Wahey, the weekend is finally upon us! I made the most of it by… being up at the crack of dawn, cleaning! And putting a coat of stain on the window. Finally, a whole week later, a coat of stain has gone on the window, and it was just ahead of the Direct Sunlight of dawn’s rosy rays (which is a big no for Ronseal, just as much as for vampires) and it didn’t get rained on and I was so goddamn pleased that finally, some stupid, pishy job that shoulda taken no time at all had been completed. As well as most irked with myself for letting itself get to that stage.
(Oh why, oh why did I not even try to witch the weather, for instance? Probably would have done nothing, right enough, but jeebus, think outside the box a little!)
Right, now I have to shift everything out of the spare room into the hall and lounge ahead of the van and the people helping move it coming round, procure milk, get a pot of coffee on… and that’s the buzzer already.
The move itself was pretty straightforward, much to my relief. Me and Schwarzwalde and the Husband of Lovely Hats carried things out to the van, and when the van was full we drove it to Kirschtorte’s new flat. Things got a bit difficult there, it’s true, because she’s on the second floor and some more folks turned up and there was a lot of confusion. Especially since the plan of stationing someone on every landing went awry when the neighbours piled out and filled the landings with charity binbags. But it was done by midday. In fact, we had to go back for Kirschtorte’s collection of bubbly and the henhouse from the back garden, because she wanted to take us to lunch as a thankyou and nowhere was open yet.
So that was all very pleasant and amicable and a job well done. Now, for my plans! Getting up the Allittlement, I think, while the good weather holds, and getting the last of the root veg up!
Not only that, I snipped the last of the chilli peppers off the chilli plants in the bedroom and took all the plants to go to the great compost bin in the, er, corner. On my way, it decided to shower down (of course), so I had the added excitement of frantically pulling up handfuls of waist-high leaves in the rain. Quite apart from the excitement of wondering what they have actually grown, all these months. The first one… nothing. The second… ditto. And so on. The turnip harvest was a wash-out – literally!
However, the swedes did better – many were teeny rootlings (that’ll teach me to refuse to thin them out) but as I got closer to the ends of the bed, I started pulling up great white globes that would barely fit in my hand. Well okay, it’s not such a good size, but dammit, it’s the biggest things I’ve grown all year! And I’ve never grown any other veg, making them the biggest things I’ve grown EVER!
My parsnip harvest turned out better than expected, though was still about what you could get for sixty-nine pence from LIDL. Oh no wait, these are technically Organic parsnips (odd, I keep forgetting that) and therefore worth probably about that each.
I plodded home with a surprisingly heavy bag but a surprisingly light heart and went to set to on the costume. I am so effin’ cunning. I am going as Storm Fae The X-men, and behold, I cobbled most of this together myself. True, no actual Inventions (such as papier mache) were involved, but I have sewn and I have sprayed, and I have even sodding ironed the damn thing, and I have purchased white underwear for under the white lycra so it will not Show, and I have worked out a way to put it on so it comes apart to allow me to go to the loo without having to remove wig, cape and entire costume, during which procedure at least one (white) part of it will no doubt fall on the (don’t even think about it) loo floor. Viz: Make leotard into bodysuit by snipping the gusset, sew Velcro onto gusset bit to hold it back together. Voila! And I have sellotaped the very last of the tinfoil to the knee-high boots, so I make crinkley noises when I walk. And I am in four-inch stack heels. I should look Superb. Cab time!
It was then, while looking in the mirror, I realised you can see the white underwear through the white lycra. Oh CRAP. Still, far too late to do anything about it now!
Besides, sure, it’s a fightclub Hallowe’en party, I see these guys stripping down to their underwear every week. I’m sure this will merely be turn about!
By this time, however, the rain was on, and there was no chance of getting a cab anywhere in the city. I spent half an hour speed-redialling the black hackneys, and never even got through. Right. I wasn’t actually looking forward to going out and cutting about in fancy dress, being a mite knackered by not that much really, but I am a contrary cow and now that I can’t go, I have determine that I will. By thunder! It is only three miles away, after all! I could walk there!
