We are now into October, which means many exciting small victories are around the corner:
• Every sweet thing to eat or drink has the potential to be laced with some sweet pumpkin. I’ve already got my pumpkin spice tea, pumpkin pie coffee and pumpkin salsa ready.
• You can now buy bulk candy that’s marked for Halloween and pretend you’re not going to eat it yourself. Couldn’t do that on Sept. 28 — nobody buys miniature Twix four weeks in advance for fears of a sudden shortage.
• For a third of you, it’s baseball playoff time (does not apply to residents of Texas).
But there are important decisions to be made, too. You have slightly more than four weeks to get that perfect Halloween costume ready.
I’ve had great hits over the years — Clark Kent and Uncle Sam come to mind. I’ve had great failures — somehow, I’m not convincing as Spike Lee, even with a Knicks jersey, a towel, glasses and a copy of “He Got Game” on VHS.
But my costume has never been story-inducing, and that might be a good thing. It didn’t happen to me, but this is still my favorite costume story and fair warning that realism isn’t always the greatest, courtesy of my old friend “Bryan” from college:
“Back when I was going to school at State, there was a big Halloween party with a $2 cover charge. The money helped fund a costume contest with $100 as the prize. My friend John swore he was winning that contest, so he pulled out all the stops.
“He decided to be a jail inmate, but he didn’t just buy an orange shirt. He had a buddy who worked at the jail, and borrowed some prison scrubs. He shaved his head and had an artist friend paint on some menacing-looking tattoos. He nailed the part.”
So he won?
“Not exactly. You’ll remember it was a college party, and it got really out of control. Cops showed up and busted it up before the costume contest could get going. In their pursuit of underage drinkers, they saw John and cuffed him. They thought he was a prison escapee hiding out at the party.
“So John is panicking. ‘No, no, it’s a costume,’ but the cops don’t believe him. He points at me and Aaron and says, ‘Ask those guys; they’re my friends and we came to the party together.’”
At this point, logic dictates being a friend. But there was an October victory on the horizon.
“We said with stone faces, ‘Never seen him before in my life, officer.’ With that, they hauled him off and we laughed all the way home. By the time they got to the station, they realized nobody was missing from the jail. So they gave him a phone call, to us, and threw him in a holding cell until we came to pick him up. The cops thought it was pretty funny, so they weren’t all that mad we lied to their faces.”
Maybe that doesn’t count as a victory, but it was unforgettable. I doubt I’ll feel the same connection with coffee or salsa.
Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org