The theme was ‘Blast From the Past’ the setting was the Franz Josef Glacier Guides 2013 Christmas Staff Party. And I was flat broke.

Franz Josef is a tiny tourist town of 350 permanent residents on the West Coast of NZ. As Australian native, I moved there in 2013 to work on the glacier as a tour guide and quickly realised the company was full of character and endless fun. When the theme for the Christmas staff party was announced I was a bit daunted though. The only option is the DIY option on the West Coast  when it comes to costumes which usually makes for some awesome/hilarious parties.

I was thinking hard about what I could make a costume out of cheaply without ruining any of my normal day-to-day clothes. I decided to try to make something out of old cardboard boxes from work and then decided on making a dinosaur costume pretty quickly after that – I thought it’d be easy enough to pull off somehow. I grabbed a few empty boxes from work and a roll of packing tape and headed home.

What happened next was 3 hours of cutting, taping, trying on, tearing, fixing and general fandangaling. What I ended up with was far from what I had in my head at the beginning but I was stoked! It fitted like a glove (even though I couldn’t use my arms!). This sofa-sized cardboard dinosaur lived in my closet for a week without anyone noticing the giant tail sticking out the doors!

The night arrived and I donned the costume at home for the 10 minute walk through town. I got some hilarious looks and even some photos taken by random tourists in town on the walk. Upon arriving at the party and everyone was slightly stunned… ‘Who’s that?!’  ‘Is that Goofy?!’ (My NZ nickname) …eventually realised it was me and were in hysterics.

The next hours involved being fed drinks through the dinosaur mouth as I couldn’t used my arms but no one wanted me to take the costume off. I couldn’t see my tail and almost set it on fire at the fire pit and managed to knock over a table of beers before being straddled by my crazy Russian roommate.  This all before doing battle with the Ninja Turtles and getting fed a beer bong by Tom Cruise.

Eventually, my costume went the way of all the dinosaurs and met a fiery demise at the end of the night in the fire pit. However, I don’t think the K-Pg Extinction Event was soaked in as much beer…