So, boots off (and I really am glad, with hindsight, that I did not try and do that when I got in from the pub, because it involved scissors being wielded at arms-length when I couldn’t really see what I was doing), docs on, stuff out of handbag and into rucksack, long, black coat on, and we will walk to the bowling club! In fancy dress. And a white wig. On a Saturday night.
What the feck am I even thinking? I wondered, as I stomped down the road, daring anyone coming the other way to look at me funny.
Also, the Velcro I sewed on? I had perhaps been overly generous with the length of it. Or maybe, I shoulda cut the corners off on a curve, rather than just snipping off the points, because they jagged into my inner thighs with every step.
Oh suck it up, you big wuss! I thought. It’s a wee bit of pain, what’s the worst that could happen? Stick your ears on and stomp on and ignore it! At least the rain’s off!
Of course, it promptly started to rain again. I didn’t have enough hands to hold the coat shut, the wig on and a brolly, so that was me soaked. (The One Toggle fell off immediately after purchase and for some reason I have never gotten round to getting a replacement toggle, leather strap and needles with sufficient power to make it through the coat, oh woe, here I be dressed as a superheroine, and a weather-witch at that, ha, when in fact I am a failure of a powerhouse of domestic goddesshood, and I am settling for domestic goddesshood only as a crappy alternative to my proper dreams).
Well, the outside of me was soaked. I only found out when the Spoonatic came running across the hall to give me a hug and stopped midway through, shrieking with horror. Which was rather amusing, with hindsight, given what he didn’t run from shrieking, later in the night. (I put that in to attempt to hold people’s attention.)
And so, I had helped with a house-move, brought in a harvest, heroically overcome the odds and Arrived. Which left the slight problem that here I was, in a brightly-lit bowling hall full of pensioners, in my underwear. Why, oh why, did I not see this coming? Was the place not full of pensioners last time? Indeed it was. Muppet!
Well, until this very hour, I was under the blissful false impression that my underwear was not going to be on display, of course.
I got me a pear cider and sloped off to sit at the far end of our lot’s table, where I could pretend to be invisible. Which blissful illusion also lasted only seconds, for a Lady of Pensionable Age came marching across from the other side of the room, straight at me. Oh here we go, I thought, Remember the Sub-crawl, where I was sitting with Satsuma and her bloke, minding me own business (in the company of thirty other assorted wierdoes Aff The Forum, too) and the resident Lady of Pensionable Age came over and took umbrage at my bra straps? Only, this time, the lady will have a Point.
Wait, maybe she’ll demand I leave, and I can do so! Having fulfilled my obligations and discharged my Honour (er, somewhat) and everything! Woo!
Excuse me, but you’re Storm Fae The X-men, aren’t you? said the lady. I thought so! My son loves them! You look great!
Ah nuts. Not being evicted after all. On the plus side, that was very sweet of her. Maybe she did it purely because I looked so miserably awkward, who knows. If so, there should be a place for her in heaven. Because it is virtuous to take pity on the Afflicted.
And the Well-‘ard Chick was dressed as a mummy, and very well indeed, and the lawyer was dressed as a gangster and I’m really not sure what the Spoonatic was dressed as, and there was a surgeon and a Sleeping Beauty and a Silk Spectre and a Rorsach and a Baron Samedi and a witch and a werewolf and a red devil and Batman and I got hugs off the latter two, only I discovered later that the Devil was not with us at all. Oops.
Then we were told that everyone in costume had to stand up and parade around in a circle in the middle of the room while they decided who is best. For three songs. Oh lord. On parade to pensioners in me undies. I so wished I at least had the big silver boots on, then I could fake rocking it better. As it was, I danced around a bit and at least tried to look casual about the whole thing, on the grounds that nothing looks more pitiful than someone half-dressed and bitterly regretting their tailoring.
Surprise, I did not win. Well, it would be a bad message to give the kids, really. Not that there were any. I bet if I had worn the boots, however…
But no time to dwell on that – there was more trouble brewing for me. I sloped off outside for a smoke and was joined by a different Lady of Pensionable Age.
You’re with [the Cagefighter and the Well-‘ard Chick]’s lot, aren’t you? she said. Yes indeed! I said. And I am most embarrassed by the see-through nature of my costume, but for various reasons I never discovered it till it was too late.
