My night as Rob Muldoon, I mean. Tomorrow night is a family 50th birthday party. It is a fancy-dress party. I hate fancy-dress. We have all been assigned characters: Hamish, an athletic type, is to come as Bart Simpson; Jane, who is very attractive, is to come as Hilda Ogden from Coronation Street; Kate, who is slender, is to come as Dolly Parton (or as she puts it, “Dolly fucking Parton!”).
My wife is to come as Helen Clark, which is OK as Helen is an old friend of mine so I have been able to offer costume tips. However, I have to come as former prime minister Rob Muldoon. Which is a problem.
How does one signify Muldoon? I could get drunk, I suppose:
But somehow I feel that more of an effort is called for. I could go around chatting up all the women, which would be in character but perhaps get me into trouble – Cambridge husbands tend to be large. I could say over and over, “I love you, Mr Lange,” but this might be misconstrued as well. It is a problem.
On the bright side, at the end of the evening I get to go home with Helen Clark.
(Photo credit: The Dominion Post Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library. Also see Mary McIntyre’s painting Mickey Mouse and Robert Muldoon, based on this photo, here.)