It’s Halloween 2020 and you’re hosting a party. You’ve got your place looking great – decorated in the style of the Parasite basement, and you’ve even prepared some 2020-themed snacks for your guests. Your super-spread includes 2020 delicacies such as roast pangolin, Subway bread made from old yoga mats and mouldy artisanal Sqirl jam.
Plus you’ve got corn chips to go with your very popular $10,000 Super(annuation) Dip.
So what would the ultimate 2020 Halloween party look like – particularly if all the guests got very method?
Sophia, dressed as the Covidsafe app, spends the party moaning about how she’s not as popular as she used to be.
“Don’t forget about me. I’m still in your phone, aren’t I? Remember you were excited about me in April?”
“No one was excited about you in April,” replies one of the guests.
Later in the night, probably drunk, Sophia bothers people, giving them unwanted “reminders”. “You need to turn me on,” she begs.
But most of the guests are hanging with the more popular crowd – the QR codes. Everyone at the party has their phones out, hovering their cameras over the QR codes’ faces and giving them their phone numbers.
“Don’t trust those codes!” shouts Sophia. “They don’t really care about you. They’ll sell your number to some fraud mill who’ll call you next week and tell you that you have a massive tax debt. I don’t do that!!! I’ll keep you safe!!!”
Escaped Sydney baboons
Also in a corner and sulking are a polyamorous throuple, dressed as the three escaped Sydney baboons.
“I was scheduled for a vasectomy,” says the male baboon. “But I thought ‘no way, ride or die baby!’ They even brought two of my wives along to calm me during the op. Big mistake! We all escaped – to a car park on Missenden Road.”
“It was a massive deal at the time,” says wife 1. “Remember the health minister Greg Hunt making jokes about our polyamory? He said we had a ‘modern relationship.’ Ha ha ha. He also said his ‘heart is with the baboons’... which isn’t weird at all.”
“That was before he got distracted by Covid,” says the male baboon bitterly. “Got all busy.”
“Now everyone’s forgotten about us,” wife 2 complains. “Back in February we were the hottest thing in the news cycle for like a week – and then the virus came and bang, no one cares any more. We could be euthanised for all they know!”
The person who didn’t touch their face all year
In March when everyone was told DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE! Christine obeyed the directive and didn’t touch her face for a whole 10 months, because she didn’t want to catch the virus. Now she has come to the party with almost a year’s worth of sleep in her eyelashes, rotting food in the corner of her mouth, blocked pores, old cappuccino froth crusted above her mouth and the makeup she applied in March but felt was unsafe to take off – because it would involve … touching her face.
“Why won’t anyone go near me?” Christine complains to the host. “I don’t have Covid! I haven’t touched my face!”
Bad Ellen was pleased to be invited to the party (on the proviso she didn’t bring George W Bush as her plus one).
“Anything to escape the prison I’ve been living in!!! It’s total hell! Every day – same cabana, same 12 bedrooms, same 15 bathrooms, same infinity pool … I mean, each day felt like an infinity,” says Bad Ellen.
But the party is ruined for her when all the guests start telling her that she is, in fact, a terrible person.
“Your kindness is bullshit!” says Sophia.
Bad Ellen didn’t even realise she was bad! She is shocked to find out! After apologising to everyone, she leaves the party, returning to her “jail”.
Botched restoration fresco
There’s something wrong with Alice’s face. It looks like it’s melting or that it was drawn on by a child. One eye is where her nose should be, the other one – sketched with an unsteady hand – is up by her ear. Her nose is just two small pin-prick holes and her lips are uneven. Is it bad plastic surgery? Or … a botched fresco restoration? “I’m a baroque-era rendering of the Immaculate Conception,” explains Alice. “At least that’s what I’m meant to be.”
Ronan and Claire are the best looking people at the party.
“What are you dressed as?” everyone asks.
“But you don’t look normal … You’re too good-looking.”
The only give-away that they are in character? Ronan is wearing a fine silver chain around his neck.
Keanu’s normal girlfriend
Genevieve couldn’t get to the hairdresser for three months before she was in the world’s longest lockdown and missed the window between lockdowns when the salon was open. Her grey roots have now grown to be grey everything and she’s sick of doing Zoom meetings in a baseball cap. She’s embraced her new do. She looks hot! Plus she can just go to the party with her hair as a costume and say she’s Keanu’s non-celebrity, very cool, almost-the-same-age (well, Keanu is a mere nine years older) girlfriend, Alexandra Grant.
Dressed literally as skeletons, Dan and Mike spend the whole night complaining how they missed the WFH revolution.
“No one thinks about us, the skeleton staff. We were there right through the pandemic, the only people in the office. Just because we’re IT guys you think we don’t have feelings? Or needs?”
“Mostly what we need is sushi and coffee,” said Mike. “We couldn’t get a decent ristretto for three months because the cafes in the city were shut.”
“I had to take a thermos from home!” said Dan. “I missed my barista! Not just for the coffee, but also the chat.”
Then there was the clothing thing. “You guys could stay in your pyjamas all day – but we had to actually get dressed,” said Mike. “And we had to commute to work in empty train carriages that smelt so clean that it was … eerie. I can’t believe I miss being wedged into someone’s armpit, choking on their Lynx.”