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Hell raising

Last night I went to Sonia & Rowland's (I think he spells it like that) house for a Halloween party. Should really have gone along to OUSFG beforehand to offer support and help to the poor bunch trying to run a 'write your own fantasy/space-opera' workshop, but that would have meant turning up to the party late, or perhaps being too tired to bother going at all (it was about 15 minutes cycle away and bloody cold). OUSFG also had the inherent prospect of degenerating into a horrid bellowing match, and I didn't feel up to facing that. So, to the party.

Stopped at the Co-Op on the way to buy some drink. Undecided whether to buy beer or tequila and Red Bull. Beer would be in keeping with my recent resolution to try not to get too pissed, 'cos it takes a certain amount of effort for me to get drunk on lager. I can manage it in a pub setting, with people buying rounds and near-continuous drinking, but am much less likely to at a party. However tequila and Red Bull (mixed 1/3 tequila, 2/3 Red Bull) make 'Swinging Penguin', a drink invented out of perversity (mixing two drinks that aren't all that nice on their own but have interesting effects), named by a strange and beautiful woman (ka. Pretty Anna), introduced to my peer-group by me (at one of Jeremy's parties), and since enjoyed or reviled (according to taste) on a couple of special occasions (and more than capable of making a special occasion all the more special).

The Co-Op didn't have any tequila. I took this as a sign, and bought 8 tins of Stella instead. But back on my bike I thought about this reasoning, and decided that it may well have been a sign, but was quite possibly simply a sign that I should have gone to the off-license up the road. So I did. One bottle of Tequila, one pack of Red Bull. Whilst at the check-out, I was accosted a slack-seeming wild-haired individual who may or may not have been an employee who complimented my costume (Alex from 'Clockwork Orange', if you recall) and prevailed upon me to get out my cane and bowler hat to demonstrate its full glories. I did, of course, and flashed him my best 'Alex' smile, which prompted him to ask me "How long have you been doing this?" I can only assume that he thought that I made some kind of hobby, or perhaps even profession, out of this, and he did indeed seem somewhat disappointed when I explained I had dressed as Alex once before, but I had had the hair and unnerving smile since long before I saw the film...

So, with heavy back-pack but light heart, I continued on my perilously ill-lit way to the party, intercepting Jeremy and Damian just as they arrived. Jeremy was doing a disturbingly passable impression of an orange toad-demon from a relatively obscure manga comic whose name escapes me, with a painted gaping grin filling most the lower half of her face, funky shimmery orange and red clothes, and a Beanie Baby toad strapped to one shoulder setting the ensemble off nicely. Damian, as far as I recall, was dressed in his normal fashion, though it was later commented that when in Sonia's witch's hat, he bore no small resemblance to a Harry Potter, his glory-days behind him, grown-up and gone slightly to seed...

My costume elicited a gratifying scream from Sonia (dressed as a witch, of course), though this would have been more gratifying were she not of a somewhat highly-strung continental temperament, and hence more prone to screaming than would befit an English lady. Met up with the usual suspects, most of whom had gone for a halloween-casual cape or deemed their usual appearance to be sufficiently appropriate, though Rowland made a rather good zombie, or perhaps extra from 'The Trial' (or indeed from the now sadly departed (as far as I know) Oxford Goth Club night). Speaking of goths, the newly renamed Xan arrived a little later, clad in what was not only the shiniest shirt I have ever seen, but may well been pushing the envelope of shirt shininess to its hypothetical limit. My paltry prose could not possibly do it full justice, but suffice it to say that it looks like:
a) those holographic (or perhaps 'holographic', not sure if they are, strictly speaking) stickers with the shimmering rainbow-coloured shapes.
b) it should never be washed. Ever.
While I'm doing a 'Hello'-style round-up of costumes (without the pictures, but there was at least one camera knocking around. I shall link to them once they're up on the web, as seems inevitable given the generally technophilic nature of the guests), I should mention Neal's costume, which consisted, for far longer than was comfortable, of his normal dress, augmented by George's vast rubber spider attached, I know not how, to his groin.

The party itself was good fun, featuring as it did a wide selection of meats, the aforementioned Swinging Penguin, some fun fireworks (fired, to add a little spice to the proceedings, through the branches of a tree), a chilled soundtrack from Rowland's intimidatingly comprehensive collection of laid-back dance music (implying, I assume, that he's really incredibly highly-strung, and needs all these CDs to keep him on an even keel), giant sparklers, and fun chatting. And I can remember almost all of it! We failed to open a Hellmouth, perhaps because there were only 11 of us rather than the traditional 13, we had to do it all at about 10:30 to avoid disturbing the neighbours, and we weren't really trying very hard, anyway. Well I wasn't. Perhaps that's what went wrong...

Cycled home, drank some water, went to bed by about 2:45. Awoke feeling remarkably perky and actually got in to work on time. Score!

nb. This journal entry actually written on Friday, 'cos the LJ site was down yesterday. However, it looked like it was going to be a monster one, so I thought I'd better split it up...

Current site: The Institute of Official Cheer. Proof that the past is a different country, apparently inhabited by an entirely different species.

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oxfordhacker
Drifting in and out of consciousness

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