Thursday, October 21, 2004

Coming In Number One

Halloween is a holiday which I have always enjoyed. To celebrate something so natural yet converse to our Victorian ethos is too lovely to have ever escaped my imagination. When I was a kid my brother and I eagerly turned calendar pages with savage anticipation, planning candy gathering routes and remarkable costumes. But as I grew older I realized the whole thing had just become an excuse for slightly overweight college girls to don French maid outfits, a Hallmark justification for inebriated fornication, -not that there’s anything wrong with that. So over the years I kind of lost interest in dressing up. But of course there have been exceptions to that, and I’d like to tell you about one of them.

This one particular fall I had commandeered my parent’s garage for projects I had no space of my own for. Inside there was already a blizzard of sculpting media, SR500E parts and whiskey bottles when I set out to make a costume I’d been intending to create for a few years. I cleared out a corner and set to work with a chicken wire frame, reams of old newspaper, flour, water, Elmer’s glue and a case of spraypaint. I worked at least a few hours every night, asking my friend Alex for help with color, and a few others their structural advice. I did all the sewing myself, always having secretly enjoyed that. One evening, about halfway through the project, my father came into the garage after having arrived home from work, and said to me these exact words: “Todd, your mother and I think you’re building something quite obscene here in our garage”. The costume was, after all, a bit ambiguous: a 6 1/2 foot tall paper machet penis with huge felt testicles dragging behind it and 500 yards of black nylon pubic hair at its base. I snickered at the thought of them sneaking around in there together in my absence, commenting in whispers on my impending institutionalization.

At that point I think my mother was driving a silver SEL to which I had attached a roof rack because I was obsessed with this one mogul field at Stowe, knowing full well that nothing I was driving would even come close to making it up to Vermont. On Halloween night around 11pm I set out in that very car to attend a party which my friend Sylvie was throwing, convinced, as well I should have been, that it was going to be dull and tortuous. The 6 1/2 foot tall paper machet penis, though, remained firmly attached to the roof of the automobile, with the testicles hanging over the back and resting on the trunk. Having arrived at the party, if asked about a costume, an inquirer was told that I was having a bit of trouble summoning enthusiasm for the holiday and quickly found the conversation redirected to either the blonde in the corner or money I really didn’t need to borrow. A few hours later everyone set out to a huge bar a few towns over.

Driving down the Boston Post Road that night I had to keep all the windows rolled down, and not only because I was more than just a bit plastered. At every red light and sometimes from the sidewalk people had something to say, and I wanted to hear their reaction to my handiwork. I think part of me wanted to get a DUI just to read how the citydesk at the local paper would handle the police report. It didn’t happen though, and by the time I arrived in the bar’s parking lot I was quite schnokered enough to crawl inside the costume and go about things just as naturally as one in another costume might. The music did kind of stop when I walked in though.

The crowd was in quantity of the flesh-pressing sort, so the 6 1/2 foot tall paper machet penis did kind of get lost in the sea of it. At fist, as I “shafted” up to the bar, I ordered drinks through the hole I’d cut out for my face, but that soon grew tiresome and I discovered an alcove eager to serve as a repository for my unit. And low and behold, on the way back from there who do I discover but the blonde from the party, a numbingly nebulous newbie nanny of the French variety, thoroughly my favorite kind. And I will dare to say that we quickly became well on our way towards a more intimate knowledge of one another, a process which left me fully absentminded of my costume. Then a guy with a microphone draws everyone’s attention towards the stage.

As this fella is announcing a Halloween costume contest I fall back to the work at hand, noticing nonetheless that people are cheering as competitors climb the steps to display their adornments. A few minutes go by, and then I hear these words on the P.A.: If you are a 6 1/2 foot tall paper machet penis, get your ass on up here. Reluctantly I blunder into the costume and ram my way through the crowd and up to the stage. About eight or nine of us go through the rigmarole and fanfare of stepping forward and pirouetting to display our wares, one rather shapely delight catching my attention through the peep hole. And then there’s a drum roll and fourth and then third place is announced, then second, and I’m getting ready to return to the blond when TA DA, I am anointed first place winner and someone hands a hundred dollar bill through the peep hole. It was just then that I did what any rational person in my position would do. I reached up inside the costume and squeezed empty the liter sports bottle of milk attached to the end of it. I can’t remember if the crowd was roaring, but I do remember the subtlety was not lost on the blonde.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

My brother won first place in a costume contest held by a local radio station. You were to come as your favorite song. He went as "I can't get no satisfaction". He dressed like a flasher in a long overcoat and overbuilt genitelia.

I am sure you can get the picture.

There was supposed to be a picture in the local newspaper, but they decided not to do it after all.

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Connor Wilson said...

Every year my son Dylan and I have been building our Halloween animatronic display. This year we added 12 new figures and my wife had been making the clothes etc. but then I clued in that Halloween Costumes were the ideal solution - ya, ok I'm slow but...This year is really cool because we've done an HP Lovecraft display that I'm sure he'd appreciate but I'm not so sure he'd approve of this - The Necronomicon - Is it just me or is that just plain goofy ? Anyway, everybody is doing their own Haunted House thing now but hey - it's fun and if you've got kids I really suggest you try it yourself if you haven't already. It's a nice change from the usual Christmas Lights routine and a lot of scaaarrry fun. Happy Halloween everybody.

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