AKA: How to Half-Ass A Costume So Spectacular You Are Permanently Disqualified From Future Costume Contests.
Saturday night was Valloween, a party combining both Halloween and Valentine’s Day in a celebration of love and murder. Naturally, there was a costume contest. Since the moment I was invited, I’d been thinking about costumes and feeling discouraged, because I was sure that every idea I liked would be from sources as unrecognizable as last year’s Annie Wilkes.
Then, as I awoke one morning, inspiration struck. Who better embodies the two facets of love and murder than Two-Face? It’s got nerd cred. It’s topical, with the new Batman movie coming out this summer and a strong ‘I support Harvey Dent’ viral marketing campaign. It’d be a fun costume. That same day, I ran out and got a suit jacket from Value Village that made me look like the captain of the Love Boat, and also promptly set it aside to continue working on stuff for Mellzah’s Midnight Carnival.
This was a mistake. Had I not waited until the day before Valloween to start working on my costume, I would’ve known earlier that Captain Merrill Stubing’s jacket didn’t want to absorb any color, and I wouldn’t have had a moment of mad panic. Having swept two Halloween costume awards in a row, this particular party crowd expects big things from me. WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO?
Step one: Look at failed costume. Moan in despair. Have a (slight) hissy fit.
Step two: Take inventory of all the costume bits and bobs you have lying around, and any supplies you have to potentially make or accessorize a costume.
Step three: Talk with a spooky costume guru–mine is shadowstitch. He ran with my Two-Face idea and tossed out a bunch of other characters with multiple faces. When he landed on the Mayor of Halloweentown, I knew he had saved Christmas.
Step four: Grab the paper that you intended to use for large drink menus but ran out of time. Figure out how to roll it into an appropriately-shaped cone. Curse at it a little bit. Realize you don’t have enough hands to hold it and tape it in all of the proper places. Curse at it a lot.
Step five: Bust out the paint and touch up a rubber squeaky spider. You may want to accidentally squeak it while painting it, convincing your dog that SURELY you are holding HIS toy hostage, so he will whine and moan and attempt to snatch it out of your hands for the remainder of the time you’re working on it. While you’re at it, mix up some paint for the head and mayoral badge.
Step six: Find a button you’re willing to sacrifice. I picked one I should’ve thrown out years ago, but was afraid that someone digging through my garbage would find it and some junk mail in my name and associate it with me. Glue this pin to the back of the mayoral badge you’ve painted.
Step seven: Realize you’re never going to make the other event you scheduled for the evening, start to panic and feel like an asshole because you’re missing deqlan‘s birthday. Take a hairdryer and start blasting the head, squeaky spider, and mayoral badge. This would be a good time to burn your hand. This would also be a good time to again accidentally squeak the rubber spider, re-alerting your dog to its presence.
Step eight: In your rush, slop paint on your clothes. Curse some more. It helps.
Step nine: More hairdryer.
Step ten: Fabulousness!
When I arrived at safetymonkey’s place in my half-assed costume, people immediately started asking if the head flipped around. When I showed them it did, there were audible groans of “aww fuck, she’s won again. Right there. She just won.”
Jon greeted me at the door and exclaimed that he was wondering when I’d show up and had hypothesized that I was just tired of winning. Nosir!
At the party, the ‘STD Fairy’ decided to give me gonorrhea, which, incidentally, is the one STD I can’t seem to remember how to spell. At the very least, now I know that the wikipedia entry for ‘sexually transmitted disease’ is blocked by my workplace filters. Apparently, when they sent out that handbook instructing us how to self-treat STDs, that was meant to be the last word on the subject!
When it came time to announce the contest winners, Jon stepped up and proclaimed, “There have always been two costume contest categories at our parties; best costume, and best worst costume. The time has come where we feel that we must add a third. This new category is the ‘Melissa’ category, as we feel it is unfair to make mere mortals compete against her, and otherwise she’ll continue to sweep the best costume category. ”
So, I’ve won, but I’ve also been permanently disqualified from the regular contests. Does this mean that in the future, all I’ll have to do to win my special ‘Melissa’ prize is not change my name and just show up? Time will tell!