Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Some moons ago, when I had one of those things called a 'social life', I decided to throw a Halloween party.
I drew and sent out the invites, planned all the food and drink, then went about getting some decorations for the house to set the mood. This involved me trundling into Ealing and sniffing out the shops to try and find anything 'spooky' which back then, was easier said than done, as the days of crass commercialism to honour a Pagan festival were yet to come.
Anyway, in a charity shop, I managed to find a glow-in-the-dark-skeleton, in another I got some candles in the shape of skulls; a plastic axe was discovered in a toy shop, and a pumpkin was purchased in the supermarket.
After all that, I was pretty laden down with bags, but still needed a few more bits and bobs in order to get it 'right', so I decided there was only one thing for it, which was to make my own.
After a sit down, coffee, and bit of thinking, I decided my best bet was to go and get a bulk load of crepe paper and card and the best place for that was the neaby stationers, so lugging my pumpkin and so, off I went.
To my delight, as soon as I entered the shop I spotted a box full of large plastic bats! 'Excellent!' I thought, and picked out my favourite to take back home with me.
Not having a basket, I put the elastic attached to the bat round my wrist and went to get the other stuff I was after.
Ten minutes of stockpiling later, I wombled over to the counter to pay for everything. I dumped the paper and card down, then carefully placed my other bags on the floor so that I could get my purse out of my bag.
The assistant totted up all the stuff on the till, and asked for the cash.
I had completely forgotten about the bat.
I'm still not quite sure how exactly it happened, but when I went to open my purse, I felt a tug on my arm, looked down to see what it was, and the large plastic bat launched itself into the air, flying past me, and into the assistants hair.
I screamed and tripped over my bags.
The assistant screamed, and fell over backwards behind the counter.
The people behind me screamed and fell over as I landed on them.
The security guard came rushing over, tripped over the assistant, and screamed as he too hit the deck.
It was a like a cross between a Hammer House of Horror film and Fawlty Towers.
When we'd all managed to stop screaming and pick ourselves up, we looked for the bat, but it had vanished. Personally, I think it carried on flying off into the shopping centre in search of a mate, and to this day I get nervous when I see plastic bats. Real ones, I am fine with though.