Halloween isn’t a national holiday but it should be. When else can grown people get all dressed up, drink to excess, say scary things to one another and eat fattening foods? Well besides their wedding day? We went to a party on Saturday night at Matt’s vintage guitar store- what a cool idea to have a party in a place where one can do the MAXIMUM amount of damage to irreplaceable objects? About 500 beautiful guitars were hanging up in a row, and I pictured myself getting really drunk and knocking one of them over. But that one bangs into the next one and knocks it over, and all of a sudden all the guitars are falling over like one of those playing card displays that goes around and around the room each card knocking over the next... Or like one of those movies where the Hells Angels are all inside the bar and they come out just in time to see Chevy Chase or somebody knocking over all their motorcycles. Or like the economy.
I went dressed as Jesus, because I hate wearing a mask or a wig. I don’t mind stockings or a push-up bra or Manolo pumps (size 11EE). I understand that Jesus didn’t wear stockings or a push-up bra, but I figured who’s going to know? My wife was dressed as Janis Joplin, but she did not realize that it was a costume party. There was another jesus there already, and they were about to hold a jesus-off, but I whipped out my drivers’ license with my birthday listed on it, and won that one hands down. Plus I out-annoyed the other jesus with bad jokes about me talking things over with my staff, and that back at the manger there is a sheep in wolf’s clothing (hey it’s Halloween for them too).
I grew a beard just for Jesus, and it’s one of the few things I have ever done for him. Only it came in half gray, and made for a geriatric jesus, a senior savior. So I got my hands on some “Just For Men.” The directions said to brush it onto the beard and leave it on for less than 5 minutes. Unfortunately, at that moment water from the rain outside started streaming in through the improperly installed windows. 35 minutes later, I looked like Osama Bin Laden. And my beard did not grow in evenly- it looked as though some parts of my face got more sun than some others. Another thing I always forget is that food always ends up in my beard, and I wonder if the same thing happened to Jesus. I went back and looked at the famous painting, “The Last Supper,” and sure enough you can make out what looks like a sprig of broccoli in his beard.
The party was fun, and I enjoyed jamming with the guys. As Matt was saying, since drunk people have no conception of time, each song can last an eternity. The songs have no discernable beginning or end, only a middle. Sometimes after a 20 minute lead break, no one can remember what song we started on. Most likely you will hear 5 or 6 people singing a different verse at the same time, although sometimes a moment of kismet will cause one word to overlap. Typically a song lasts until someone has to go to the bathroom. Sometimes it goes on just past that point, but hey- that’s rock n roll. One Led Zeppelin song would still be going on right now except the lead singer passed out.
The strange thing about Halloween is that after a while you forget you have the costume on, and you may find yourself engrossed in a very serious conversation. And if someone from another country that does not celebrate Halloween walks in it could be very confusing. He could see Jesus talking to General Custer with an arrow through his head talking to an M & M about global warming. He may wonder what qualifies an M & M to converse freely about global warming, but if the polar ice caps could be made to melt in our mouths and not in our hands, it may do some good.
Incidentally, traditional games such as “bobbing for apples,” already known in Ireland during the festival of Samhain, became popular in the U.S. in the middle 1800s, when immigration dramatically increased. Participants would fish for apples bobbing in a water-filled tub using only their teeth. In a variation for senior citizens, players would fish for their teeth in a water-filled tub using only an apple.
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