Saturday, October 25, 2003

days of halloween past

Halloween is in the air. From highly decorated lawns to the candy displays in grocery stores, it will soon be time for the little ghouls and goblins to wander from house to house. For adults, a time to go a little crazy, step out of the day to day, to let creative impulses go wild.

Sure sign we're getting close - CBC is digging out all the old Universal horror flicks from the 30s and 40s...right now, Son of Frankenstein, Boris Karloff's last appearance as the Monster.

I've been going through the seasonal flicks in my collection over the past couple of days. Seems like the right time to watch them. Evil Dead, Ginger Snaps, Tomb of Ligeia...

Halloween was one of many things I rediscovered in university. Wasn't too keen on it as a kid - liked the candy, hated the dressing-up part. By the end, I was either going out in my sports uniforms or, the last time I went, around age 11 or so, deciding to go out at the last sec by borrowing part of my sister's costume. Didn't do anything at all through high school (the closest was acting in plays). The came Guelph and Arts House, where I finally figured out how fun it was. Didn't do much my first year (virtually everyone in the rez was a vampire, so my variation was me having just crossed over into the land of the undead - no makeup except for some neck punctures and press-on nails held on with poly-grip for fangs).

Second year I dressed up as the Invisible Man. One of those ideas that's terrific in concept and looks great when fully assembled, but start falling apart once you wear it. Wrapped my head in bandages, slipped sunglasses over my frames, blacked out any facial areas that would potentially show, wore vaguely 30ish ensemble, then headed off to a party. Looked great (unfortunately don't have a picture scan handy). Problem - the bandages caused both sets of glasses to steam up. Also started feeling very hot. After a few minutes at the party, ripped off the bandages, removed the blackout areas, drew in a thin mustache then acted like i was from the 30s.

Third year I was Green Lantern, my first (and last) attempt to stitch a costume together. Didn't turn out too badly, except I used the wrong colour on the boots (but wasn't going to paint them again after causing half the rez to choke on aerosol fumes - though that was nowhere near as bad as the stories I heard while I was away in England about one guy who boiled a mink preserved in formaldhyde).

After that, due to restraints, it was variations on dead things...dead tacky tourists, frozen corpses, etc. Bought a metallic facial appliance one year, but never could fully decide where to go with it. Should have gone for a terminator type costume, if it hadn't been for a lack of cheap leather jackets in my size (instead I went vaguely superheroish and let folks decide what I was, since i sure couldn't).

If next week wasn't shaping up to be so crazy workwise, I'd almost be tempted to pull off an idea at the back of my mind. On Halloween, I'd go into work looking normal. Over the course of the day, I would decay, first subtly with bruising and blotches, then pale skin, then mottled, then full-throttle decay so that by the time 5 rolled around, I'd look like I was falling apart. someday, someday. Main disadvantage - endless trips to the bathroom.

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