Ever had a three foot tall princess chide you about your weight? I have, and it happens almost every year. Halloween has become a destination event in my Raleigh Court neighborhood. Throngs of costumed kiddies ascend upon our streets, seemingly bused in from every corner of our fair city, to roam door-to-door and feast on sweets. To me, it’s the best time of the year.
My wife Janet, a horror movie fanatic, loves Halloween. Each year she decks out the house in full fright regalia, including hanging skeletons and a tiny, fully functional demonic village. Over the past few years the neighbors have been upping the stakes as well. Diagonally across our street, a young family outfitted a full graveyard complete with buried smoke machines and eerie sound effects. Janet, seizing the challenge, volleyed back with a few additions of her own and the decoration frenzy was on.
When “Devil’s Night” finally arrives our fabulously creepy home becomes an open house for any candy seeker to stop by, have a hot bowl of potato soup, or grab a snack or two. A core group of friends usually join the festivities, supplying extra candy in case we run short. Some come in costume, some help distribute treats and others just hang out and enjoy the evening. Halloween would not be the same without them.
This year Janet donned the cape and fangs, evoking a frightful vampire hostess. Stuck for something original, I decided to search the internet for a fright night identity. Scanning an array of costume websites, I decided that I would portray the venerable sage of the Star War series, Yoda.
Purchasing the “deluxe” Yoda mask, I waited patiently for the mail to arrive with my alien disguise, however, when the package appeared the mask was way too small for my lunar sized head. Not only was the mask incredibly tight, I could barely breathe or see with it on. I thought about sending Yoda back for a refund before realizing that a predicament such as this would never derail the real Yoda. Something had to be done. Grabbing an Exacto knife held over from my advertising days, I began to surgically alter the Jedi Master’s head to meet my specifications. Practicing a somewhat passable Yoda voice between sales calls the week prior to Halloween, I readied myself for battle.
Normally, Janet and I ramp up the candy assembly line and produce two hundred small bags of assorted candy for distribution. This year those bags were gone before 8pm. I am told that there was a line of trick-or-treater’s stretching from our sidewalk to our porch at one point during the evening. I missed witnessing that spectacle while doling out goodies with very limited eye sight. The hole I cut in Yoda’s mouth had allowed me to breathe, yet the combination of very tiny eye holes and sweat running down from my forehead made vision nearly impossible. Blindly groping into our cauldron of candy, I filled bags, plastic pumpkins and pillowcases with sweet treats until the well ran dry. Still, the Yoda voice went over well and I even posed for a picture with a child dressed as Darth Vader (something Yoda wouldn’t normally agree to).
Near the end of the night, that small girl dressed as a princess I mentioned approached me noticing that I was a tad too large to be playing a character that is only about two feet tall. Sizing me up front head to toe she whispered “Yoda, you have gotten so big, what happened to you?” Stuck for an answer, I replied that too much candy can make even a Jedi Master a bit paunchy, to which she responded “Yeah, I guess so” with a slight roll of her eyes. Exposed as a fraud by an eight year old, I laid down my light-saber for the rest of the evening. Where was the power of the Force when I really needed it?
Perhaps the Jabba the Hut inflatable worm costume would be more suitable for a character of my girth? There is always next year in our little galaxy not so far, far away.