Ah, Halloween, the acceptable face of horror. Dumbed-down and softened up. 12A (or PG-13 for the Americans).
Saturday night. My initial costume of going as England’s 2015 Rugby World Cup team – because they were fucking horrific, geddit? – was canned because, well, I can’t ever be bothered to dress up. A small, silver pentagram necklace from eBay for £1.59 (free P&P) sufficed. And I usually wear black most of the time anyway.
I went to Sainsbury’s Local to buy some beer so I could get primed for the night out. Behind me in the queue was a guy with white powder on his face. But that is where his costume ended. Bomber jacket, 10-year old jeans and a beer gut; the standard uniform of the London 40 year-old white, Zone 4 male. Was he a zombie? A vampire? A ghost? I don’t know. But I do know he was buying eggs from battery hens.
I bought the beer, went back home and got drunk so I could deal with the general public later.
A torturous tube ride negotiating pissed, furious Australian men (they lost the rugby, sad emoticon) and kids drinking their parents’ syphoned booze from plastic Evian bottles. One guy on the escalators in Highbury & Islington had the lamest costume to date: A black cat nose and whiskers painted on his face and red Sharpie marks on his arms, which I guess were supposed to be cuts. Chronically depressed, self-harming cat? Sort of a cross between Girl, Interrupted and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. I don’t know…
I’m not sure who thought going to Shoreditch was a good idea, but there I was, in a private room in The Book Club. Birthday party slash Halloween piss-up. Emphasis on the slash.
So this place, The Book Club, was heaving with Vampire Schoolgirls with blood on their tits (“It’s okay, it’s an old bra”) and dickheads dressed like Heath Ledger’s Joker. Since when did fucking Batman fall under the banner of horror?
I am a purist, you see.
I look around and I say, “Anybody fancy going to the cinema tomorrow to watch a scary movie?”
“Oh God, I can’t watch horror movies,” is the response from someone or other dressed as a witch…I think.
There is no Cthulhu here. No Pennywise. No Michael Myers. No Rawhead Rex. No Babadook.
But there is a tubby Spiderman doing coke in the toilet and, by the bar, a skeleton is grinding up against a French maid’s ass.
I’m sitting there thinking maybe I’ll go as Hannibal Lector next year…But then it’s pretty difficult to bang back a Jagerbomb when you’re dressed in a straightjacket and a facemask. And the only way I can really enjoy busy social situations these days is with the help of a bottle of something with an ABV percentage on the side (the higher the better).
A girl in an undisclosed costume walks into our private area. A party crasher. What’s she dressed as? I think. Looks familiar. “I don’t believe in segregation,” she booms in her cosy, twin-garage, provincial accent; the same accent in which I’m sure she says: “I’m not a racist. Some of my best friends are black.” Unfortunately, I have suffered more than my fair share of pious assholes like this throughout my life. And right on cue, she takes a swing for another girl, a friend of mine. She misses, of course, because she is completely and utterly wasted. A bouncer wanders up and kicks her out. And that’s when her costume twigs: she has come dressed as a cunt and she is a method actress.
It’s time to leave. Being an affluent adult these days, I order an Uber. On the street, I am in the thick of the apocalypse, and it is horrific. The Wasted Dead. A Spanish woman dressed as Minnie Mouse vomits against a wall as her friend (devil horns, short red skirt, plastic pitchfork) holds her up and strokes her hair. There is a scuffle between a group of well-spoken English vampires and a pack of drunk, South African werewolves. Perhaps this is how the fourth Twilight novel begins. An ambulance light flickers at the other end of a gridlocked road. A zombie on the phone stammers, “Two grams of the eighty quid stuff. How long you gonna be?” Wolverine flops his shrivelled up coke-dick out and urinates on the street to a mixture of groans, cheers and laughs. My cab pulls up and I jump in. In the rear-view, Wonder Woman swigs a bottle of Lambrini and pushes her tits back in as Dracula leers on. “Just drive,” I say.
Welcome to Hell. See you back there next year.