Party Instructions

A friend of mine called me on my way home from work, asking if I wanted to go to a dinner party, with some others I’d never met. That should have been the first warning bell. The theme was “murder mystery.” Warning bell number two.

I was told my character was a surgeon, and I should have bloody scrubs on… I only had 20 mins to leave the house, so I put a light blue shirt on back to front, turned a pair of marigolds inside out, then hit the streets.

I still needed blood, and after procuring some tomato sauce from Burger King, realising it wasn’t sufficient, and I’d stink of sauce, I went looking for the Boots at London Bridge. Nail polish! I thought. It had been demolished. I ran to Waterloo, back to London Bridge, along to Tower Bridge and back, no pharmacies or Boots (actually, there was one, but it was closed).

In a Costcutter I noticed that “InStyle” magazine was giving away nail polish (worth £11.77 apparently) in one of three colours. Blue, beige, green or red. They only had the green ones, as I rifled through the stacks.

I ran back up to London Bridge, where the party was, and hit the WH Smiths. No red polish in the magazines there. I bought a red pen, hoping to crack that open, an pour over myself liberally.

A bit late now, I went to the house, which was behind too many glass doors and buzzers, overlooking Borough Market, and went into this “beautifully appointed” apartment, with wool rugs and linen sofas, populated by people in evening dress. I thought again about bursting the pen open.

After an admittedly pleasant time going through the rounds of the murder mystery, being myself, in contrast to the rather stilted conversations of people who really seem to have a narrow view of what being “an adult” is about (mortgages, Marks & Spencer, shoes) I won the mystery (elementary) and went home.

The moral of this tale? Don’t go to parties where there is a manual with “Party Instructions” written on it.

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