Crushed Diaries

A blog for Young Adults

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Fancy Dress Party

I used to go to a party every weekend without fail when I was a teenager, but one of the most memorable ones was Tina’s fancy dress bash. Tina was an only child, who lived in a crumbling yellow house round the corner. Her mum was a character actress, who had appeared in millions of films but had only spoken one line of dialogue in each one. Her dad was a director who didn’t work any more, but stayed in bed all day long watching his old films on TV. He even ate his meals in bed. The only time when he went downstairs, was when he had to go out of the front door.

When Tina’s parents were invited to some film festival abroad, she decided to have a fancy dress party. They were always leaving her alone in the house, and couldn't care less if she wrecked it, as they didn’t have any prized possessions to worry about. They were cool, unlike my parents who went bananas if someone broke one of their ashtrays, even though they didn’t smoke.

I didn’t know whom to go as, so stuck a big, cartwheel hat on my head and pretended I was Princess Anne, that was because someone once told me I looked like her. Tina's Mum had made a huge soggy trifle with a mountain of red Smarties on top of the lumpy custard, and I was stuffing my guts on the sofa, careful not to let the goo drip down my moth-eaten fox fur stole, which Mum had once bought me from Portobello Road. I was sandwiched between a fat, bald girl dressed up as Noddy, and an effeminate boy who said he was Shirley Temple. I was just waving to a skinny creature who had a big flowerpot over his head, when I heard a terrific screaming and banging. All the lights dimmed, and I thought I was in an old fashioned horror show, especially when a couple of gorillas came running into the room, thumping their chests and howling. I almost choked on a Smartie.

‘That’s funny, I didn’t know gorillas sounded like hyenas,’ Noddy said.

The guests were unsure what to do, especially when Tina, dressed up as an ostrich, started screaming like she'd been shot. ‘Get those gatecrashers out of here. Call the police,’ she yelled hysterically. The boy who was dressed up as Shirley Temple sprung into action, and started to furiously dial 999 on the big white phone which was plonked on top of the white shaggy rug. But before he was able to splutter out an SOS to the police, one of the gorillas ran over and violently pulled the phone’s socket out of the wall. Noddy shrieked. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry when one of the beasts then whipped off its head.
‘Surprise!’ it yelled. It was Tina’s dad! The other gorilla also pulled it’s head off. It was Tina’s Mum, whose dyed pink whispy hair lay flat on her head like squashed candy floss.

‘We missed our plane,’ Tina’s Mum chortled.

‘We didn’t want to go to the film festival anyway,’ Tina’s dad said. They both went onto explain at length, how grown-ups like to do, how they had decided to play a trick on us by hiring the gorilla costumes for the night, so that they could give us a fright.

‘You weren’t frightened, were you Tina darling?’ Tina’s dad asked, putting a big hairy arm around her shoulders, before he sloped upstairs to have his supper in bed. Although Tina forced her thin lips into a grimace, I could see she was furious. Especially, when her Mum got all actressy and forced us all to play charades for the rest of the evening, a game which I’m hopeless at. After I mimed being a teapot for half an hour, pretending I was the dormouse in "Alice in Wonderland", I gave up. The rest of the guests weren’t thrilled either. They had come along to have some mindless fun, and there they were stuck with their hostess’s bossy mother, who was in her element, pretending she was Queen Kong for the night. I sneaked off home, and realised how lucky I was. Although my parents were a pain in the neck, and didn't trust me enough to leave me alone in the house for even one night, at least they were normal. Frances Lynn: copyright 2008


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