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Monday, 24 October 2011

I'm torn between thinking Halloween costumes of the 70s were generally better than they are today.... or that they were much, much worse.  After all, most kids back then got their costume from a box at a drugstore.  The box contained nothing more than a cheap mask and corresponding plastic apron.

But the fact that store bought offerings were so shitty meant that kids had to improvise a bit.  This yielded some pretty interesting results; whereas, nowadays the costumes really don't need much "accessorizing'.  Thus, you'll get 40 trick or treaters dressed as Green Lantern at your door, and every one of them looks exactly the same.

As I look back at my various Halloween costumes through the years, it becomes crystal clear that there weren't Green Lantern or Transformer bandwagons to jump on.  You either gathered together a homemade costume or went to Woolworth's and bought a shitty flame retardant costume-in-a-box.  I mostly opted for the former.

My elementary school age costumes were as follows:
  • A Mexican bandit (complete with guns, poncho and big 'stache)
  • A gorilla (I told everyone I was King Kong, but I just looked like a gorilla)
  • Frankenstein's monster (I utilized the costume-in-a-box mask and threw away the dumb apron.  I made my own black Frankenstein suit in its place).
  • A clown (WTF was I thinking? I hate clowns.)
  • Yosemite Sam (shitty Walgreen's costume-in-a-box - not my finest Halloween.... and what was with my fixation on mustachioed gunmen? )
  • A devil (pretty horrific looking, actually - you should see the old pictures)

This is not me... but it's not much worse than my awful clown costume
Much to my wife's horror, during my 3rd grade year, I was actually a witch for Halloween.  Yes, you read that right - a witch.  Not a warlock, an old grey witch.  Why didn't my parents think to stop me? No one thought to point out that witches are female..... as a male dressed as a witch, I was essentially cross dressing! And even more disturbing is the fact that I was too stupid for the thought to not occur to me on my own.

Sadly, once you get to high school, the element of creative fun goes bye-bye.  In your teenage years, your costumes are no longer dictated by imagination, but rather hormones and the need to fit in with the pack.  Personally, I never wanted to give away the fact that I loved dressing up for Halloween, and so I held back my enthusiasm to appear cool.  Arriving at the party dressed as Darth Vader would've been social suicide.

Fortunately, I now have children (four of them, actually), so I can relive the experience.  Granted, the characters and costumes have changed (one of my kids wants to be General Grievous), the excitement is still alive and well.


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