Hailey, our old Aussie housemate, was having a party. It was London Underground themed – a great theme for any occasion.
Jake and I popped over to her house in Shepherd’s Bush at 8pm to deliver the speakers. We were just planning to drop the sound off before popping home to get fancy dressed. Logically we thought the party would barely have started yet. But we were forgetting that this was a combination of Aussies and Kiwis we were talking about. So they were already totally mashed.
‘Shit!’ We thought. And rushed home to start drinking. Drinking while getting fancy dressed. One of life’s great combinations.
Jake and Alex had been highly productive that day, and constructed elaborate outfits from the glorious selection of items at Poundland. They were dressed as King’s Cross and Knightsbridge respectively.
Dani was dressed as West India Quays (Keys) and I tried to be clever. My plan was to dress as a posh countryside-esque gentleman but with a clown’s face painted on my bonce. This in theory would make me Oxford Circus.
Unfortunately I was to spend the entire evening explaining this to people. When they eventually got it the disappointment on their face was practically tangible. On every person.
So anyway we left the house to go to the party fully dressed. Swooshing through the streets of West London. Somehow at this point we were all totally smashed. I don’t know how but it must have been all the drinking.
Thus we arrived at the party, to a carnival of drunkenness and costumery. This is where my memory gets hazy.
Jake had inexplicably purchased a bow and arrow to compliment his outfit. I have no idea why a King would carry a bow and arrow around. But he’s a King I suppose, so he can do what the fuck he wants. Which is good because a missile launching accessory is always useful at a party. We pestered as many people as possible. The sly old ‘peow over the shoulder then turn to look the other way’ trick went down a treat.
That was until one girl got really angry. She didn’t like being hit with a projectile. She stormed over and started yelling at Jake.
But it wasn’t the foreign impact that had pissed her off. It was the arrow itself that had so infuriated her. More importantly the fact she THOUGHT IT WAS ON FIRE!?
This girl genuinely believed Jake had just catapulted a flaming arrow into the back of her head. As though this was the part in Robin Hood where Alan Rickman burns the shit out of the tree house village. THIS ISN’T SHERWOOD FOREST – THIS IS SHEPHERD’S BUSH! She took a lot of persuading (though I think Jake and I may have encouraged her a little) but eventually accepted it was just a shit plastic arrow from Poundland.
That was Jake’s confrontation. But mine was still to come.
A while later in the evening (I’m not exactly sure how long as catastrophic memory loss had kicked in by now) I found myself once again explaining my costume to a stranger.
He was standing the other side of the courtyard talking to Jake. And Jake had asked him what he thought I was dressed as.
This guy was massive. At least a foot taller than me (and I’m 5’11) and at least twice as large. He was fucking huge. He’d make Hagrid shit himself.
I tried to explain, as politely as I could:
‘Well the first part is my clothing’, pointing at my tweed jacket and bow tie, a friendly smile on my face.
‘And the second part is my face’, pointing at my clown face paint.
‘So what do you think I’m dressed as?’ I enquired.
He looked at me. A solid, unflinching stare on his face.
‘GAY!?’ He replied.
Now it may have been the gin I’d been guzzling all night. Or it may have been the frustration at explaining my costume over and over again all night.
But I was suddenly really fucking angry.
‘Well what the fuck are you dressed as!?’ I loudly enquired. ‘Big CUNT Street!??’
And thus began the most awkward silence of my entire life.