the cowboy photo

Cowboy Picture doctored
Excuse the dreadful editing!


This is one of those photos that always makes me smile. We were obliged to attend an industry ‘do’ over ten years ago. We didn’t know anyone. It was a barn dance. For us it sounded like a disastrous night and we were absolutely dreading it

We arrived dutifully dressed in denim, suede and appropriate hats, but the room was full of rather stiff people, none of whom had made any attempt to dress up. They were not feeling it. We were definitely not feeling it. The room had no atmosphere and the first half an hour was excruciating. It looked like being a very long and very quiet night

Then a guy burst in to the room, dressed as a cowboy and firing his toy guns overhead. With him was a pantomime horse (two men, fully committed to the role and the costume) which reared its head and loudly clacked its teeth. Baz and I were in stitches by then, but the rest of the room barely even acknowledged the newcomers and joylessly lined up at the buffet. It felt as if the other guests were almost offended that someone had decided to have some fun with the theme, and did not appreciate ‘that sort of behaviour’

Needless to say, the man and his horse came and sat with us. For much of the evening both top and bottom halves of the horse wore their costumes, though it must have been stifling inside the head, particularly. Our table was impossibly loud and raucous. As the evening wore on someone pointed out that all the people at the surrounding tables had moved away and were either perched on windowsills or had crowded onto other tables. We had a blast despite – or perhaps because of – the disapproving looks from all around us, and were nearly persuaded to go out clubbing with the gunfighter and his steed, but we chose to retire after a very heavy night’s drinking, dancing and laughter

It was one of our better decisions. The next morning we saw them after breakfast. They looked even worse than we did, having gate-crashed a wedding party at the same hotel, staying until they were ejected at 4am

Normally I hate photos at events like this, but we became friends that night and, let’s face it, it’s not often that you get to have your photo taken with a pantomime horse, so we went for it. The picture tends to resurface regularly when I feel slightly under-par, and it reminds me of a hilariously bad night out with great company

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