Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thoughts from a Halloween Werewolf

If you've read this blog before, it will come as no surprise that I love Halloween. As a kid, being able to spend weeks planning and making your costume, finally leading up to the night when you could go trick-or-treating, was second in delicious joy only to waiting for Christmas morning to come around. This was in the days before "politically correct" Halloweens, where kids are encouraged to dress up as socially positive role models like Montessori teachers or gender-neutral eco-facilitators. No, these were the days when boys wanted to dress in as violent and horrifying ways as they could on a budget of whatever could be begged or borrowed from one's parents. In those times, kids had to learn to balance the costume desires of "Mom" ("...but you'd look so cute dressed as a gingerbread bunny") and "Dad" ("...it costs what???? Forget it, here's my old hat, go as a hobo").

Now usually, a kid caught between these sorts of extreme views would end up in some sort of embarassing compromise that never really felt that satisfying. Getting sensible, inexpensive shoes instead of the cool black high-top runners with the picture of the jet on the little rubber circle sewn at the ankle, for example. But Halloween was such a magical time, that kids were usually able to buy or put together a costume that they actually thought was cool! Want to be a super-mad-doctor-pirate-vampire-eco-facilitator? At Halloween, it was possible!

Of course, that was then, and, as the proponents of linear time will insist, this is now. AGF (awesome girl-friend) and I love giving our Halloween candy and watching the assortment of costumes come to the door. This year, I decided to put a little more effort into dressing up my house, so in addition to hanging the rubber bat on the front door, I decided to put together a life-sized werewolf for my front yard. This was my first attempt to do something like this, and I have to admit, I kind of like the way it turned out. As you can see from the picture, his face was a pretty cool wolf-man mask I picked up at a yard sale this year, placed over one of those styrofoam wig-heads that I covered with fur. Note the ears, making him look a little like a were-bear...even cooler!

His eyes were little LED lights I snipped off fo two dollar-store book lights, and they were amazing. They were eye-shaped to begin with, and covering the mask's eye-holes with red tissue paper actually made them look like glowing red eyes! His body was an old plaid flannel shirt and jeans stuffed with newspaper. This wasn't as successful, as his contents tended to shift downwards, as is wont to happen to all of us, giving him a rather saggy gut and a flat derriere. Obviously, a Canadian were-wolf! He was kept upright with a broomstick running from his styrofoam neck, down the back of his pants into the ground. Once erect, my werewolf proved himself no match for the rigors of occasional gusts of wind, so his broomstick had to be supported by a metal pry-bar, also down the back of his pants, a towel, two rocks and a small log used by the cats as a scratching post. Once upright, his paws were attached to a pair of store-bought tombstones and viola, one Halloween werewolf was ready to go!

The werewolf proved to be a fun addition to Halloween, especially as the kids and their guardians weren't shy about offering comments. Here's a sample:

Older sister reassuring younger one, who is dressed as the pinkest fairy ever to wave a butterfly wand on our street: "that wolf won't hurt you". Awwwwwwww. Ok, there's a place for super-cute on Halloween!

A Mom: "I hope that doesn't move" Maybe next year, Mom!

Older guardian upon seeing the glowing red eyes: "Holy sh*t!". Gotta love that reaction!

Young boy dressed as a soldier (pointing his "rifle" at wolfie): "Brrr-rrr-rrr-rr-rrr-rrrr-at-att-att--tat" (gun sound)"Grrrrrahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa!" (victory over werefolf cry) I'm glad that kid is fighting on our side!

And finally, two Boys: Younger one: "what's that what's that what's that?"
Older one: "It's DAD!"

A brave comment, son, considering Dad was standing right there with you! Then again, getting away with mischef has always been one of Halloween's greatest traditions. I'm glad that tradition is still alive.

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