There are two sorts of people in the world: those who enjoy fancy dress parties and those who don’t. I don’t. The mere sight of somebody wearing a hat is enough to make me feel uncomfortable. So the suggestion that I dress up is enough to fill me with dread. I actually don’t know what I would do if I was forced to go out dressed as a traffic cop or King Henry VIII or a spaceman. (Cry, probably.) It seems, however, that I am in the minority. Any night of the week in Dubai you are likely to bump into Bananaman, a couple of pirates and at least half a dozen naughty nurses.
It’s even worse at this time of year. Take the Dubai Rugby Sevens, for example. Male cheerleaders, Flintstones, nuns, stormtroopers (the Star Wars type, not the Nazi type) and a variety of superheroes were all pitchside. I even saw pictures of a fella dressed as a hamburger and a whole gang of whoopee cushions. I mean, grown men dressed as whoopee cushions? I can’t be the only person who finds that a little weird.
You may think it’s just harmless fun, but you’d be wrong. I’m not saying all this because I’m a cynical, grumpy killjoy. (Actually that is part of the reason, but there is more to it than that.) People in fancy dress always act like they just put an end to poverty or discovered a long-lost Shakespearian sonnet. They expect adoration on a scale not dissimilar to the world’s greatest entertainers. What they don’t seem to realise is that it takes no skill whatsoever to dress up in a silly costume and smile. Don’t believe me? Then you should have bought Backstreet Boys tickets.
Wear fancy dress and you have to spend the entire party looking like you’re halfway through a ‘Knock Knock’ joke, just waiting to deliver the punchline. But there isn’t even a joke, just a doofus in a horse-hair wig. What’s worse is that you’re then expected to share the same punchline with every other desperate, attention-seeking loser at the party.
It gets worse at Christmas parties. Whether you’re trying a Santa hat, elf ears or comedy reindeer antlers, the effect is the same. Ask yourself if your garb is in any way entertaining to others who are, unlike yourself, not a complete moron. Chances are it is not. Chances are it will make people smile if they make eye contact, but sigh and insult you if they do not.
Maybe I am a miserable old fart, but I will never, ever dress up as a whoopee cushion.