Friday, October 28, 2011

Best Costume

My wife and I took the kids to the annual Fall Fun Night at our local elementary school. After we had our pizza and pop we stood in line to play some Halloween themed games. As I'm standing there feeling underwhelmed by the sea of store-bought costumes (to be fair, my son has a hand-painted skeleton mask this year and my daughter put together her vampire costume all by herself - even if the dress was from a garage sale) I suddenly noticed that a boy in front of me clearly has a hand-made costume. So now I'm grinning ear-to-ear and my wife says: "What's so funny?" I point at the kid's costume and say: "Homemade." To which my wife replies:

"What's he supposed to be?"

I'll be honest with you - I'm not sure WHAT the kid was supposed to be - but he had my vote for best costume. A weird conglomeration of cardboard, Gorilla Tape, black long underwear, black football pants (with pads), black landscaping plastic, and various elements that might have been cannibalized from some other Halloween costume that probably no longer fit, including a hand-crafted skeleton type mask that looked right out of the movie Flash Gordon, all of it highlighted with strategic bits of silver duct-tape, this kid had the most unique costume in the entire gymnasium - and it was obviously crafted with a lot of love, ambition, and attention to detail - and obviously without mom and dad's help.

Impressed with the boy's ingenuity and true sense of Halloween spirit, I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him: "Did you make your costume yourself?" He nodded his head in the affirmative, so after telling him I loved the costume and appreciated his effort at making it himself - a Halloween tradition that has long since faded away since commercialism took over the holiday - I asked him: "What are you supposed to be?" He shrugged his shoulders and grinned.

"I'm not sure!"

The perfect answer.

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