Halloween Spirits – Part 1

As October 31st approaches I figured I’d share some stories, all in three parts, about any number of Halloween memories or stories. This first one stems from Halloween while in elementary school. It’s weird that my memory largely sucks in most instances; but can be very sharp in others. There’s no real consistency – sort of like my bowel movements after eating Mexican. But that’s another story – don’t worry, even I wouldn’t share that whole story.

Getting dressed up in a costume was a big deal for all of us in elementary school, and I hope lots of readers share a similar past because it’s just darn fun to go to school in something other than everyday clothes – the joy of blending learning with playing pretend. Often times the teacher would walk around the classroom trying to guess which student was behind the costume. I was at a severe disadvantage in attempting to stump my teachers. My second grade teacher looked at me – I can’t remember what the heck I was dressed as – and I at her. “Hi, Jason,” she said, “there’s no hiding your blue eyes.” Figures, the only women interested in my dazzling blue eyes over the years were old lady teachers. Even my wife barely spares them a glance – she just loves me for my body.

The first costume I remember, while in nursery school, was The Thing from Fantastic Four. It was one of the vinyl suit costumes with a plastic mask attached via a rubber band – typical of the 70s. What’s particularly strange about that selection was the fact that the Thing was this big, rock-hard, bad-ass fighting machine. But I was a scrawny little wussy who spent most of his life more likely to be on the receiving end of clobbering time. I guess Halloween really is a day to spend being something you’re not.

But it was the kindergarten outfit which was my most original. For some strange reason I wanted to dress as a carrot. Mom did a great job on this costume. I basically had a frame with orange, I think paper mache, strips attached with little eye holes to see out of. I think there were little holes for my arms and the main body stopped about at my knees, meaning when the teachers paraded the cute little kindergarteners through the other grade levels I was first in line so the teacher could hold my hand to prevent severe bodily harm through trips and falls. Basically, moving about in that outfit without adult supervision was as hazardous as trick-or-treating at night in a solid black bodysuit in the middle of the interstate. And walking home past the petting zoo – I had nightmares for years of being chased by killer bunnies long before ever watching Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.

I haven’t dressed in a Halloween costume in years, but enjoy watching my daughters dress up these days. Perhaps I’ll go out in costume again some day – as soon as the wife let’s me dress as a nudist.


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