Friday, October 31, 2003

Terrifying Tales of Halloween Dorkage Past
Today is Halloween, which is of course known as a harvest celebration, an embrace of the play of life and death exemplified by the microcosm of the crops that feed us, yet indicative of the greater cycle of decay and renewal that governs all life on Earth—and it’s also a source of embarrassing stories of almost unbearable dorkiness. I include some samples from my own litany; feel free to add your own spine-tingling tales of Halloween Horror and Pants-Wetting in the comments.

  • My first costume was a Pumpkin Ghost; I know that’s not particularly dorky but it does establish that I was not one of those kids who got the store-bought plastic Batman costumes, although I was secretly envious of the rows of identical Batmen and the relative bully-proof anonymity they provided.

  • On my first trick-or-treat, my parents accompanied me around the neighborhood; one nice old lady invited us inside, and she happened to have a menagerie of chotchkes, trinkets, and little porcelain animals, etc. in her living room; when we were back at our house, my parents opened my bag to find, in addition to candy, a large assortment of the old woman’s personal property. Apparently I was so enamored by the idea of putting things in my bag that I happily looted her collections like they were so many boxes of Milk Duds. If I ever have a kid and he does something like that, I'll sell it all on eBay faster than you can say "old people can't use computers"!

  • In second grade my dad made me a fabulous homemade costume out of cardboard, glue, colored pencils, foam, and other household items; when I asked him what I was, he said, “um… Space King!” It was a glorious costume that should have made me the envy of the schoolyard. We all know how that turned out.

  • In fourth grade I was a mummy; unfortunately, while I was being “wrapped” by my babysitter, I became nauseated and threw up on my costume, staining it. We had to start over. What a dork, throwing up!

  • Three years later I had a great pirate costume, but some dickhead named “Bo” stole my sword and threw it in the dumpster. That was altogether a pretty lousy, dorky year, come to think of it.

  • When I was a sophomore in high school, my friends and I decided to go trick-or-treating for “the last time”; dressed up as the usual-for-high-school mutilated corpses, we worked up a complicated song-and-dance routine that we would break into as soon as someone opened the door, but we were such a bunch of rowdy teenagers that people either kept the door shut, told us we were too old, or, in the case of one old man, slammed the door in our face when we sang our first note. Dorks!

  • Finally, in the greatest act of Halloween redemption since the goat’s blood-drenched-Carrie killed all her classmates (I know, that wasn’t technically on Halloween), in 2001 I wore the greatest costume ever. I found the foamcore girder on the curb outside Macy’s, which was incidentally where Chelle-Belle, who deserves credit for this idea and even offered me a dollar for everyone who correctly referred to me as "Krazy Glue Guy" instead of "Super Glue Guy", worked at the time. At the office party I was awarded “Scariest Costume” (I know, what’s important is that I won the candy), and I was officially King of the Halloween Dorks, and lord of all that I surveyed! Look on my Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!

Addendum: Speaking of terror, apparently my worst recurring nightmare has come to life. Also, I've now noticed that lots of people seem to have chronicled tales of their Halloween loser pasts (here or here, for example); I'd hate for anyone to think that I ever came up with an original idea—if I've learned anything in my six-odd months of blogarrhea, it's that original ideas are for suckers. And speaking of not coming up with original ideas, this right here is an absolute must-freaking-read, via (parenthetical note).