Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Sweep!

Shalom worthy pals. I have since calmed down after my fuming outburst from the previous blog in which I proclaimed my dissatisfaction with a certain unfortunate book of events in the form of a series. I am here to remind a'll ya'll of the wonders and funders of Halloween.

Yes my friends this year was a monumental Halloween of sorts because folks, this year I had a costume. And not just any old costume, no! Not just some shirt and thong I threw over my shoulder and said "my costume rocks," NO! Not just a drawing of a frownie face on my bare ass and a lone witch's wart in my belly button, HELL NO! (And never again, I might add). Yes folks, this year, I honest to goodness went out and purchased materials to create a costume that I WANTED TO BE! Hallelujah! Now before I let you scroll down to see my costume or even mention what it is I was, I have to tell you how I constructed it. But since I'm sure ya'll just skipped down to the picture in this blog after that previous sentence, I'll just flat out say that I was a freakin' Chimney Sweep. You impatient bastards. Yes friends, I was a Sweep ala Mary Poppins style.

So how did this costume come to be? It all began when I was five years old. Christmas Eve, there I was sitting next to the chimney with a fire ablaze waiting for Santa Claus and I had just laid a poop in my pants. The chimney looked so dirty and grimy and well, so was my poop chute. Flash forward to age seven. A walk in the park and an old english lad sits alone on a park bench pond-side. He tips his hat to me as I toddle by, but not without receiving a blow to the head by an unkindly park official. "No Soliciting" said the sign, I remember. The sun was still setting. Even faster flash to age who knows, my first viewing of Fantasmic at Disneyland. My family huddled at the edge of the Rivers of America speaking nothing but our native tongue. Our Skor candy bars passed around the circle of hands. One bite for each is all we could afford that week. The show begins! Lights fill my innocent eyes. Music wafts into my waxiful ears. And an ugly Disney freak sits next to us viewing his bible of the show; his wretched stench sings through my nostrils. But there on the big white steamboat! A boat that brings me back to that tumultuous day we sailed to this wonderful free nation. Yes, waving at the back of that ship! Baloo! But who are those dirty people above him? Holding their black brooms and donning tattered clothing. The sweeps. I knew from that point that that was my destiny. I was destined to wave.

True story. Flash forward to two weeks ago. "What the hell should I be for Halloween?" I ask myself. And I think back to my blessed childhood; back to the time when Santa never came through my damn chimney, back to when the cops drowned that bum in the old duck pond, back to when that tainted Skor bar gave us all food poisoning and we had dysentery for weeks, and my charmed eyes light up and I whisper... "Chimney Sweep."

No fooling. That there's a true to form story. But really, I've always wanted to be a Chimney Sweep for Halloween. I really love that Step in Time scene from Mary Poppins. So here's what I did to construct my costume. First and foremost was the hat. I searched online and found some old antique caps for sale, but the prices were ginormous. So I ran to my local mall and luckily found a newsboy cap on sale for $16 at Burlington Coat Factory. Then I went to American Eagle Outfitters to buy this wicked blazer I had been yearning for for weeks. It was a great way to justify my purchase ($60). Dual purpose! On a separate shopping day, I found red socks at Champs ($1.99), a handkerchief at Anchor Blue ($3), a checkered shirt from Mervyn's ($20) and pinstriped black pants that I can also use at work ($29). I also cut up my favorite white gloves from when I worked at Disneyland ($0). The biggest challenge was the broom. Nobody sells those round bristled chimney brooms anywhere (probably not in this century), so I was up to the task in making one. I went through Michael's the craft store and first thought about buying a round styrofoam ball and inserting some straw into it, but that seemed ridiculously complicated. So, while scoping out Home Depot, I found a very cheap $5 broom (made of basic hay/grass/wheat/straw). I bought it along with a can of black spray paint. At home, I cut out all the stitching that flattened out the broom so that it formed a round shape. Then I soaked it in some water and slammed it down on the ground so that the bristles became flat and in a circular fanned out shape. I left it overnight with a 45 pound bar bell sitting on it and then spray painted it for two days. The result was magnifique.

I knew that I needed to make myself look dirty, so I rubbed my handkerchief on my car tires to get it nice and blackened. I rubbed wet soil into my jacket, but it proved a waste because it wasn't noticeable the following day. And then there was the matter of black soot on my face and neck. So, I hobbled to my nearest Target and, gulp, cruised through the bright and cheerful as hell make-up aisle. I felt like such a tool being there that I called Angel Wing Jasmine to help me pick out some eye shadow that wasn't glittery and make it sound as if I were buying it for her. I ended up getting this cheap Maybelline color called Night Sky. The checkout clerk didn't think anything of a guy buying make up. She probably took more notice at the manly Playboys I was purchasing in addition to the make-up. I'm glad I got the eye shadow though, because the soot effect was perfect as witnessed by the picture below! Yes, you may look now.

So that's my costume tale. I wore the costume to work last Friday and everyone thought I was an adorable bum. Then at Erico Suave and MacArthur's Halloween bonanza, everyone liked my costume as well. It'll take a hell of a lot of thought to best this costume next year. Perhaps something with a tutu?

Still waiting for Santa to bring me a Sega Game Gear dammit,