Every year we spend an evening cutting loose, letting our hair down (which is sometimes tricky, when the best haircut for this environment is a half-all-over) and kicking it to some crazy beats.
Wednesday night. The fancy dress party. This year's theme?
I was born in 1981, so I was kinda tempted to turn up wearing a pair of Osh-Kosh dungarees and eating a Wham bar while inviting people to debate whether Panthra was cooler than Lion-O.
But no, instead I did my normal trick of walking into the awesome costume shop near the university in Edinburgh and saying “80's themed party, Need a costume. Less than £40.”
The lovely woman behind the counter rummaged around before coming up with satin bloom pants, a shoulder padded jacket, dollar sign medallion and oversized shades.
“Wanna be Vanilla Ice?”
Come the Wednesday evening, though, my claims to being Vanilla Ice were quickly shot down by everyone walking up to me and saying “Ooooh! MC Hammer.” respect went to Ed, though, who'd spent several days before the event painting squares onto a cardboard packing crate in a Rubiks pattern, then wrapping said crate in brown paper, packing his gear into it and using it at his luggage.
I hate clever people.
The evening ran on as it typically does, beer flowed, the music struggled to be heard over the associated hubbub (every year we bring shit speakers, every year they don't work), the police officers stationed at the event sat and glowered at our haram dancing, drinking and canoodling and I was just about to turn into my bunk for my 0430 start the next day (sweep duty after the party…yeuch) when we were all gathered into a huddle by the Clerk of the Course.
“I feel it's only right that we recognise the fantastic work that the SAR/MED crew do, and as such this year we've brought along some prizes to thank you for your excellent outfit efforts.”
He worked his way through a number of themes, you know the sort of thing, best male, best female, best dressed, most imaginative deployment of hot pants. People were ushered up to the front where they shook the Clerk's hand and received their prize, a box from a Variety pack of breakfast cereal.
“And now we have the glittering grand prize, the prize that will be issued to Mr or Mrs 80s. It's….a box of Coco Pops.”
The crowd dutifully oohed.
“And the Coco Pops go to…..MC Hammer!”
Slaps on my back, cheers around me. I'm trying to tell them “But I'm Vanilla Ice!” when a hand pushes me to the front of the crowd.
Fuck it, I'm MC Hammer.