Zombies stumble through the streets… ghoulish-looking creatures stagger about mumbling unintelligibly… other vaguely-human creatures drip blood and adopt threatening postures. Saturday nights in English cities can get quite interesting.
Yeah, I know. Cheesy lede aside, I was at a party that my sister and her man were holding for this year’s Halloween. I might not be a believer in the supernatural, but I am a believer in doing things that allow me to have fun with my alcohol-drinking friends without it ever becoming a dominant theme.
Special nights like this are great occasions for non-drinkers, because the whole excuse-to-dress-up thing cranks everybody up into a party mood regardless of whether they’re drinking. So I bought a cheap hooded gown and inflatable scythe and came as Death, though even then, as one wag pointed out, without the scythe I’d just look like the woman in the Scottish Widows advert.
The fact that I wasn’t the only non-drinker in the place helped, as did the fact that they’re a very accepting bunch. Though the mad doctor and nurse team administering Jaegermeister syringes to eager patients meant it probably wasn’t a good party for recovering alcoholics to attend.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s actually useful for non-drinkers (those that wouldn’t be tempted, at least) to hang out with drinkers – feeding off their drunken energy like blood-sucking vampires. I’ve noticed, for instance, that as drinkers become less inhibited and louder, so do I; unconsciously mimicking their behaviour.
Mind you, according to social anthropologist Kate Fox, many of the effects we attribute to alcohol are in the mind, anyway, which presumably means that mindless zombies would make a good control group for experiments on the subject.
It was a great night and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, from the pair of vampires to the robot-for-all-seasons Bender. The food was fab too, thanks to the hosts and the Wondercat Bakery.
Of course, at some point in the evening, people go where I cannot follow, and I’m not referring to the netherworld. Unless the netherworld is a place where people go when they’re quite drunk. That, of course, is one of the things with self-administered medication – it’s easy to get the dose wrong. Or right, depending on your perspective.
Come the morning the house the hosts served up much-needed bacon sandwiches and beverages to help heal what I imagine were some fairly fragile heads. Which makes me think… next time I’m going to come as a hangover – they’re clearly works of pure evil.