It was the annual Halloween Costume Ball down at the Club and all forms of misfits, ghouls, monsters and their costumes were on parade. I stood upright at the bar, waiting for my chums Biffo “The Garda” Boyle and Spike Righteous to arrive, viewing and no doubt being viewed in my high collared chiffon frock coat. The Ball, as usual, brought the political contingent, hoping to drag an oodle of respectability from associating with the chaps at the Club. The Sinn Feiners were represented by a poor sod trying to negotiate his way to the bar carrying a wooden ballot box in one hand and a toy machine gun in the other while the Fianna Fail rep was easy to spot in his multi-pocketed corduroy suit with stuffed brown envelopes stuck to every part of the clothing. Fine Gael was clear for everyone to see by a man pretending to be their leader “End-of-Kenny” by dressing up in the form of a Giant Snake while Labour were no doubt there as but as in reality, no one took any notice of them. My heart did go out to the Independent Td who could not afford a costume but just stood in the corner of the room on his own and I did contemplate buying him a drink until I got a hold of myself, carried away as I often do at such festive gatherings.
It was just then as I raised my newly waxed eyebrow suggestively as Princess Leia, that Spike Righteous arrived in his full lycra cycling outfit, his face covered in scratches and blood and poking out from the spokes of a wheel which seemed to have been rammed over his head. “Good God Spike” I bellowed “this is supposed to be a costume party….couldn’t you have worn something new for once or are you pretending to be a scene from some cycling horror movie starring Stephen Roche that no one has seen”. “No Thackeray” he gasped, blood dripping from his mangled nose “I was on my way home to change and some idiot dressed as a Giant Snake ploughed into me in a Mercedes saloon”. “Oh well…that would be Fine Gael” I mused “you wont get any compo out of them but you never know….they’ll promise anything now in election year….just don’t hold your breath waiting to get it”. Spike, leaning up against the bar sighed heavily “I suppose its my own fault really… its the bicycle shorts were the problem Thackeray…too tight round the genital area…caused me to swerve violently…I knew I shouldn’t have bought the Lidl ones for €2….just should have bit the bullet and splashed out the extra €1.50 for the Aldi ones”. “I doubt if the elasticity of the spiders web in your wallet would have stretched that far Spike” I answered solemnly, while giving the nod to Tracey Man-Barmaid to get us two pints of Giggle Juice.
“Where’s ‘Biffo the Garda’…I thought he’d be here by now” Spike asked, looking left to right as far as the wheel round his neck would allow. “I’ve no idea…I’ve been drinking brandy’s on his tab all night waiting for him” I replied. Just then a very large man swaggered his way to the bar, wearing trousers not last worn since his Communion, a pair of old FCA boots, a child’s white t-shirt which had rolled up over the man’s protruding belly and a German helmet. “Well Thackeray…isn’t it high time you bought me a pint” the man roared and it was only then I realised that it was indeed Biffo. “Good God man…what on earth are you wearing” I asked, shuffling away in case I was seen with him “I thought you would have come as one of the members of The Muppet Show Biffo…far more in keeping with your profession”. “Well actually I thought coming as a storm trooper would be more apt on this occasion” Biffo answered proudly. “More like a gentle breeze” Spike piped in with a giggle. “Indeed Spike…more like an extra from the Blue Oyster Bar actually…my word man, what were you thinking…you’re a lifetime member Biffo” I said shaking my head in disbelief. “Well what are you supposed to be Thackeray…a Christmas Fairy” he answered with a sneer. “I am Count Dracula…obviously Biffo…and as everyone knows the Count was a Charted Accountant…like myself…renowned for his mathematical genius and way with the ladies” I replied, raising my chin and eyebrow at the same time. “Fits the profession alright…bloodsucking vampire” Biffo shouted angrily and I was just about to reply when Billy Crysal, the energy therapist interrupted me. “Well chaps…how goes it…I’ve just been making a packet as Septic Peig the medium….told all the politicians they’d win the election at a nifty a go” he said, rubbing two crystals together in his palms. “I’m surprised the Count here isn’t in on that fiddle” Biffo said, pointing indignantly at me. Looking at Biffo with a curled lip I spied my opportunity. “Billy Crystal…you’re a man of the world and has seen a thing or two in this world or the next…what do you think Biffo here has come as?” I asked, a smile appearing on my other curled lip. Billy Crystal eyed Biffo up, from the splitting trousers to the belly top t-shirt, a look of horror appearing on his face. “Im not quite sure how to answer that Thackeray…I’m not sure I can put it into words” he answered, his face going white. “I’ll help you out Billy…Biffo here has been in costume for quite some time…his whole life as it happens and now he has finally worked up the courage to come as himself…Biffo is a Rent Boy….by profession” I answered, my fangs sparkling in delight. “And by inclination” Spike added eagerly, his honesty evident in his blank open face. Biffo, his face contorting in rage was only able to splurt out the words “Insolent Cur” before we all guffawed. Halloween Ball…still it seemed a good idea at the time….