Thursday, October 30, 2008


Here are some decidedly not-so-spooky costumes I've worn for Halloweens of yore...

Hmm. I think this is 1973, which would make me 5 and my aunt (dressed as...what? Cinderella? Barbie? Debbie Harry?) nearly 10. I won't take any accolades for this shabby witch costume, as I don't even remember the night. But it must have been cold, as I'm wearing that delicious satiny Army-green parka. With the hood. (*shudders*)

Looks like 1978, which makes me 10 here. This is officially called the "put-all-the-shit-you-love-together" costume. Magic kit cape? Check. Plastic vampire teeth, complete with "blood" dripping from the corners of your mouth? Check. Totally weird hat that I have no recollection of acquiring or owning? Check. Fireplace poker, held threateningly over head? Check. Ah, but the coup de gras...rubber monster hand that you simply HAD to have, but could only afford one of, so you look like some sort of half-mutated vampire-child dressed convincingly in '70s brown-on-brown? CHECK! (Interestingly, this face is still one of my favorites to make, even to this day...)

Well, it's not like I didn't get dressed up between 1978 and 1992, when this photo was taken! But, I didn't actually own a camera of my own until about 1996, so photos of me are rather few & far between. This costume is one of my very favorites...obviously, right? Totally homemade, with 2x4's screwed to the bottom of an old pair of work boots, real metal studs adorning the front "shin plates," plus enough sequins and chain and aluminum foil to make any aspiring Kiss fan proud! I nearly won a costume contest later that night at Boomer's...only to lose at the last minute to a Crash Test Dummy. (Literally a guy dressed as the fake human used to test cars...not one of the members of a different rock band.) (*hums to self: mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm...*)

Whoops! This isn't a'd THIS end up in here? Heh. Jus' kiddin', folks. At the last minute we decided to party with our friends the Jones', and this "80s rocker" costume was put together in 1997 from, frighteningly, items that were still in my closet. (*the gods weep*)

The first of many parties hosted in the public "hall" at our apartment complex: this is from 1998, and from left to right are Tess, her sister Amanda, Amanda's boyfriend at the time, and yours truly. We had a BLAST hunting down the outfits to go as Kiss from the cover of Dressed to Kill. While this SHOULD have been at my urging, a perhaps-faulty memory suggests that it may have really been the brainchild of one of the other intrepid members of our quartet. Nonetheless, we were THE hit of the party that night...especially when we threw out our best album-cover pose...

From 1999, this is about the only decent photo of me dressed as Qui-Gon Jinn. I was at a loss, and The Phantom Menace had just come out, so I handily wrapped a flashlight in foil (are you seeing a theme here? Aluminum foil as the costume-maker du jour?) for my "lightsaber," tied my hair back, and partied with what looks to be my date: a very mannish nun named Joel.

We started to offer themes for our Halloween parties by 2000; we just found that some people were more likely to show up in costume if they had at least the notion of a starting point. This year was "Come as your Favorite Rock Star," and while someone from Kiss would seem obvious for me, I had just done that a couple of years earlier. Instead I padded myself with a pillow, put on my tux, found a red satin hankie, and became a pretty convincing late-70s Meat Loaf. Funny story: Tess' friend Marie first met me at this party, and was shocked to see me again several weeks later...turns out she though that the padding was all me!

From 2001, this was another great themed party: "Come as your Favorite Duo." We encouraged people to think of great historical duos, like Batman & Robin, Butch & Sundance, etc. My friends Chris & Colleen came as Bill & Monica...her in a dress so besplotched by "cum" stains you could hardly tell that it was blue. Gross. Anyway, Tess' mom made us our great Ren & Stimpy heads, as well as my blue nose.

And, this is a pretty good shot of me at our last big bash, in 2002. Our theme for this one was "Come as your Favorite Cartoon Character," and I scored big with my fairly simple Hong Kong Phooey outfit. Brent & Joy came as Lady & the Tramp, and Tess hysterically decked herself out in a gaudy dress, bunny ears, a plastic carrot & too much lipstick to come as "Bugs Bunny dressed up in drag." Y'know, 'cause he was always doing that to thwart Elmer. Funny shit.

Once we moved from our apartment complex, we stopped having annual parties, which had become rather legendary (if I do say so myself). Not having that huge common room to decorate and party in was the real loss; I always feel a little silly putting on a costume and just going to someone's house to sit around in the living room. Although this year, it looks like we may just be doing that. Stay tuned for pictures of Tess over the rainbow...while I abide.


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