Scary monsters

Nothing says Halloween like a plug-in plastic punkin.

I used to love Halloween. It was my favorite holiday by far. Who doesn’t want to be someone or something else for at least one day per annum?

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird … it’s a plane … no, it’s The Kid with the Giant Head!

Mom made more than a few costumes for me: Superman, Mike “Sea Hunt” Nelson, even one of my own cartoon characters, Loadedman.

I can’t remember how the hell I talked her into that one. Surely I never let her read any of the comics. They did not promise a future of fame and fortune for Your Humble Narrator.

Eventually I started cobbling together my own getups, but found my options limited by my everyday appearance, which was long on hair. The pirate thing is easy, but gets boring after a few voyages.

So I stretched myself a bit. I was Chihuahua Guevara one year, and Jesus another. The Che getup was easy — basically pirate, but with assault rifle and beret instead of cutlass and bandana — but the Prince of Peace required a little more skull sweat.

An early Eighties Halloween in Oregon

Chihuahua Guevara, Fido Castro, take your pick.

It was a combo act. A newpaper colleague and I planned to crash a divinity-school party as the Deities from New Jersey, with accents to match.

Robes and halos were a snap, and I used green trash-bag ties to fashion a crown of thorns, but we couldn’t talk anyone into joining us as the Holy Ghost. Something about “blasphemy.”

Yeah, right. Like we weren’t already going to Hell for running an afternoon newspaper.

One aspect short of a Trinity, we were forced to improvise and adapt. In short, to evolve. We bought a white helium-filled balloon and slapped a happy-face sticker on it. Hallelujah. The Lord helps those who help themselves.

At another newspaper I managed to catch the publisher napping one All Hallows’ Eve. I throttled back my prodigious beard, then braided my hair and stuffed it down the collar of a very pro dress shirt. Took out the earring, added tie, slacks, and footwear, and went to work.

Well sir, I don’t mind telling you the publisher was impressed. Shook my hand and congratulated me on finally joining the human race.

Later I left for lunch and returned clad in motorcycle-outlaw finery — all hair and earring and black boots and denim, including a vest with homemade “Hell’s Editors” colors on the back and a “No Morals” button on the front.

The publisher subsequently went dotty. I like to think I contributed in my own small way.

These days I mostly play it straight. We hang around the house and wait for all the little goblins to pop round, screeching for sugar.

If anybody asks what I’m doing for Halloween I tell them I’m going as an old white guy. I can’t imagine anything scarier.

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15 Responses to “Scary monsters”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    I’ve gotten bored too. In 4th grade I cobbled together a Hitler outfit and went trick or treating. That did not go over well and my mom got a bunch of phone calls. On Long Island there were second hand stores so one year went in drag. Another time went with a Burger King crown on my head and a bunch of rock sample bags and bicycle tires pinned to my clothing. A good friend burst out laughing and said “Elvis Presley!” He got it too soon. Then there was the time, my second year at the U of Hawaii, where I went as a Portagee old lady (and I never heard that used as a slur in Hawaii, just as pidgin) and fooled my boss.

    Happy Halloween!

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    I pinned a small patch of white fabric on my vest. What are you? I’m a little piece of sheet.

  3. Pat O’Brien Says:

    PS: Love the masthead! Chapeau!

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Ahh, Frank Delima

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Where did you score the AK, Patrick?

    • khal spencer Says:

      Or whatever that is you are holding with the finger looking like it is inside the trigger guard…

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I think, but don’t remember for sure, that it was a downsized plastic Thompson playtoy that I picked up somewhere. I already had most of the other kit, but also had to find a red star for the beret. Details, details . …

      • khal spencer Says:

        Ok, now makes sense. I had one of those U.S. Invader Sets as a kid. Came with a fake plastic Thompson, fake plastic M1911, fake grenade, plastic fantastic helmet, mess kit, and canteen.

        Not sure whatever happened to it. Could probably sell it for a bundle if it still exists.

        https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/maco-s-invader-set-1000-playset-box-1961201902

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I had one of those too, I believe. The fake grenade used caps for the “bang,” right? I bet those things are worth a ton now. You wouldn’t believe what Herself gets on eBay for odd bits of this and that. People will pay good money for just about anything. But of course we already knew this.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Yep, they used caps. Given we both grew up at about the same time, I guess we both were running around with that sort of shit.

          My old man competed in regional pistol shooting with a real 1911, a Colt Gold Cup National Match. I got some plastic model kit paints and painted mine up to match his, which probably woulda got me shot by the cops today but back then folks just thought it was quaint.

  6. mike w. Says:

    i was Fidel one year. i think i was 11…

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