I’m off to a hen night tomorrow. A full day job. We’re off to the country first, shooting stuff in the afternoon, which I hope is at stuff without a heartbeat. We’re wearing stick- on moustaches. I'm hoping for a ginger one. I’d like to make it clear before anyone gets too excited, we are wearing other things as well. (You sick monkeys- you know who you are)
Then what? Well the bride-to-be has got her work cut out. There is a fine tradition of ridiculousness in the hen nights of yore. The Hen tomorrow has got some crackers to live up to.
Firstly my own. I dunno, you make one casual comment and all hell breaks loose. My casual comment was in response to a male friend asking if he could come on the hen night.
“The only way you’ll get to come along is if you come in drag”, I say. I throw the remark away, and move on, thinking nothing of it.
Word spreads. “We can get to both Hen and Stag Night if we get ourselves some frocks,” goes the rumour.
I never meant the remark to be taken seriously but in the time-space between the word spreading and the actual night, a great deal of money has been spent, a bin bag full of man-hair has been removed, other hair has been tonged and backcombed and make up has been applied by the shovel full. The effort! The attention to detail! The weirdness! About ten men are ranging in looks from teenage starlet to retired headmistress on a night out. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, eat your heart out. After I picked myself up the floor from laughing so much, I wondered, what would have happened if my response to the question had been “The only way you’ll get to come along is if you get yourself a ticket to an Amsterdam clinic and get yourself a lady-flower ”.
But my goodness they did us proud. Not only were they dressed as women, they acted like women the whole night. They used women’s loos, they flirted, a few (the prettier ones) got chatted up by men and there’s one guy in particular that I swear has never been quite the same since. If he’d turned round weeks after and announced that he wanted everyone to call him Brenda from now on, nobody would have blinked.
Second only to that was Auntie Kezza’s hen night. Now Kezza used to work with Meeester in Social Work for the Elderly. Between them, they’ve stories that make you blanche. Poo stories, wee stories, naked old men stories. Meeester says he has an idea for Kezza’s hen night. An idea so repellent, I ask him to reconsider. “Nah, don’t worry...Kezza will love it”. The two of them have had to adopt a cavalier attitude to bodily functions to get them through the working day. It’ll be fine.
Cue Kezza’s Hen Night where a mix of Aunties, Mums workmates and friends are in an upmarket Chinese restaurant. Plates are being cleared away, when there is the noise of metal clanging against metal and a little bit of a commotion. Some of us look round to see an elderly man in zimmer-frame manage to negotiate the last stair. He is wearing a dirty overcoat, flat cap, cookie duster grey moustache, and a (full) catheter bag is strapped to the walking frame.
Within seconds he has set down a ghetto blaster and pressed play. Tom Jones’s “What’s New Pussycat”blares out and the geriatric burlesque floor show begins. The coat comes off, the long johns are brown-stained, and the catheter bag is hoisted and jet of pale yellow liquid pours forth, straight into the mouth of Kezza like she’s on holiday in Torremolinos. It is wine. She just knows it is.
How far did Meeester take the floor show? I can’t remember. I think I blacked out.