Consumed with costumes

TV Hagenah

OK, the World Series is over, day-light savings time begins tonight, we are in the middle of one of the most heated election battles in the history of the planet and guess what this column is going to be about today?

We are going to try to find me a Halloween costume for a Halloween party I have been invited to. Yes, I know, Spiderman is once again this years’ most popular costume, but I want to go beyond that. I want something really spectacular – something that will be memorable and special.

It probably goes back to my somewhat deprived childhood (my wife contends it was “depraved” which, she says has continued into adulthood, but I’m sure that is just a pronunciation error).

Anyway, back to my youth, My mother would never spend much time or money on costumes for me to wear. Basically, she would reach into one of our closets and grab something completely at random, and voila, there was my costume.

I remember one year I was a shoe tree. Basically I wore my dad’s shoes hanging from every part of my anatomy; my ears, my nose, my arms, my hands, around my waist – everywhere. That had some negative consequences, though. I remember I ended up having athletes foot on almost every part of my body.

Probably the worst part about that whole experience was when my doctor tried to stifle his laughter when he told me what I had been infected with. I think my discomfort with doctors may stem from that point in my life. It’s just never good when your doctor laughs at you when you there with no clothes on.

Then there was the time she grabbed a sheet from the closet, tossed it to me and said, “Here, be a ghost,” which, looking back at that portion of my life could have been a really cool Halloween costume. But it was a print, fitted sheet and I kept catching my feet in its corners and falling. Also, she wouldn’t let me cut eye holes in her best sheet just for one night of candy gathering so I kept running into and tripping over things I couldn’t see.

The next day at school I was so black and blue that my friends thought I had been mugged for my candy. I let them keep thinking that rather than tell them I had been a floral-print ghost who stumbled into a ravine filled with rocks and an angry goat before I got a single piece of candy.
The worst Halloween though was the one when my mother reached into that hated closet and grabbed my older sister’s favorite dress. There is no greater shame for a small boy on any day much less Halloween like the shame of appearing on the street dressed as his older sister. You cannot imagine the humiliation of having his friends see him in high heels, crinoline, taffeta, lipstick, mascara and a red patent leather purse.

I will admit however, that it was not a totally unproductive evening. My sister ended up giving me $20 for the names and phone numbers of three guys who tried to pick me (or her, I guess) up.

When I was of dating age, I used to try to let my costumes help me with picking up girls. One time I went as a doctor and I remember I went up to one girl and asked her if she wanted to play doctor. She responded that she was in the costume of a trial lawyer and hit me with a lawsuit for malpractice. Then she just plain hit me.

Any way, a costume for this year. My wife hasn’t been at all helpful. Both of her suggestions have not exactly enthused me. One she suggested I wearing nothing at all and sit there. She claims with my varicose veins I can claim I am attending as a road map. The other one she suggested I have the same amount of clothes on, spray my beard with deodorant, hold my arms over my head (and slightly forward) and say I am an armpit.

Well, it would be memoorable and special.