I’ve always fancied going to Wigan on boxing night, although I may be a bit passed it now… (for those not familiar to Wigan, people dress up in all kinds of weird and wonderful fancy dress outfits on boxing night and hit the bars and clubs). It’s been years since I last went out in fancy dress, the most memorable of those being a Halloween fancy dress at someone’s house when I was 16 in the 1990’s. Funnily enough, it was hosted by a Wigan girl…
It had came about when I was walking (attempted jog) through Carr Mill dam one night and I was accosted by
a girl inching her way up towards me. She put it bluntly, she was fat. (I’m not knocking her here by the way, just pointing out a fact).
Anyway, she boomed in on me.
“I’m *Louise’ she introduced herself. She lifted up her trainers which was identical to mine and jested that we were twins. Or she might have said that she was execting twins –I couldnt be sure. She was speaking Wignanese see. (The language spoke by people from Wigan)
‘Er,Mel.’, I introduced myself back, before shoving both feet further into my Nike Air Max and heading off in the opposite direction.
The following week, I took a different route, (for no particular reason) but bumped into her again. She was out running and appeared to be being followed by a couple of scrotes who were about 12 shouting fat jokes (“Hey, you’ve got more chins than the Hong Kong phone book” etc etc)
The girl stopped for a breather and shrugged at me. “Ah, ahm used to it. Everyone used fert say I was a fat cow at school…’ she said, in her Wiganese tones. (For the record. I’m not going to attempt to write all of our further dialogue in Wiganese, although apparently there is an app that translates the traditional Wigan dialect into Queens’ English should anyone be intrigued…). We sat on a nearby bench and she went on to tell me how she’d recently moved from Wigan to Haydock. The lowlight of her high school days had been some squirts shouting ‘moooooo-ve over, cattle crossing” when she crossed the link bridge for science and so she was now one a mission to blast the fat. She began exaggeratedly poking and pinching the parts of her body that she apparently hated, which was all of them, seemingly.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, she invited me to a Halloween party at her house. She asked me to bring everyone I knew so that she could make some new friends.
“Um..ok then…” She seemed like a nice enough girl.
‘Errr …Yeah..but, are you sure?”
“Of course”. -She stuck her thumb up like a 4 year old. “Thank-you. Thank-you’ the wigan one then said. ‘You’re a saint, you really are’.
So. I called a few friends and they called a few more. Someone told their brother and he told half of Thatto Heath and then some more. Apparently, some girls from Earlestown had already been to Wizards for their fancy dress props.
I arrived at Louise’s house in good time to help her to cover her up from head to toe in a bandages for her mummy outfit. Her two glassy eyes peeped back eagerly at me out of her wholly bandaged face (she looked like a lobotomy patient) and I’d guided her (Ok, there’s one more step coming, five more steps and we’re there) slowly and cautiously to the front room where we waited…
Her folks locked up the alcho cupboard before they signed over the house to us for the small gathering. They’d be back at 11, they warned, smiling.
The invited guests turned up at Louise’s house on that Halloween night.
20 or so gate-crashers carrying carrier bags full of alcohol (I think most of it had already been consumed) also arrived at Louise’s house on Halloween and the party quickly got into full swing.
To our absolute horror, it soon resembled a hunting ground, with a couple of girls in mini skirts lolling around semi-conscious on the hall floor, like wild animals bathing in a lake, while males tried to jump on them.
The ‘party’ immediately began to resemble the slow burning start of a horror movie, (and my only draw to scary movies is the relief when they are over).
A corpse bride was soon throwing her guts up into a bush in the back yard.
A couple of witches were either pissed or stoned.
The grim reaper was stumping cigarettes out on the sofa.
Some went into the bedrooms and stayed there for hours.
I was crapping mysef and Louise was too. Who the hell were all these weirdo’s?
‘Alright skeletor?’ slurred another couple of Lucifers, from Ashton, as they crossed the threshold, clutching their 4 packs. ‘What’s up luv, you’ve got no-body hand around with! Huh huh huh…’
The first Lucifer poked my ribs and the other lucifers nudged him, cackling.
‘You’re not invited’, I shoved Louise forthright and she made a muffled sound. ‘Tell them, Lou’
‘Ah, I see, and who’s this then? The Michelin Man?’.
And then all three of them laughed. Some gate-crasher girls in the far corner sniggered too.
Even the empty bottles of cider seemed to chink with a congratulatory chink towards the remarks.
