My work colleague and fellow Flood Inspector – let’s still call her Daisy (see previous post) – not only knows everyone in town, she is also related to half of them; indeed, I have only been here a total of six years and already she is related to me. She is the Aunty of my best friend Nicola, whose Mother was Daisy’s sister and whose son is my Godson and Daisy’s Grandnephew – confusing? Welcome to the world of Manx family connections.
Well, it transpired that Daisy and I were invited to our Grandnephew/Godson’s 3rd birthday party; what’s more, it was to be a costume party; what’s even more, costumes were to be mandatory…no exceptions…on pain of death. Although not huge fans of costume wearing, we resolved to comply nonetheless. Daisy decided to go as a sassy pirate; and I, aware of the ethical concerns of privateering, decided to go as a sailor.
Now, Daisy, in terms of girth, is what you might call a generous woman; so, it was with an impressive degree of optimism that she chose the following outfit.
Worried that the costume was more I dance around and take my clothes off for money pirate, I attempted to point out its inherent flaws; but Daisy, ever hopeful, assured me that with a frilly petticoat and an elastic band, she could fashion the costume into that of sassy pirate.
Unfortunately, Daisy’s optimism proved misguided and, after much tinkering, she ended up with a costume that resembled my crack supply ran out and I’ve started turning tricks pirate. Poor Daisy was traumatised by the experience; indeed, when she arrived at work the next day, she looked ashen and shaken. I told her not to worry, as I would be visiting the House of Fun (the local costume hire place) and could look out for a costume for her as well.
The House of Fun is basically 1000’s of costumes stuffed into someone’s garden shed. It is run by a lovely couple and a Labradoodle called Max – who’s as big as a horse.
Once inside the shed, you are greeted by massive array of costumes; indeed, the sheer number of them in one small place is overwhelming. Luckily the owners are on hand and know where everything is; all you have to do is say what you’re interested in and they can find it lickety spilt.
There were lots of sassy-sailor costumes to choose from; but with Daisy’s experience freshly in mind, I decided to play it safe and go as a potato.
Eventually the big day arrived. Nicola had asked me to make my famous smiley-face birthday biscuits. To be honest, I was a little surprise, considering that, while cleaning up after last year’s party, she found loads of discarded biscuits, with their smiley-faces licked off.
Biscuits ready and costume on, I waited for the call from Daisy to say she was on her way; for, not wanting to roam the streets of Ramsey dressed as a giant potato, I’d gladly accepted a lift from her.
Daisy looked fantastic in her sassy and (thank God for small mercies) respectable pirate costume.
We arrived early to help Nicola and her partner Matt set up for the party. Suspiciously, they were both uncostumed; but Nicola assured us they would be putting theirs on in due course. Indeed, Matt did; he wore a rather cool Jack Sparrow pirate outfit. Nicola’s costume, however, remained elusive.
Soon guests started to arrive and, horror of horrors, there was not a costume-clad adult among them. So there we were: Sassy pirate Daisy and me, a giant potato. Only one other adult came in costume – some poor fella dressed as a horse.
Lucky for me, I was gainfully employed at the party (limiting the obligatory small-talk with other adults while dressed as a potato)as Nicola had put me in charge of temporary tattoos. All the kids were really sweet; they liked their tattoos and honking the nose of my costume.
All in all, the party was a great success; there was a disco, games, yummy party food and a delicious Thomas the Tank Engine birthday cake. The kids had a great time – if the incessant screeching was anything to go by; indeed, a child’s party is like tossing a few chips to a flock of seagulls. Almost as suddenly as it began, it was all over and there was nothing left to do but pop the balloons and collect discarded biscuits with licked off smiley-faces.
Addendum: According to section 23, subsection 8, paragraph 3 of the Friends and Relations Charter: Making your Best Friend and Aunty wear a costume to your child’s party, that you and no-body else (bar the requisite horse and Jack Sparrow impersonator) wears a costume to, is a serious breach of conduct; and carries the penalty of reparations due, in the form of baked-goods (usually chocolate brownies), in order to fully compensate said Best Friend and Aunty.