My friend Joseph felt pretty confident he had fulfilled the annual contract that is Halloween in America.
Young of looks for his years – he is, shall we say, in early middle age – he had chosen a theme for Saturday-night’s annual fright-night hijinks here in Hudson, a county town a hundred miles north of Manhattan, and dressed up with gusto.
He had, however, driven into town slightly earlier than was wise, meaning the main street had yet to be cleared of the scores of kids after their annual Halloween parade.
Children can be such harsh judges. Approached by twin girls, he asked who he was meant to be. “Harry Potter,” one replied, correctly. Her sister would have none of it. “You’re too old to be Harry Potter!” His witch’s hat went limp instantly.
However, at least he’d tried. My partner and I committed the cardinal sin of turning up at our local club on Saturday night expecting to have a quiet beer and being taken completely by surprise by the fancy-dress zoo outside. The Queen of Hearts was sneaking a quick cigarette, not an option for whoever had encased their head in a giant foam pumpkin.
No one had told us, honest! The scene inside with over a hundred revellers disco-dancing as everything from ghouls to “Cubist Man” and six-foot-seven “Girlgantua” was a testament to the town’s creativity and – to be perfectly truthful – our lameness.
Next week, we are invited to a twenties-themed costume gay wedding (sigh). We will dress up, promise.