THE local Rotary Club has cancelled an event planned for Saturday principally due to a lack of ticket sales.

You could leap with Olympian ease to many conclusions as to why nobody much signed up to this invitation to indulge our new freedoms.

We could start with the event itself; a proposed Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. I suspect this is the kind of wheeze which sounds very jolly at a planning meeting but rarely survives its first encounter with assorted realities.

For one, there is a huge resistance to dressing up in many quarters. I was married to just such a refusenik. It may not have been unconnected to an early outing as a couple in fancy dress.

Himself, a bit of an amateur conjuror, had the easy gig, just top hat and tails with a pack of cards or three as props. Feeling that posing as his glamorous assistant might contravene the Trades Description Act, I plumped for being his White Rabbit. (There’s one of these round the Mad Hatter’s table too.)

With mop ends for feet, pipe cleaners for whiskers, white gloves, white tights and some suitably zany ears, all I lacked was fur.

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Enter the other half, who used some artist’s glue to secure rolls of cotton wool to a white T shirt. The result wouldn’t have made me an extra in Peter Rabbit 2, but it was certainly good for a laugh.

I stopped giggling round about 9pm when I detected a distinct burning sensation over most of the top half of my body. Repairing to the loo, I shed the T-shirt, to find the adhesive had scorched large areas of flesh.

Trust me on this: it’s not an easy thing turning up at your GP the following morning and explaining you’ve been burned by your rabbit costume. The look he gave me was on the elderly side of old fashioned!

And, truth to tell, none of the characters in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party are the sort of thing you can throw together from the dressing up box. A caterpillar? A Dormouse? A Cheshire Cat? You can readily assume, had I been going, it wouldn’t have been as the Mad March Hare. Once burned etc.

There is probably a generational problem here too. Alice in Wonderland may be a classic, but I suspect it’s been overtaken as a childhood favourite by other reading delights. I doubt its sales could begin to look at Harry Potter’s.