Sunday, May 13, 2007

She Comes In Colours Ev'rywhere

Or... "Flail of The Century"

No medical gib follows. Be warned and stop now if you have no interest in what I got up to in a field this weekend.

Pictures to follow - as usual I took a very expensive camera, and no pics. But plenty of others did, and with luck, thru the magic of digital media...

So, it was the wedding of one of greatest friends this weekend. In fairness, of two of my friends, but the Groom I have known for 20 years, and we've been through a lot of 'formative' shit together (I certainly wouldn't have been a doctor without him), and his fiance - now wife! - I have only known a few years, so although I consider her a dear friend, it is perhaps not the same thing. Whatever.

Thursday saw me at a dance / drama performance, a first for me. A slightly alien media to me. It was interesting, and a good evening, for a variety of reasons. Maybe it could have, or should have gone better. Only time will tell. Anyway, Friday found me pretty pleased with myself. Festivities were due to kick off on Saturday, but as the whole thing was essentially being held in a field (a place called ColdBlow Farm, which I can highly recommend), quite a lot of organisational flail was required. As Best Man, I was in the frame... so after a late night of modern dance / drama, I roused myself from my pit and packed up to deploy to a field in Kent.

My friend has never been even remotely conventional, so this was a fancy dress affair. As I may have mentioned, I was to be Puck. Puck is an interesting character, but not easy to define in terms of costume. I had found a production where Puck was dressed in red furry trousers and blue body paint. This was I had intended to go with, but singularly failed to find any red furry material, and lack the required Adonis like figure to make my torso my costume. Instead I cobbled some black furry trousers together, and paired it with a ruffled shirt, gold cravat and coloured waistcoat. Topped off with pointy ears, horns and some greenery, I just about passed muster. Still, at least I wasn't Bottom.

Lunchtime on Friday found me and the Groom alone on the Farm, drinking beer and shooting the shit. We were supposed to be erecting a marquee, but there was, inevitably, a delay. At some stage, about three beers in, I acquired my first injury of the event. Clinically this appears to be a mild ankle sprain - the bruising and swelling are minimal, but it gave me something to moan about. Eventually the Marquee and PA arrived, and we set everything up. A few pioneers were arriving by this stage, and it was agreed that we'd all have a quiet one, in honour of the big day on the morrow. The best laid plans...

The next morning saw a few die hards drinking on through, and Bottom (the other best man, resplendent in full ears, and a magnificent tail) pinning a nervous groom into his costume of Oberon. We left good and early, since there is always great flail potential in anything involving these guys. Lemons may get the job done, but sometimes it's hard work getting there.

We arrived at the Registry Office in good time, which was handy, as on our arrival, Oberon announced that he'd left the music behind. Despite being accompanied by Wonder Woman, and Zorro, it was left to me to make a madcap dash back to the farm. CD in hand, if you were in Maidstone this weekend, you might have seen a hairy legged hobgoblin scampering breathlessly through the churchyard adjacent to the Archbishop's Palace. 'Twas indeed I. When I got there, with literally minutes to spare, all I could see were regular getting married folks. There followed about a minute of panic while I wondered whether I'd taken a wrong turning, and weighed up the pros and cons of gate crashing a straight laced wedding dressed as Puck, when fortunately I saw our crowd of freaks, flying the flag... and the freak flag flew proper high over Maidstone - I don't think the Registrar had seen the like before, as Oberon and Tatania, Prospero and Queen Mab, Wonder Woman and Zorro, and even the Jolly Green Giant (ho! ho! ho!) all crammed in to celebrate . Fucking brilliant. The Bride and Groom exited to the sounds of Steppenwolf, and were driven away in a Black Pontiac Trans Am. (If this means nothing to you, you're too young)

The Reception was a blast. Fancy dress is indeed hilarious. The weather wasn't brilliant, but wasn't dreadful either. Speeches went off with only a little flail, and much fun was had engaging in jousting and Maypole based antics. Some of our friends had come as the Three Musketeers (which, incidentally, always seems a misnomer to me, as they were renowned for their swordplay, not their musketry) which gave me some concern as they were all wielding proper swords. Sure enough, one of them stabbed me in the foot (injury number 2) and then sat on me(black eye, injury number 3).

Suffice to say plenty of fun was had by all, especially me, in a most unexpected way. Funny how things seem to come in patches, complicating stuff unnecessarily. Or maybe it's me that complicates things. Anyway; it was good.

The next morning was a bit like a scene from Morning of the Living Dead, and the obligatory prank was played on Spuds, by hiding his car in the field. And now, we've all gone our separate ways, and I just about feel human again. My fourth injury appears to be classic tenosynivitis, of my left great toe extensors. Part of me is in thrall of the classic signs, most of me wishes it wasn't so fucking painful.

Anyway - Tatania, Oberon, Bottom, Jolly Green Giant, Michael Knight (and Kitt) and all the others, Lemon and non-citric alike. I salute you all. We may get older, but damn, we still know how to burn one down. (although we haven't worked out how to recover afterwards)

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