“I wanna be the very best, Like no one ever was” – Pokémon Theme Song
I was crazy hungover.
Lying in bed that morning, cursing the production meeting that had been scheduled for 10 am, I had decided that more sleep would be more beneficial than a shower.Five minutes before the bus was due I threw on whatever was nearest to me and ran to the stop.
As I jumped on and looked for a seat I noticed a few people staring disgustedly at me. Oh, God! What am I wearing? Why did I get dressed in the dark! I looked down: Jeans, converse and a plain t-shirt. Nothing weird there. I didn’t have a coat which I guess may have seemed a little odd in Edinburgh’s Winter season but I had acclimatised. It certainly didn’t warrant all the interest. Undeterred I settled in for the thirty-minute journey to campus. The perfect amount of time for a power nap.
* * *
The night before has been an absolute blinder! A course mates birthday meant an excuse for a Team DTA (Drama and Theatre Arts) wide party on Sunday night, student night.
The Theme? (Because there was always a theme, we were drama students after all) Children’s TV Characters.
I take costume parties as a challenge. I must have the best, most unique and original costume. To date, I have been a burger, Audrey Two (the Venus flytrap in Little Shop of Horrors) and an extremely convincing Eminem. But for this, I was something even better: the greatest children’s franchise of my youth, maybe even my adulthood. From the Legendary Pokémon: the amazing Pikachu!
This took some serious preparation. My GBF of the time and I trawled the charity shops on the lookout for anything yellow. After finding some shorts, a strappy top and some pretty jazzy fluorescent Adidas trainers (What a find! They were proper new rave! Dunno what happened to them. If I did I would wear them everyday!) we set forth to the fabric shop for some yellow and brown fabric to make the tail and ears and yellow and red Snazzeroo facepaint. After badly moulding a coat hanger into the shape of a lightning bolt tail and some serious glue gunning my costume was complete.
I had the best costume and the best night drinking a few bottles of rosé at the pre-house party and then hitting the club! It is amazing how many men I could have gone home with wearing a Pikachu outfit! Single ladies take note! Although I cannot vouch for the calibre of gentlemen you may attract. Try this pulling technique at your own peril.
I arrived home thoroughly late, thoroughly drunk and thoroughly exhausted.
* * *
I opened the rehearsal room door, script in hand. My team were sitting waiting for me. “Well,” I began, “Let’s crack on shall we.”
And so the meeting went on. I led and took extensive notes ensuring not a stone was unturned and by the end, we were in great shape to pull together the show’s technical elements.
“Right, does anyone have any other business to discuss?”
I looked up smiling and saw the team were staring at me. It was that same look of the bus passengers, only I had misinterpreted it. This wasn’t a look of disgust: it was worry.
“Are you guys OK?
They shuffled in their seats looking at each other, to the ground and back to me, as if trying to silently nominate a lead speaker.
“Erm, Ruth,” the director finally piped up. “What did you do last night?”
Slightly unorthodox in a meeting but I played ball. “I was at a friend’s birthday party. Why?”
“I think you need to go to hospital.”
Did I really look that bad? And I thought my light and breezy, yet professional tone had hidden my hangover so well! I smiled and replied jauntily, “Come on! I’m not that bad, am I?”
“Ruth, really.” He lowered his voice, pointlessly if you ask me as everyone was completely silent, and continued, “I think you might have jaundice.”
“Your skin is yellow!”
Shit, shit, shit!
I looked at my arms.
How had I not noticed?
It was all over my chest too.
God only knows what my face looked like!
And so, professionality flying out the window and dignity not too far behind, I confessed everything. Thankfully the room filled with raucous laughter. Presumably, everyone was just delighted they didn’t need to accompany me to A&E.
It was a rather embarrassing day for me but an excellent advertisement
Illustration by Kirstie Notman – Illustrator & Artist