The fancy-dress party wasn’t really my ‘cup of tea’, but my cousin, Kate, had insisted that I accompany her as the ‘+1’, the invitation had requested.
Since her divorce, Kate has been rather at a loss…….. so I reluctantly agreed.
Kate has always been a ‘social climber’ and, since moving to “The Close”……… a development of large mock-Tudor houses for the nouveau riche…….. she had become even more ‘upwardly mobile’ and was thrilled to be included in her pretentious neighbours’ activities.
However, I think she was beginning to regret asking me along.
There were many wonderfully lavish outfits on display; ‘Henry VIII’, ‘Marie Antoinette’; even a couple dressed as ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’. Kate, herself, was dressed as a sparklingly pretty ‘Titania’ and was basking in the approval of her hosts ……………….they had settled on Tristan and Isolde ………………….. so I suppose my ‘Tigger’ costume, complete with ‘tiger’ face-paint, was not really up-market enough ! But it was the best I could do …………all the extravagant costumes had been snapped up by the time I found time to go to the costume-hire shop. It was this; ‘Kermit the Frog’ or ‘Ghandi’ and I didn’t think that the sight of me, topless, in a loin-cloth, would have been acceptable !
Kate had abandoned me almost at once and so I hung around, leaning on the bar in the dining room, listening to two ‘Firemen’ discussing the power-nailers that they had recently purchased from B&Q.
They were swiftly joined by an aging ‘Elvis’……….. who had about half a pound of pomade on his hair. He goosed me as he perched his ample back-side on a bar stool and I wondered how he could tell I was female in my all-enveloping costume……….. then he winked and the thought occurred that he actually imagined I was a guy !
A shrill laugh; a sound that could curdle milk, crashed through the general party noises.
The laughter and clinking of glasses was coming from the direction of the conservatory and, through the French doors I could see that, there among the expensive cane furniture, overblown festoon- blinds and reclaimed quarry tiles, our hostess, Jocasta, was holding court.
I cruised through the throng, wondering what witty comment had warranted such an outburst of hilarity and took a seat next to Kate, who was still chuckling softly. Jocasta continued in her affected, cultured voice and I began to get the drift of the conversation.
Some poor woman in the village was being talked about; misused and abused verbally, by these grinning harpies.
Apparently, the lady in question was of a ‘certain age’ and, to the horror of the snobs in “The Close”, she was having an affair with a much younger man.
” Old enough to be his Mother, if not Grandmother !!” screeched Jocasta and they all tutted and shook their heads and sniggered behind their hands.
” I mean, she is not exactly discreet, either ………..” and a dozen heads leaned forward to hear the scandalous details.
I learned that Jocasta had been to the hairdressers the day before………. probably for the weekly shearing of her over-bleached mop of hair and the so-called ‘Jezebel’ was the sole topic of conversation.
Of course, now the story was being bruited to all and sundry…….. Every detail had been gleaned by rumour and hearsay, but that didn’t stop Jocasta. She reported that the lovers usually met in the city, but that the young man had been seen entering the lady’s house under cover of darkness. ….Shock reverberated around the group and I smiled at the stunned faces and opened my mouth to say something. ………… but I held my tongue as our hostess continued…….
It seems that even the poor woman’s laundry-line had been inspected……….. The lady wore the sexiest underwear. Tiny little panties, apparently ……….mere wisps of lace…….. and her bras and camisoles had to be seen to be believed,
” Sheer chiffon and Belgian lace ……lots of expensive silk !,,, I suppose her young lover, whoever he is, likes that sort of thing. Probably the only way she can keep him interested ” Jocasta snorted, as she skewered a tiny, roasted cherry tomato from the hors d’ouvres platter.
“Mutton dressed as lamb “, added another, elaborately coiffured woman.
” I’ve heard he is still at University, in the city. Some sort of athlete too……” said Kate, with, I thought, more than a hint of wistful envy in her voice. And the women all shrugged and said they had no idea who he was ……. but he was surely one of the youths from the ‘council estate’ in the city.
” Well I think it is disgusting” continued Jocasta, in her most outraged tone, ” Not the sort of thing we want in the village, thank you very much……… She must be driven out, she is not OUR type at all. We don’t want our children corrupting with that sort of thing ”
And they all shook their heads violently and pursed their mealy mouths as they sipped their cocktails.
I leaned back in the capacious wicker chair and toyed, idly, with my ‘Tigger’ tail.
Glancing around, I smiled as I surveyed many photos of Jocasta’s pretty daughter and handsome son. In some of the photos, displayed on the grand piano, her son was in his cricket whites, smiling happily for the camera.
Ah, that smile, that slow, easy, sexy smile, that I knew so well.
I sipped my drink and made a mental note to be more careful and also to avoid hanging my ‘Agent Provocateur’ knickers on the line …………… I would dry them indoors instead…………
Yeah, this is my entry for the weekly Word Game ….. a cautionary little tale ! heehee
The words this week are;
FIREMEN, NAILERS, COUPLE, ROASTED, CRUISED, MISUSED, BRUITED, GOOSED, SHEARING, POMADE, ATHLETE.