‘Hey’ the Ashton Lucifer finished to Louise .‘Stop getting yourself soooo wound up. Arrgghh ha ha ha ha’. (Well, they do say that freaks come out at Halloween).
Anyway. Everyone got drunker and drunker. Louise started crying about the Michelin man comment an hour after it had been said.
‘I’m leaving’, she’d turned to me. ‘I’m going home’.
A couple of people exchanged drunken suffering looks. ‘Er, this is your home’.
I had the good fortune of taking a quick nap on the effects of Thunderbird for a while.
When I got back up, I spotted a boy draped over the chair next to me, and I noticed that I was missing a shoe. After wobbling for a moment with one heel on and one heel off, I was inspired by the solution of finding the shoe, but then, hey presto, Louise’s dad thrust his head around the front door, marched into the scene with a face like a carved mask and told everyone to hop it. (Which was easy enough for me and my one accessorised foot, but a bit of a task for Louise and her prosthetic legs.) Anyway, I was really committed to getting my shoe back: I just wasn’t quite able to locate it, the alcohol was seeing to that.
‘I’ve lost my shoe’, I bawled to anyone who would listen.
Ideally, this boy draped over the chair would have found it, like a real life Prince Charming. He would have been madly in love with me, picked up my shoe and been searching high and low for the girl whose foot the shoe fit, as he would never be content until he found me.
The reality was, Louise’s dad found it, and threw it out onto the lawn as a symbolic sign of what he would do to the rest of us if we didn’t all clear out of his house in the next five minutes.
The shoe went flying out onto the lawn in slow motion.
I became more hysterical.
The boy who was draped over the chair lunged at Frank.
Louise’s dad sidestepped.
The boy ran full on into Louise who toppled over like a fallen tree, whilst I surveyed the scene, with horrified allure.
The boy, very protectively, picked up my shoe from the floor.
‘Here’. He slurred at me. ‘Take this’. Thankfully, it was my shoe he was offering, not a right hook.
‘Thanks’, I’d returned, giddily. (It was so nearly a Cinderella scene. If only my Prince Charming hadn’t been sporting a a shiner that put the moon to shame!)
I’d squatted down so that I was eye level to Louise.
‘Sorry about the.. er…sorry Louise’s dad’, I mumbled.
Outside, sounds echoed over my head. People were busily divulging tales about the party antics of the year. I’ll re-phrase it politely, but people were asking who’d added the artistic additions of moustaches on the framed family portrait in Louise’s lounge? Who was responsible for the compromising positions her mums collectible figurines had been left in along the window ledge? Had someone thrown up in the plant-pot on the landing?
‘Get lost!’ Louise glared up at me from the pavement, her eyes were glowing.
‘I MEAN IT! GET LOST’.
I retreated backwards, shifting uncomfortably and guiltily as my face flamed.
‘I’m sorry Lou, I really am’, I blundered., ‘I never ever meant for this …I didn’t invite them…it wasn’t my fault…’
‘GET LOST!’, her eyes glowed again, like some sort of modern day re-enactment of Carrie just before she channelled her telekinetic energy into a whole school massacre. ‘JUST LEAVE ME ALONE AND GET OFF MY DRIVEWAY OR I’LL BE FORCED TO CALL MY DAD!’
Did this girl have concussion or something?
‘Er, you’re dad’s here, you stupid cow! And stop shouting at me! I’m trying to help you!’ I held out my hand as an anchor for her to pull herself up and she snatched at it, angrily.
Suddenly, I felt a pull.
‘What…what the hell did you do that for?’ I was finding it hard to breathe. Louise had flung me into the bushes and flattened me down in the soil with her foot.
‘You’re a bitch’ she screamed at me. She wasn’t exactly turning green and ripping her shirt off but there was definitely an element of incredible hulk about her.
‘But I..I didn’t mean… I was trying to help…’
‘GET LOOOSSSSTTTT!’ Louise stomped from the driveway towards her house slammed the door behind her. Everyone else trailed off to the Plaza or somewhere (apart from my prince charming, who later walked me home, but that’s another story).
‘Fine’, I spoke to myself, hunched over in the muck. ‘See you then….’.
And that was the end of the Halloween party of the year.
I’m pleased to report that it actually was the party of the year.
People were talking about it for months, and nothing rivalled it. Alice was like a local bloody celebrity after it, and I’m happy to say that she forgave me. Eventually. As did her folks, once they’d calmed down. And Louise and I stayed friends for many, many years to come.
*To protect the privacy of certain individuals the names and identifying details have been changed.