The Insincerest Form Of Flattery.
I put this story in my first ever stand-up set which, as I recall, was 2nd November 2010 – its proximity to Halloween led me to relate this tale at a time when it was reasonably topical. I dropped it shortly afterwards and, although I think I put it back in once or twice in the two years since, it never really worked as an item of stand-up – whimsical but not funny.
One of my friends once dressed up as me for Halloween.
It was 2004, and we were in one of the regular party flats (Kersland Street, for those readers who remember), celebrating with our four friends who lived there and numerous others from the degree course we were all on. At the time, I was wearing camouflage combats and band t-shirts virtually every day. I had long hair, tied back, and sported facial hair. Not the wild, unkempt look of your typical unwashed heavy metal geek, but a neatly trimmed – I don’t know if goatee is the right term, but it was very close in style to what George Michael sported in the late Nineties. I kow this to be true, because the two or three times in my life that I have grown my beard in I have shaped it in the same way, and each time people have quickly pointed out the similarity to the former Wham! singer. I spent a few months of 2002 answering to the name “George” at work, until I shaved. Then it reverted back to “Darius”, but that’s another story.
My friend Roy decided to go to this Halloween party dressed as me, and to this day I can’t decide if that’s because he liked me so much he wanted to be me, or whether I was just the scariest or ugliest fucker he’d ever met.
Either way, I loaned him a pair of combat trousers that no longer fitted my expanding waistline, along with a bootleg Iron Maiden shirt that had shrunk in the wash and a German army shirt that didn’t fit at the time, but which the adherence to a diet now lets me wear. He fashioned himself a false ponytail and drew on a beard. It was quite funny, but it got confusing to all our drunk friends who mistakenly kept addressing him then realised it wasn’t me they were talking to.
I crafted a punchline for the stage version of this story, where I said that I did get all the articles back afterwards, and washed them – twice. Then burned them, because I never wanted to see them near a UV light, for fear of what stains he might have left in the excitement of wearing my clothes…
In its own way, it is quite flattering – not everybody can say that somebody dressed up as them for Halloween. It puts me right up there with Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Beetlejuice, and (on account of the topical news story this past fortnight) Jimmy Savile…