They sure do get excited about Halloween in this part of the world. And it must be said, I have been notoriously underwhelming with some of my costumes over the years back in New Zealand (Kermit the Frog, but only the head, Gandalf, but only in the form of a Burger King plastic town hung around my neck etc.) and it soon became clear that this kind of half-hearted-ness wasn’t going to fly here.
With finances a little shakier than in the past, we had to be creative. “We,” meaning Jen, my Canadian flatmate and girlfriend of Kiwi buddy Shaun. The young couple were going as an escaped mental asylum patient (Jen) and an evil nurse (Shaun, in drag), while the other popular young couple in our flat (Macca and Caz) were going as good honest examples of white trash. So the fifth member of the household couldn’t let down the team, particularly in a country where most people carve pumpkins, decorate their homes in fake cob-webs and buy serious amounts of candy for the trick-or-treaters.
Luckily, Jen’s unbridled enthusiasm for the complete outfit came through. For no reason at all, it was deemed that I should be a movie sound guy with a boom mic. The mic was made out of an old mop and spray-painted black, the stick of the boom from an old broom stick, the headphones from a thrift shop for $2 and so too the belt-bag / bum-bag / fanny-pack.
But for Jen it wasn’t enough. Thorough research on such Internet sites as “Google” revealed that many sound guys who carry boom mics aren’t particularly well dressed. Thus it was decreed that I should wear massive cream dress pants from a previous life of Shaun’s. Tucked into these pants was a colossal T-shirt saying “As Seen On TV” given to Shaun as a gift during the Autumn of 2009 in celebration of his nostalgia for 1990s TV-advertised products like Kevin Trudeau’s Mega Memory and the under-bought “Thawing Board.” With pants rolled up and a visor on my head, I finally had a Halloween costume from head-to-toe.
The only downside was that I looked like such a loser I felt the need to tell everyone at the Vancouver Rowers Halloween Party that this wasn’t how I normally dressed. Which some say is a mildly redundant thing to say at a Halloween party. The realisation that I could look so rank to one side, having a boom mic sure is a good way to force yourself into conversations you’re not already part of, though the photographic evidence suggests I failed professionally with the boom just visible in some shots if you look closely.