Stretching the truth calling it a ball, if you ask me. The annual shindig at my son’s former primary school has upped its game over the last few years due to a vigorous PTA committee each year trying to outdo the efforts of the previous team. Of course this means the price of a roast turkey dinner and a glitter ball disco has nudged up from £25 to £40 a ticket…each.
The kids should do well out of the fund-raising event this year as the school split the cost of the marquee hire (lovely white lining material disguising the breeze-block walls) with the local Caledonian society who are having their do the night after. Hubby decides to wear his kilt for the evening but is then subject to a great deal of ribbing from everyone suggesting he has come on the wrong night. He drily retorts that he’s attending both and saving himself the cost of a taxi by not going home overnight.
We’re running late as son is attending a disco at his current school so we have to drop him and his two hoodied mates off first. Rather taken aback by the lack of clothing on the girlies attending from other local schools but the three hormone-stuffed and African-Lynx-smelling boys tipping out of our car seem to perk up.
Five minutes later we arrive just in time and are greeted at the entrance by the Christmas Gift Tree. For a flat tenner you can pick a numbered bauble off the tree and claim your gift. The list looks enticing: a session in a glider (let’s hope I can give that one back if needs be), a night off the ironing (possible, but do I really want another mother seeing the grey collars in my badly-washed laundry?), dinner for six (yes please) and flowers every week for a year (that’ll do nicely). So what do we end up with? A bottle of pink plonk priced, I reckon, at £3.99. We join our friends only to discover that between us we have amassed a gardening apron, a woolly hat and a bottle of champagne…… made out of chocolate. Though we do infinitely better than the owner of the local garden centre who wins a 4ft potted poinsettia.
The disco is woeful. A dotty old bloke with a playlist from the sixties and seventies seems unaware we are a pretty lively bunch. As the dance-floor remains empty one of our party can’t stand it any longer so “has a quiet word”. For 20 minutes we show how “bang on trend” we are, doing a bad mum and dads’ shuffle to Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga and, our favourite, Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire” (known to our group as Socks on Fire – one offspring’s name for the song). DJ makes the fatal mistake of putting on a slow JLS number next, we all sway a little for three seconds then throw in the towel.
I remain firmly sober for the duration, mainly because I am a governor at the school and have to try and keep up some semblance of propriety but also I need to keep a check on my dress in case of nipple escape if tit-tape comes undone. Hubby is under pain of death not to embarrass himself so sticks to beer and suffers my eagle eye all evening as I count the number of pints consumed. He’s well-behaved, thankfully, unlike some other festive females who are drawn to the swirling pleats of his kilt on the dance-floor and enquire as usual what he’s wearing underneath. He threatens to show them, catches my eye digging into the very depth of his soul, and smiles enigmatically.
PTA committee obviously not having much luck with the gift tree, now offer them with a free drink. My man is won over by this so wanders off to the foyer to have another go….and returns with a 2 ft lop-sided penguin made out of twigs. Twiggy takes pride of place on our table, resplendent in the woolly hat.
A final fling on the floor before we call it a night. Husband is getting terribly hot in all the wool he’s wearing so we mouth our excuses to our friends and point to his sweltering shins: “Sorry, got to go folks…..socks on fire!”