My costume for Halloween 2002 was Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island. Complete with Lovey, on-a-stick wrapped in a boa. It was easily one of my best Halloween efforts.
This morning I changed my profile photo on Facebook to a photo from that night. It got me thinking about Halloween's past. One in particular sprang to mind. So if you'll indulge me - allow me to take you back to October 1975...
In early '73 my father uprooted the family from a pleasant life in Northern California to try something vastly different in the Deep South. For the next couple of years we bounced around and pocked the map rather efficiently before landing in Atlanta.
Honestly the only thing I got out of Atlanta was my obsession with Olivia Newton-John. But that was bound to happen anywhere.
After about six or so months in Atlanta there was another major upheaval. This time we were heading to the new promised land - San Diego. And we were doing it on the cheap in a small U-Haul. My sister and I were allowed 2 boxes each.
Trying to whittle your life down to two boxes - even at 9 years-old - is pretty tough. I had recently began collecting empty cans - beer and soda. I had them prominently displayed on my window sill and for some dumb reason I was attached to them. So, that was most of box 1. You should have heard the hell I caught in San Diego when I was setting them out...
Anyway, Halloween found us somewhere in Texas. That morning my little sister Nancy began grumbling about it being Halloween. Just the previous year she and I had been characters from a Saturday morning show called Lidsville. I was Charles Nelson Rielly's Hoodoo (shut up) and Nancy was his sidekick Weenie the Genie. We rocked.
I'm not sure Nancy missed dressing up as much as she wanted some damn candy!
As early evening came upon us my dad pulled off the highway in some random small Texas town. He drove around until we found a store and my mother went in and bought a couple of cheap masks. Then we drove a little further until we found a street humming with trick-or treaters.
We were given about 45 minutes and as Nancy and I went from house-to-house we began to fill up our little sacks. Then as Nancy and I headed back to the car we were approached by 3 or 4 older boys. They circled us. And before we knew it we'd been knocked to the ground in a tug-of-war for our bags of candy.
My bag was gone in a split second. But Nancy put up a much better fight. She may have been small but she was a spitfire and ain't nobody gonna get her sack of candy. She was so proud of herself for fending them off - whatever.
When we returned to the car my mom inspected us for injury and after she determined that we were fine my dad drove back to the store and they bought me a few candy bars.
Early yesterday evening I was rushing down the street to get to happy hour. There was a refreshing beer and sassy banter waiting for me. And more importantly my fans hadn't seen me in a few days.
While I waited for a stoplight to change a homeless-ish guy with a big open sore on his upper lip asked me, "Hey, you wanna here a joke?"
I politely denied him confessing that, "I'm in a hurry."
He ribbed me a little, "Who the hell doesn't have time for a joke?"
Ah, logic. I said with a bit of 'do-it-quickly' in my voice, "You're right. Go on ahead - tell your joke."
He smiled and started, "What's is the only thing that Locks of Love and gay men agree on?"
I was a bit confused and asked, "Hold up, what is Locks of Love?"
He replied, "Some hair charity wig shit."
I said, "Oh." Then I continued, "I don't know, what do they agree on?"
Brace yourself, this is his punchline, "Neither will accept anything under 8 inches."
I smiled and said, "That was the joke I missed the light for?"
He said, "You know that was funny."
I smirked, "You are sooooooo stooooooopid."
He pointed at me and replied playfully, "I see you laughing. I know you're gonna go tell that joke later."
I was in fact laughing - but at me... calling him stupid. Hello.
Cut to 30 minutes later and I'm goofing around with my fans beer firmly gripped in my hand when all of a sudden the lame joke teller/open sore hoster walked in looking to see if anyone would share a game of pool. There were no takers so he bounced - but not before some fuss about his shoes. I dunno know what that was about, it was a Brian thing.
Anyway, after he left I told everyone that he had just stopped me on the street to tell me a stupid joke. Curiosity seized Scott who just had to know, "What was the joke?"
I proceeded to tell it and after the punchline flat-lined I said, "I told him he was stupid." Then I continued sheepishly with a confession, "Then he told me that I'd be telling that joke later."
Scott found a satisfying victory in this and wagged his finger at me, "He was right! You just did! Now who's stupid?"