Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Block Party

My boss threw a Halloween party yesterday. I thought it would be mainly people from the office but it turned out that it was a block party for his neighborhood. He got a permit to block off a street and rented an inflatable bouncy castle for the neighborhood kids. It was a big event.

Part of the party was a 'chili cook-off'. I brought a crock pot full of vegetarian chili, knowing it would not win, but I wanted to give people some good solid hot vegan food. Almost all of it was eaten and several people thanked me for bringing it. The instructions on the chili judging sheet were written up so that only red chili with meat would win. I thought the best one was a white chili with chicken.

My costume was the Benedictine monk's robe and belt book that my friend made for me, along with a very nice curved walking stick I found on a hike. Lots of people complimented me on it. It is a nice robe, with the perfect black fabric.

After a little child with her mom asked me what I was, she then asked me what a monk was. I said, "During the middle ages, the time of knights and castles, the monks were the only people who knew how to read and write. They kept knowledge alive." Of course this is not a proper, complete, or and accurate explanation for anyone over the age of six, but at least it explained the basics of a vocabulary word. The mother seemed to like my explanation. I seem to have a talent for explaining things like that to children.

I killed 21 yellowjackets with my hands. When they have landed in a cup or on a plate and are eating or drinking, it is easy to crush them with a finger or thumb, and I am not going to get stung if I do it right. Of course, I probably never would have tried, or succeeded, at that stunt without martial arts training.

Nobody else called them yellowjackets. Some people called them 'wasps' which is acceptable and some called them 'bees' which is not.

Halloween costumes have changed from when I was a child. When I was young, lots of people still dressed up as ghosts or skeletons or monsters or other spooky things. Aside from the three adults dressed as mad scientists, I probably had the spookiest costume there. (Witches do not count as spooky anymore after Harry Potter.)  Every single child was dressed up as something heroic or pretty. The only remotely monster-ish one was the two-year-old girl her parents had dressed as a bee. Almost every boy, and several girls, was was a superhero. There were a couple Disney princesses, three cat girls, and a few other animals, but most of the girls were in costumes like musketeer or pirate or hero. There was a supergirl, two wonder women, and a spider-girl, and that was without any movies in recent times. If comic book companies have any sense they will start focusing more on female superheroes, for the merchandising opportunities if nothing else. 

The boy dressed as Thor had a foam Thor's hammer, but he soon discovered that a croquet mallet was a far superior weapon and started carrying that around.

Most of the adults were dressed as a kind of pop culture reference, most from shows that I had never even heard of. The winner of the adult costume contest was dressed as Romney's binder of women.

1 comment:

E said...

Your explanation of 'Monk' takes a very Eurocentric perspective. But I guess the kid got it because most Americans have a very Eurocentric cultural history.