I went to Zurich in October 1995, which is an awful long time ago. I remember some of the things that happened there, but the rest is a bit hazy. I’ve just done a google search to see if I’d missed anything during my visit, and indeed I had. For it was in October 1995 that the city had celebrated ‘100 Years of Dentistry in Zurich’.
I have tried to find out more about the tooth-orientated festivities and parades that must have passed me by. Unfortunately, my google search could only take me to an article written in German, which is a bit of a mouthful at the best of times. However, with a word like ‘Zahnschmerzen’ to light up in fireworks, it must have been quite a party in Zurich.
Presumably the celebratory pyrotechnics took place whilst I was too busy watching a shower-show at the Calypso Nightclub. This sounds quite perverted, although not quite as perverted as you are probably thinking. More ‘weird’ than ‘perverted’.
I’d gone to Zurich on a business trip with Uncle Geoff. He wasn’t really my Uncle Geoff, it’s just how he referred to himself. He was a work colleague with a difference. I’m not sure how you’d define the difference; self-destructive, hedonistic, bonkers? He’d served prison time for stealing a double-decker bus and driving it into a river.
It was Uncle Geoff that had done his research and decided that we should go see the shower-show. Being somewhat in awe of this loon, and not a little bit scared, I wasn’t going to argue.
According to their website the shower-show is a Zurich treat that is still on offer at the Calypso to this day. It isn’t anything to do with showers of the golden variety. It is the highlight of an evening’s cabaret of more traditional strippering (if there is such a word, although there probably is in German as they have a long word for everything).
Much to the drunken appreciation of the audience, presumably they were all dentists, a shower cubicle is wheeled onto the stage. Then a lady takes a shower in it. Naturally the lady’s shower culminates in a lengthy faked orgasm, as I’m sure happens whenever any woman takes a shower in the real world. However, this tedious orgasm went on for so long I found myself wondering more about the plumbing practicalities of the portable shower. How did the drainage work? Was the water hot? If not, was I mistaken about the orgasm? Was it really the onset of hypothermia?
I think Uncle Geoff was significantly more aroused by the shower show than I was. The abundance of water had obviously rekindled old aquatic desires. This is the only reason I can think of that he decided to throw himself off the Rudolf-Brun Bridge on the way back to our hotel.
Now I’m not easily shocked, I’d just sat through a shower-show, but I am much more easily stunned. And stunned I was.
One minute we were walking along, the next minute he’d leaped up on to the bridge’s balustrade and then disappeared into the darkness. Unless he’d fully researched his stunt in advance, and he had a team of divers on standby, there were three unanswered questions left hanging in Zurich’s cold night air; a) how high was the bridge, b) how deep was the water and c) why.
He did eventually surface and then clambered up the embankment steps to re-join me on the bridge.
No words passed between us and we carried on walking. The hotel receptionist had a few words to say though, when he stood in the lobby and emptied a good proportion of the River Limmat out of his coat pockets.
Over breakfast I questioned him about his potentially suicidal river prank. He couldn’t remember anything about it, although he anxiously sought my confirmation that there hadn’t been a bus involved. Apparently, his parole conditions weren’t just limited to the UK.
We haven’t kept in touch. Well you wouldn’t would you?