I’m not really a massive fan of the fancy dress party and would normally go out of my way to avoid attending one. But recently we attended a Bogan Bingo fundraising evening that requested we all dress to theme.
It was a great cause so why the f*ck not?!
Spouse had nothing that could be remotely described as ‘bogan’ lurking shamefully at the back of his wardrobe. No Heavy Metal tour tee-shirts, no V8 Supercar garb, no acid wash, and not a skerrick of flannelette.
We hit the Victoria Market on a Saturday morning. The place was teeming with people sporting just the sort of look we were after. Flicking through a circular rack of $10 teeshirts, we were joined by the gold standard of bogan males. He wore black and white track pants, an ACDC teeshirt and the ubiquitous unbuttoned flanney. There was a moment of uncertain tussling over a Harley Davidson tee before ACDC man surveyed spouse’s Colorado fleecy, judged him in greater fashion need and grudgingly deferred to him.
It was patterned leggings all the way for the ladies, with planets and constellations or skeleton designs reigning supreme. Short black hoodies and ugg boots completed the ensemble.
We sourced a brand new flannelette shirt to go over the tee shirt and while I assured my beloved that colour coordination was not key here, size did indeed matter. None of your fitted hipster business here, the flanney is necessarily voluminous for the purposes of outerwear or as a handy overnight blanket in the back of the ute.
D1 had a veritable treasure trove of suitably ‘skanky’ pieces she could furnish me with, something tight, potentially skin barring and camel toe producing was assured. She also agreed to do my make up and although we didn’t have time for the total tandoori tan, she did go a little nuts with the bronzing powder. Observing the more is more mantra, my makeup was straight out of Geordie Shore.
It’s fair to say that none of us really stood out from the locals as we spilled out of the taxi at Coburg Town hall. Joining a line of fellow ferals clutching bags of chips and pizza boxes we made our way inside. I’d gone all Spring carnival with my catering, opting for thai chicken sandwiches and expensive cheeses over the Coles deli tray.
She’s bloody up herself. Pass the cabana.
The beautiful art deco room was fairly heaving with mullets. There were more wigs than a 17th Century English court. Farnsy, Barnsy, Brian Mannix, Craig McLachlan, Jason Donovan…all the truly great Australian 80’s mullets were represented. A number of the women had donned aggressively spiky versions in improbable colours and were primed for a quick demonstration of the sharpie dance if called upon.
The actual bingo was hosted by an hilarious couple who accompanied the manic number calling with musical riffs from the 80’s and 90’s. They interspersed the game with an air guitar competition and the Biggest Bogan award. This brought out the competitive nature in one or ten people who, truth be told, had gone to absolutely no effort with costume having left the house in basically what they wore every day. Imagine their delight at being celebrated this way?
We all stood as a series of bogan sorting questions were fired at us.
Have you ever owned a flanney?
Most people had.
No? Then sit the f*ck down!
One of my dearest friends, a woman of inestimable elegance and refinement, who had been utterly transformed as a hybrid of Sybill Fawlty and Kath Day-Knight, immediately sat down. Out in the first round! Oh, the shame.
Did you buy your flanney today?
A few shamefaced folk.
Yes? Then sit the f*ck down!
And on it progressed. I was eliminated at the have you ever worn your moccies or uggs out of the house? round.
It eventually came down to three women hauled on stage to battle it out for the ultimate accolade.
None of the three had managed to have children to different father’s, so they needed to dig deeper.
First born’s name?
Not a bogan name by any stretch.
Part time bookkeeper.
First born’s name?
Nope. (Unless it’s spelt Emahleeh)
Please leave the stage.
First born’s name?
Go on, second born?
And the clincher, occupation?
Out of work actress.
YES! We have a winner!!!!!
The Bogan Queen left the stage triumphantly, her muscle bound boyfriend looking on with pride.
Caught up as I was singing along to an 80’s power ballad, I failed to notice my spouse successfully bidding on an decidedly un-bogan Smeg washing machine during the live auction.
What a grouse bloke you’ve got there, bet he’ll score a root tonight?
Or he’ll just appreciate his whiter than white, whites.
We packed up the rindy bits of leftover double brie and crumbly clods of cheddar to be polished off with a decent shiraz the next day sans hoop earrings and double denim. I experienced no newfound affection for the fancy dress gig (or in this case, not so fancy dress) but was very happy to have done our bit for a deserving cause.