I should have known. Every time we go out in Townsville, I mentally swear never to go out again. There are plenty of precedents: the "full moon drumming circle" held before the sun went down; the "night markets" selling fried food in a crowded park under blazing genny-powered lamps; the "theatre restaurant" that was just too cringingly awful to describe. But when we received a late invitation to the Lord Mayor's Ball, I didn't think to say no. Firstly, because it had the Lord Mayor's name on it I thought that surely it would have to pass some kind of standard (I should have looked more closely and seen that it was a local business charity ball, at which the Lord Mayor would be appearing briefly). Secondly, because the kind lady who gave us the tickets is also the kind lady who has been swinging me a little freelance work (finally! I'm a real writer now!). Thirdly, because it was dress up. A Pirate's Ball.
So I went down to the local costume hire shop that also happens to sell a couple of other things, including special cigarettes for mothers day.
And I scraped together a couple of costumes for us, out of what hadn't already been hired by people who got their invitations in the first round. Here's a picture of us before we left:
I don't know what I should say about the actual ball. There was a covers band which was OK. There was dinner. Because it was a charity event I was expecting to sit good-naturedly through a certain amount of lameness. But the 'entertainment' portion of the evening was EXCRUCIATING. There was a lot of terrible, way way way-past-the-line pirate humour of the 'Seaman Stains' variety. There were a couple of 'comediennes' who did an impersonation of Kath and Kim and a guy doing an impersonation of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow (he called himself Jack Sparowfart). And THEN they held the charity auction, in which, for example, a member of the Townsville public paid over $3000 for a framed rugby jersey that may-or-may-not have been worn by Wally Lewis. Or someone else.
Today I am feeling quite tired. And somehow assaulted.