We aren't really standing around together. We could be drinking water, but we don't know, because we cannot see each other. We call it the RevSF Watercooler anyway, because we talk about extremely important RevSF-oriented things when we really should be doing something less fun.Here are our personal tales of tricks, treats, and blood spurting gore.
My favorite Halloween memory involves a live action Call of Cthulhu game. I was playing a dweeby insurance adjuster out to settle an insurance claim. One of the other players introduced me, "This is blah-blah, he's an insurance agent."
My character responds, "I'm an insurance adjuster actually but thank you." For some reason that stoped the game cold as people broke down laughing. It was a high moment for a chacter that went on to become food for the elder gods later. -- KaosDevice
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Best costume I ever made was the one where I went as a "Green Sheet". This is the discipline sheet that my school uses for Grade 7 & 8. It is full of infractions and consequences. I enlarged a greensheet on the photocopier at about 500% and then pieced the pieces together and glued them onto a large white bristol board. I then strung a string through the top and hung it around my neck. I went around the school, chasing the kids who routinely earned these sheets. Some asked me to stop because I was scaring them. What was really funny was that the younger grades would stop me and ask what I was, except the younger siblings of the regular recipients of the sheets who would stop me and say "That's a Green Sheet".
It's the little joys of teaching that are the best. -- Deanna Toxopeus
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Worst costume I ever wore: The classic "hobo." It was basically an old plaid shirt my mother would stuff to give me a gut, and I wore that along with Levis. I usually wore a baseball cap and my folks smeared some sort of shoe polish on my face. Great. My mother lacked greatly in the creative art of assembling a costume, so the old hobo ended up being my costume for many years. I hated it, which is probably why it took me years to enjoy Halloween again.
Best: A previous employer of mine and I hit all of the thrift stores one Halloween day, and we both bought exactly the same clothes. We also bought these full head masks that were of an old man's head, and wore mirrored sunglasses, berets, vests, the same shirt and pants, and a whole bunch of wacky stuff. We looked identical, but there was nothing on us that distinguished us in any way.
We attended a work party that night. He was the owner of the company and I was the General Manager, and it took hours before people knew that it was us under the costumes. We disguised our voices and referred to ourselves as "Vern" or some such name, and had everyone going the entire night. It was hilarious because everyone kept saying things like, "where's the boss?" "Why wouldn't they show?" -- Jay Willson
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When I was a junior in high school, in the year of our lord 1987, I was the SGA vice president and the teachers who ran the SGA said I could show student body leadership by participating in school activities so everyone else would, too. I also ended up giving blood for the first time this way. You know what gets you popular with the ladies? Me neither, but it wasn't those things.
The ingredients: Miami Vice jacket. Mask cut out from cereal box. Toucan Sammy Crockett.
Way ahead of my time. That's what I decided, as I watched the class stare at me through the holes in my cardboard bird mask. -- Joe Crowe
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My favorite Halloween party happened in New Jersey, of all places. My friend Moira invited me to her place, & her friends really went all out, costume-wise. Her boyfriend was Calvin as Stupendous Man, she was an adorable Hobbes. One couple came as extremely sharply-dressed 30s-era gangsters, with the added bonus of green makeup & multiple nicely realistic bullet holes.
A couple of guys destroyed a futon to get the stuffing to become Hans & Franz. My favorite couple came as the American flag: she wore a blue top with stars & white pants; he wore a white top and pants, and the white portions of their costumes were carefully wrapped with red tape making not just stripes, but stripes that actually lined up when they stood together.
I was a kitty (Why does that sound like, "I got a rock'") We had quite possibly the foulest-looking punch ever invented, a nauseating combination of glowing green Kool-Aid Ecto Cooler, orange sherbet, and cheap champagne.
It truly was vile-looking, but somehow oddly tasty. -- Peggy Hailey
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I was terrified of horror movies -- just could not watch them. Seeing the commercial for a horror movie would give me severe nightmares for weeks. Just the music from Omen (which I didn't actually watch until years and years later) put me on the edge of a panic attack. My older brother would go watch horror movies and tell me about them and terrify me. His synopsis of Phantasm, and the nightmares it gave me, was the final straw.
On the Halloween of my 13th year, I said "Enough!" MTV was hosting a horror marathon, and I watch the whole damn thing. Friday the 13th. Halloween 1 and 2. That late-70s bodice-ripper Dracula with Frank Langella. About halfway through Friday the 13th part 2, at around 3am, I just started laughing at the silliness of all the stuff that had been scaring me for so long. I think it wasn't until Silence of the Lambs that I really felt scared by a horror movie again.
When I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday, so much so that, as I got into high school, I just had to keep involved, So I volunteered to work in the haunted house at my little sister's school. I had some book on super-cool Halloween costumes from the library, and one of them was a werewolf costume that required buying long-fiber wool, dying it brown with hair dye, and using spirit gum to glue it to my face. It was awesome!
Then I howled like a maniac all night in that haunted house, terrifying little kids. Getting the stuff off that night was a nightmare, of course, and the next day, I literally could not speak. I think it took me about three days for my voice to recover. -- Dave Farnell
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Dunno if my costume was the worst looking, but it resulted in the worst lasting effect on myself and the best Halloween story I could ever hope to come up with.
