Saturday, October 28, 2006


One of my colleagues is giving a famous Halloween party, and it's tonight.

I spent the better part of an hour searching for the second part of my costume. I knew where the first part was, because frankly, it's hard to miss wherever it is. Whenever I open the closet it's in, there it is. One day I was looking for something with a friend over, and opened the closet without warning my friend and she practically screamed. Once she'd got over the initial fright, she laughed, though.

When I was a little kid and into my teens, my Mom was part of a group that raised money for a charitable organization by creating and staffing an annual haunted house. I have lots of fond memories of helping with the easy decoration parts when I was little, and then volunteering to help staff as I got older, until I went away to college.

My Mom did lots of things for the haunted house, along the way creating the most personable and charming ghosts you could ever hope to see. They weren't scary, but she managed to give them a wry sense of humor and sophistication, a little wire, some ping pong balls, gauzy white material, and whatever props she'd decided to use that year, all suspended on thin wires or heavy threads from the ceiling so they hung in mid-air. One year the ghosts were having a dinner party, complete with a wine glass being toasted, and half-spilling. Another year they were playing tennis.

She also made costumes. My Mom's a fantastic seamstress in all sorts of ways, but her creativity really goes with costumes. One year, she made herself a Ben Gay tube costume, much to the amusement of everyone at her work.

But this costume's probably my favorite. The body is basically a white fake fur full-body pajama for an adult, head to toe, fake fur, with a zipper up the front, and a little hook in back for the tail. (It's for an adult considerably taller than myself, but I've rolled up the lower legs. The crotch is so fashionably low that I could be a 20 year old male.)

The head, though, the head is a masterpiece. It's a giant dog head, a specific dog head, protected by copyright, big, white, with small black button eyes, a large black nose, and soft black floppy ears. She made the head by making a frame out of metal and chicken wire, which attaches to a hard hat, and then covering it all with the same white fake fur cloth. Except the mouth is black gauzy material to see out ahead, and the chin has white gauzy material to see where your feet are going. The head's about 30 inches from snout to occipital, and 17 inches wide. (Which is why it's so obvious in the closet!)

If you see a LARGE white dog walking upright tonight, or in the near future, say hi!

No comments:

Post a Comment