A year in people #36 – Tudor

“I used to work with rubber chickens.”

Not your normal interview response, but Tudor isn’t really your normal person. He didn’t get that job, but I interviewed him again for a different role some months later and this time he got it. He probably regretted it when, as one of two system administrators for the HR system I managed, he had me constantly throwing things his way and being a bit particular about it to boot.

A week after he’d started we ended up at the same party together and when he left I went to give him a hug, arms outstretched. His eyes widened and he mumbled “but we don’t know each other”. “Oh, but we do now” I replied with a wink, referring to the personal story he’d told us an hour before about what happened when he drunk Jack Daniels one time (which is definitely not my story to tell).

There was a group of us all working together back then, and we’ve stayed friends since. Tudor flits in and out, generally depending on whether he has a girlfriend or not. Not in a bad way, and we all take the piss out of him for it. Well, we take the piss out of him for most things to be fair. His lookalikes, drinking exploits and life tales.

One day we discovered something AMAZING about our friend. I can’t remember when, or how, because the sheer joy at what we discovered took over.

He used to work at Smiffys, a UK fancy dress/party stuff manufacturer (hence the rubber chickens). One day, I think after he’d left, his friend (who still worked there) asked him for a favour. Tudor, who’s actually one of the gullible nicest people you’ll ever meet, said yes. Without knowing what it was.


Before he knew it, he was being plastered with make up and given some clothes to wear. And a wig. Pretty sure at this point he was probably regretting saying yes.

Because he was being transformed into AN OOMPA LOOMPA.

The way Tudor tells this story is so much better than I can ever write it, because it doesn’t just end there. I’m laughing as I type, but not because he was an oompa loompa. Although he looks FUCKING HILARIOUS with green hair and an orange face.

Ohhhh no, it was that because that outfit meant a photoshoot.  Tudor was now THE new face of Smiffys’ Oompa Loompa fancy dress costume. The picture you see on this post was now on the packaging and OUT IN THE WORLD. If you know Tudor, you’ll know how awkward he looks in that picture.

Tudor tried to keep this under wraps from pretty much the whole planet. I can’t remember how we found out. But we did. Still, to this day, we take the piss. And so do others.

“How’s Willy Wonka?”

<Send the picture to group chat>

“Got a suntan Tudor? Been on holiday?”

Whenever he gets a girlfriend. “Told her about your fame yet Tudor?”

OBVIOUSLY, we all find it HILARIOUS, and fall about laughing.

A few years ago, there was a stag do on the UK TV soap Emmerdale. Someone walked into the Woolpack with a fancy dress costume package. Yep – you guessed it. TUDOR!!! His [Oompa Loompa] face was broadcast on prime time television. We screenshotted the hell out of that.

“Can we have your autograph?”

“Will you still want us as friends now you’re famous?”

This has been going on for years. It will never get old.

It’s not just us. Only a few weeks ago Tudor sent us a picture of him and his two nephews he’d gone to visit. They had turned up in t-shirts with HIS [Oompa Loompa] FACE ON.

He’s started to join in now. Resistance is futile. A picture of <gasp> a New Model, some other dude, was discovered. “Ah yes this was discovered last week. I’ve been superseded as the costume model but the more prestigious wig spot is still mine. He’s doing an absolutely shite pose as well. Total amateur.”

It will NEVER get old.

<STILL crying with laughter>


Published by Paps

I love running, writing, travel and adventure. I'll give anything a go once, and am always up for a laugh.

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