08 October 2007


"30 Days Until Halloween!"

More like summer is over, kid. I deleted the e-mail without opening it. Offers for longer and stronger and messages from the desperate housewives in my area join it in the trash. As a sigh escapes, I feel a case of the Mondays begin to flare up. "Be cool hunny bunny," I start to chant. It works. The papers get shuffled and the numbers get crunched. I look up just in time to see the clock click 6. I am homeward bound.

D has a friend over. The zombie make-up kit is out and spread all over the coffee table. I think, hmm, very dawn of the dead avon lady up in here but with tattoed guys and way more fake (I hope) blood than I'm sure the manual would ever call for. I say hi and call them cutters. They laugh. I noticed D's teeth are blacked out. I laugh and remind myself to (1) floss and (2) work in a Beetlejuice joke when they're least expecting it.

D is putting the final touches on a wrist wound, pinching the latex and dropping more blood onto it.

"So what's the deal here? Are y'all post-suicide attempt? Because you know what would be a dope costume? The actual suicide attempt! One of you should rock a blood-filled bathtub and have these wrists hanging out!"

They cheer and wonder aloud if maybe suspenders and a barrel are the way to go. I suggest porcelain, as in a real bathtub.

D's friend recently picked up a gig at a Super Halloween store. As he's telling me this, my eyes widen and a list of questions unrolls in my mind, scrolling up a screen like the intro to Star Wars. Questions such as:

Who's first in line on that opening day?
Are these folks who's costumes were on ice until the store, I mean super store, openend?
Do all early birds already know what they're going to be? Arrive with list in hand?
Do old lady early birds have coupons?
Are the folks that come early also the type to come often?
Are they already in costume?!

"Well, there was this one guy..." he starts. He comes in and asks, "Do you have that werewolf mask?"
"Um, which one?"
"The $1,000 one."
"Uh, we don't have anything here that's $1,000."

This $1,000 mask was to be part of his 12 foot werewolf costume.

"12 feet! What the fack?!" I yell.
"Yes, 12 muther facking feet!"
"That's so lame. 12 feet?! I'm no expert and far from a purist, but aren't werewolves part dog? Animals are lower to the ground , less than 12 m-fing feet. 12 feet you say? Wow."
"Yes! 12 feet."
"That ain't no werewolf, he's a facking frankenwolf. Aaaah" - my arms go straight in front of me. Saying franken will bring that out.
"12 feet?"
"The only way this could be bad ass is if this franken paul bunyan were-douche was carrying a live adult wolf under one arm."
"And no muzzle."

$1,000 mask? Get that shiz outta here!

These Halloween stores are like pigeons. I never see them in infancy or as babies, only as their full fledged sky rat adult selves. They fill abandoned store fronts with their feathers and mess and fly off just when you get used to them being there. The staff usually fascinates me as much as the insta-stores themselves. Our friend says most of the kids working there are either "new to the city, America or to the concept of working." Often, he adds, they're transient like the store itself. I think of this as a strain of carnie folk.

"How'd you start working there?"
"I was walking by..."
"Uh, lemme guess, you were walking by and thinking, man, where am I gonna get $1000 for that sweet werewolf mask?"
"Fuck you."

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