So you may recall it was recently my Mother’s seventieth birthday for which a big old family party was organised.
I say ‘you may recall’ in the hope that you read and remembered this fact from the farting in John Lewis part of the story.
Anyway, the party was on the Saturday evening and by the time I arrived from Paris all of the family was in chaos busily organising their individual part of the party project. Now, trying to organise my family is a bit like herding cats – nigh on impossible. However, it seems that on this occasion they managed to get their shit together and throw a decent event.
The evening was a lot of fun – despite the location. My brother had chosen a social club on the edge of town which left a lot to be desired. At least they turned most of the lights off so that the ugliness of the room was largely hidden.
With the mood lighting on and the buffet table laid the scene was set for the upcoming and rather surprising spectacle of ‘older’ drunk people.
Now I’m not a teenager myself, but the majority of these folks had a good twenty years on me. And I’m not passing judgement nor am I saying that being oldezr and drunk is wrong. I’m really not. But some of them…..
For example my mom’s ex-colleague. 62 years old, dancing with legs splayed to some awful reggae number (I do believe it was Eddie Grant’s “classic” Electric Avenue) going up and down like a good soul sister. My mother, God bless her, did eventually go over and ask her if she’d like a pole, such was the erotic nature of the dance.
Then there was an old family friend that I haven’t seen for at least fifteen years who refused to believe that I was me. On the basis that the last time she saw me there was no beard. Really? Yes, really.
But the highlight for me was my drunken Aunt. My mom’s sister, seventy three years old and a national treasure.
Halfway through the evening she spotted “Sheila” dancing along to a bit of Kylie wearing (and I kid ye not) gold lamé flares, a red shirt and a black crochet throw/wrap/scarf/debacle.
“What the fuck is Sheila wearing?” said my Aunt, making me choke on my pint of bitter.
“Can I ask you a personal question?” she continued.
“Of course you can” said I, my life being a fairly open book.
She beckoned me to a quiet corner.
“Tell me, do you think that Shrien Dewani is, you know…..a gay?”
“You mean the british bloke who killed his new bride on honeymoon in South Africa?”
“I’m not sure. Why do you ask?”
“Well, you know,” she slurred “I was wondering if you’d (at this point she winked comically) ‘heard’ anything”.
“Like on the gay network?” I asked.
“Well, yes” said my Aunt. “On your gaydar”.