bum out."
"Oh, yes, that's better, much better. It's coming now. That'll do."
There wasn't a sound from around me; all the other lads were stunned into silence.
"Got your breath back yet? We've got to do it all over again."
"Suppose so. Tell you what, I'll shake it 'cos it's hard to get it in when it's floppy."
"You just make sure you hold it firmly otherwise it'll slip out. I'm going to pump faster and see if it makes any difference."
"You can try, but you won't be able to keep that up for long, and it always takes longer second time around."
"This smell of rubber is getting up my hooter, it's putting me right off."
"You just keep pumping mate, that's what you're good at."
"I think I've got the rhythm now. You just hold still."
"Just a few more pushes. Yes, that's it! How do you feel?"
"Spent. Get a plug in before it all leaks out again."
"What about the others?"
"I'm sure Anson and Murphy can handle it, I bet they've done it before."
Shoulder to shoulder with Anson, we both glanced sideways and edged away. Closest to the door, Lucas started waving. "Quick, scatter, I think they're coming out."
McCabe smirked. "Coming out? I think they just have..."
The door opened and Bodie emerged, dishevelled and sweating, carrying a double-action hand pump. "Whose turn is it next to pump up their airbed?"
He took in the looks around him. "Well, what did you think we were doing?"
"Airbeds...?" we murmured faintly...
The above is inspired by the recent visit to Kate, and between us we managed to use most of the above lines whilst inflating airbeds...