I came home from work before my roomies and had to get ready in a hurry to hand out candy. I was already made-up from work as a zombie, except I was wearing a shirt for the company I was working for and had not done anything to the pants. So I quickly shredded an old shirt and decided to shred the legs of the pants I was wearing. Shirt. No problem. Pants. Big problem. I decided to just use a pair of scissors to shred the legs of the pants while I was wearing them.
I carefully held the cuff of the pants away from my leg so I wouldn't stab myself in the calf or something stupid.
Instead I stabbed myself in the wrist of the hand holding the pants cuff .in one side and out the other.
It hurt, but not too badly. I looked at the scissors protruding from both sides of my arm and realized it hurt more every time I moved my wrist the slightest amount, so decided it would be best (in my slightly dazed and shocked condition) to remove the offending scissors.
I pull the scissors out of my arm and promptly begin to paint the room with beautifully cinematic squirts and spurts of red. I walk around the house in a mild panic, realizing there is no one else home while repeating what has become known as the "Oh Fuck Mantra" amongst my friends.
"Oh fuck I hit a gusher, Oh fuck I hit a gusher." Dripping and/or squirting blood with every step.
Finally I calm down and decide to call my folks who only live two or three miles away from me. I get a dishtowel wrapped around my wrist and realize I cannot dial the phone. It is a wall mounted phone in the days before everyone carried a cellphone, and my injured hand was totally numb by this point and my good hand was kind of busy holding all the red stuff inside of me.
I awkwardly knock the phone off the cradle with my numb hand, dropping the dishtowel in my attempt to catch the phone, promptly painting much of the kitchen in blood. I wrap my arm back up and dial my folk's number, trying to be calm so as not to panic my mother when she answered.
The conversation went something along the lines of:
"Hi Mom. Can I talk to Dad?"
"Yes, I'm ready for trick or treaters. But I don't think it's going to matter. Can I talk to Dad?"
"No I haven't had any yet. Can I talk to Dad?"
"I understand he is getting ready for them, but it is kind of important."
"Yeah, it is. Seriously can I talk to Dad, please."
"Yeah, I kind of hurt myself."
"Yeah, serious enough I need to talk to Dad."
"No, I'm fine for the moment, but I cut myself."
"Yeah, badly enough I need Dad to come over."
"Yeah, I'm sure I'm going to be okay for a few minutes."
"Yeah, pretty sure. Could you send Dad over?"
"No, I don't need an ambulance if you get off the phone and send Dad over."
"Crap, I need a new dishtowel."
"Yes, I'm bleeding that badly. Could you go get him?"
"Mom, I'll tell you how I did it later. Now go get Dad."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to get snippy. But this is kind of pressing."
"Mom, get angry later. Get Dad over here before I bleed to death please!"
I then realize I am not wearing any shoes. So I grab a pair off the floor, dropping the now soggy second dishtowel in the process and painting the hallway with blood. After bending over and standing up right, I realize things are getting a little woozy. Not good.
I stumble outside and sit on my front steps holding a sopping red stained dishtowel over my arm while trying not to faint and try to work out how to pull on a pair of shoes without exsanguinating myself in the process.
Then the first trick or treaters arrive.
"I'm sorry, I can't give you any candy."
"I hurt myself."
I then remove the dishtowel and shoot a gout of blood across my sidewalk.
Problem solved. The kids run away to tell their friends.
My father arrives, helps me pull on my shoes and bundles me off to the hospital. After sitting for a few minutes in the triage area of the emergency room they realize I really am bleeding all over their nice clean room and hurry back to treatment.
Don't forget, I am already looking all pale with weeping pus filled sores all over my face from my zombie make-up. The joy of wasting one of my elective classes in college on stage make-up.
Of course a wrist wound is one of those things that they are forced to ask questions about, and while I am waiting for someone to stitch me up, a nurse comes in and sits with me. She looks nervous and keeps asking me how I feel. Have I been under much stress lately. After a minute or two I realize what she is angling at. Did I do this to myself on purpose?
I am tired, my Halloween is ruined, my wrist aches and now I have a nurse playing pop psychologist with me to see if I am suicidal. She finally asks me straight up if I had intentionally cut my wrist and I answer, in all seriousness (well, as much as I could muster) "Yeah, I was working on my Jesus-Christ costume and got the first nail in, but then I ran into a snag when I tried to get the second one in. It's kind of hard to swing a hammer with a nail in your wrist. So I'm feeling a little despondent about that."
"Oh, you're just fine, emotionally at least. I'm guessing from your blood pressure that you are about four or five pints low. You didn't pass out?"
They stitch me up (25 stitches) and send me home. To my roomies.
My roommates came home to find the front door unlocked, my car in the driveway, lights on all over the house, candles still lit and blood EVERYWHERE. And assumed I was playing some sort of Halloween prank on them. And one of them actually began to yell at me for messing up the kitchen she had just cleaned the day before when she saw the ice pack, bandaging and pink receipt dangling from my hand.
Two days and five gallons of hydrogen peroxide later the house was finally clean. -- Todd Shearer