Hmm, she said, coming in for a closer inspection, before prodding me in the abdomen. No, you’re fine, you have something to cover your modesty.
Very relieved I was by her pronouncement, since she seemed to be some sort of Grande Dame (in the fashion that the resident Lady of Pensionable Age who mocked me loudly and publicly on the sub-crawl rather thought she was). Rather terrified I was, however, since the thing ‘covering my modesty’ was, er, me knickers, wot she had just kinda prodded. But if she was some sort of Grande Dame, I was not messing with her, so I grinned inanely in an attempt to make friends.
Did you see their wedding photos? she continued cheerily. You should, they’re a scream! [the Cagefighter] turned up in a turban and [the Well-ard Chick] refused to get hitched with him dressed like that!
Ooh. I think I have met The Cagefighter’s Mum, here. Of whom he said, the last time we came to a soiree, She is one of the only two people on earth I am scared of! (The other being the Well-‘ard Chick, i.e. his wife).
When I went in, the Grande Dame was hitting the Cagefighter up for a quid. The evidence mounts.
But no time to dwell on that – there was more trouble brewing for me. When I sloped off to the loo, where at least no part of my costume fell off onto the (don’t think about it) floor, I discovered me gussets were covered in blood. No! I thought in horror. It’s biologically impossible! I have this Implant… no wait, the blood is all on the outside of the gussets.
Well and hasn’t the velcro only attacked me hard enough to lacerate?
Does this show? I wondered.
Yes. Yes indeed it shows. And given where the blood is coming from, guess what it looks like. And it turns out, there is only one thing that looks more pitiful than someone half-dressed and bitterly regretting their tailoring. And this would be it.
I will have to go home, I thought. I will go home all casual-like, but I must go. The threat of being turned into a pumpkin come midnight is nothing compared to this fiasco.
I didn’t manage to politely slip away, however. Which had its plus points – I got to watch the Cagefighter strutting around like a vampire version of Michael Jackson, periodically leaping upon unsupecting (male) members of the acting club that fighclub rent a room to and proving his alpha prowess by humiliating them on the dancefloor.
And I finally realised that the lassie dressed as Silk Spectre sitting across from me was not a WAG, but actually a regular I had fought before, only neither of us were quite sure it was the other one because we were both in wigs. Hee.
And near the end of the night, a Gentleman of (very) Pensionable Age suddenly got up and had a dance-off against the Cagefighter, and it was the most awesome thing I have ever seen, not least because the newcomer actually won and the Cagefighter did a full kow-tow at his feet and then spent most of the rest of the night saying in astonishment, I got served! while his wife practically peed herself laughing.
They all announced they were going into town clubbing, in the end, so I prepared to finish my drink and move outside myself. The Cagefighter was having none of it, however, and steered me to a table where his dad and brother were sitting, saying he was not having me sit by myself. Awww. But now I can’t skidaddle!
I had hardly said hello, however, when he came back and said they were paying for me to come clubbing. Oh no really, no, this is very sweet (oh god, I am now officially Omega member of fightclub and a Waif who has to be Looked After, the shame) but I just want to go home. I am not striding around town in white and my underwear and my own blood, goddammit, looking like I’m on the rag.
Fortunately, no cabs were to be had. I admired the game of Gay Chicken (where the Cagefighter again got served… by the Spoonatic) but when one of the lassies said, Maybe we should do that too, I made my excuses and left shortly afterwards. I may be the worst-dressed harlot present, but I am a prudish harlot, by god!
On my way, the original Lady of Pensionable Age stopped me and said, It is a lovely costume and you should have won, you have an incredible figure. Awwww.
I only had to walk about halfway home – in sodding agony the whole way because, ha, even though it’s sticky-back velcro, I sewed it on Just To Be Sure and thus could not rip it off again, could I – and then I saw the bright beacon of a cab. I wailed mightily to the cabbie of my woes and told him I am very shy and retiring and don’t understand why I am perpetually plagued by this sort of hilarious (to other people) misfortune. He laughed heartily at the notion of my being shy and retiring. Harrumph. But lo, I made it to bed by midnight and with no further self-inflicted embarrassment.
In conclusion: for a night which could hardly go any worse, that could hardly have gone any better. Still. Bollocks.