I stared at my hairy stomach spilling over the blue and green sequins one piece I had just wiggled into. On paper, this seemed like a good idea. Now, not so much. I always hated those douchebags that thought they were being funny by dressing up as girls for Halloween and now, here I was, one of them. I put on the long red wig, padded my sea shell bra and squinted at my reflection in the mirror, trying to calculate how many drinks it would take for me to sleep with myself. For a second, I thought about calling the whole thing off and claiming a fever or a stomach flu. “It’s funny,” I told myself, forcing a smile onto my face. “It’s funny because its part of a theme . . it’s funny because you’ll be with other guys doing the same thing . . . it’s funny because . . . its funny.” Just as I had started to convince myself that everything was going to be fine, I caught a glimpse of my backside which set my confidence level back to zero. “If you don’t find it funny, no one is going to find it funny,” I said to myself, annoyed with my own anxiety. “It’s fucking funny dude, now stop looking at yourself and lets go.”
When I walked through the front door of the party, the vote was unanimous: Funny. I now figured there were three ways I could play this.
Option 1: Live and breathe Ariel. From here on out, I am a sexy red-head mermaid that just wants to be “A Part of Your World”. I sing songs that everyone knows. I grab a fork, put my head down, flip back my hair, and start combing it until people are all like ” oh yea I remember that shit”
Advantage- Getting to use the girls bathroom with the excuse that I can’t break character
Disadvantage – Sharing my very unpleasant singing voice with the rest of the world.
Option 2: I go the complete opposite direction from the first option. We’ll call this the Andrew Dice Clay effect. I push out my chest and walk in the manliest manner possible. When girls walk by, I shout “Hey hot mamma!” like I’m AC Slater from Saved by the Bell. I pound a full beer and crush the can on my forehead like I’m Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds.
Advantage- Getting extremely wasted extremely fast
Disadvantage- Risking possible injury from boyfriends of said girls walking by
Option 3: What costume? What seashell bra? What long red hair? Whats so funny? Who’s got next in beer pong? Whats everyone laughing at? Mind if I put this bottle of Jack in your freezer?
Advantage – Not having to do any of the douchey shit from options 1 and 2
Disadvantage – None foreseeable
Now that I decided I was going to play it casual, therefore adding another layer to the comedy by juxtaposing a quiet and soft-spoken demeanor with my loud and outrageous outfit, I needed to figure out what regular Brian dressed in regular clothes would be doing. I scanned the room quickly, looking up and down but never at eye-level for fear I would catch glances with someone and have to give that uncomfortable “Yep . . . I’m a dude. . dressed in a little mermaid costume . . . that’s really for girls . . ” smile. “Lets see now, Brian normally would be . . . trying to look down Wonder Woman’s gold plated bra because its a little too big and Wonder Woman forgot to bring any extra support.” My eyes turned away to the couch, then the coffee table, then back to the couch. I was too conspicuous to be people watching, much less boob watching. “Brian normally would be . . . getting himself a beer!” I thought to myself, before I remembered the full bottle in my hand and took a drink. “Ok, that killed about 5 seconds.” I looked up and down the room again; at the wall, at the ceiling, at the floor, at the couch, at the coffee table, back at the ceiling. “Brian normally would be . . . not getting dizzy from spinning his head around too much.” Finally, my two friends that had agreed to do this with me stepped out, revealing their equally shocking costumes. We pre-partied for a while longer before deciding to take our act on the road.
“They are gonna think we’re hilarious!”Alice, as in Alice in Wonderland said. “We’re gonna go to a bar and everyone is gonna be all like, Oh my god! That is hilarious! You guys are so funny!” Beauty and I both nodded our heads in agreement. “And as soon as they stop laughing or we feel our costumes aren’t being appreciated as much as they should be, we leave and go to another bar! One that appreciates how hilarious we are!” he shouted, while I looked down at my stomach and tried to figure out the most flattering way to sit. I finally concluded that I would need to be standing at all times. My mind started racing for excuses to get out of wearing this ridiculous costume. “Didn’t Ariel become human in the end? Wasn’t there a scene where she was wearing like . . jeans . . and a t-shirt? I could still wear the wig, thats pretty recognizable. I’m mean come on, long red wavy hair, everyone will still know I’m Ariel.”
When we got to the bar, the vote was unanimous: Hilarious. We stood out front for a while and took pictures with random people like we were working at the Disneyland theme park. We talked to hot chicks whose boyfriends had lesser costumes than ours. We went inside and took shots. We went back to the car and took free shots. We went back to the bar and took more pictures with more hot chicks. I fixed my bra and one of them laughed. Alice lifted up her skirt revealing men’s underwear and everyone laughed. It was clear to all that we were the funniest people on the planet. Our costumes were nothing short of genius. Every word spoken was to be transcribed in stone and placed in a tomb buried deep within the recesses of the Earth’s surface, where they will stay to prove to the universe that mankind was a brilliantly funny species.
After having to wait more than two seconds to get my beer from the bar, I started to envision a Noah’s Ark of Halloween costumes in my head. In moments, a torrential downpour will wipe out the bars patrons, leaving only those with the best costumes to stay and party. Or better yet, a plague. An instantly fatal disease that effects only the non-creative and uninspired. First to go will be the sexually suggestive gag costumes. No more nuts and bolts or plugs and sockets or breathalyzers with instructions on where one needs to blow. Next will be the last minute “I wasn’t planning on going out this year so I didn’t get a costume” costumes. These always take the shape of a professional sports player, a nerd, an army soldier, a hobo, a gangster, a Mormon, or Tom Cruise in Risky Business. After this, the recent and trendy movie character costumes will be eliminated. At this particular time, that would mean all the Jokers from The Dark Knight.
We finally left the bar around midnight for another house party. “Are there a lot of people there?” Alice asked to his friend over the phone. “What’s a decent amount? Are there girls? Are they hot? Will they appreciate our costumes? Will they understand what comedic geniuses we are?” We passed a bottle of Jack Daniels around and took shots as we drove down a residential street filled with parked cars on both sides. I played quick game of “match the costumes with the vehicle” in my head.
Lifted F150 – Breathalyzer
VW Jetta – Sexy Cop
Acura Integra – Joker from The Dark Knight
Mini Van – probably just the pissed off neighbors
We walked straight through the house and into the backyard, where Alice and Beauty both lifted up their skirts in front of a rosebush and began to relieve themselves. Not wanting to pass up this Kodak moment, I jumped between the two and joined in. “Dude, that was the funniest shit I’ve seen all night,” Popeye told me after I had adjusted my mermaid tail and grabbed my beer off the patio table. Deciding we would need the bottle of Jack in the car, I walked arrogantly towards the front door as if I was too important to mingle with the rest of the sub-par costume wearers. As I waited for the crowd of people who had just entered to pass, I heard a small voice from behind me say “Hey Ariel!” I turned around to see a face unveil through a sea of party goers. Her hair parted down the middle and fell to the sides of two amber-colored eyes, focused on mine. She smiled and tilted her head slightly, letting some of her dark brown hair curl over her cheek and almost touch her lips. That song from The Little Mermaid started to play in my head… the one where theres no words and it’s just Ariel going: “aaaaahhhh ahahahahah ahaha aahhh aaaahhh”. I made a similar head tilting gesture and sheepishly twirled my red hair.
I approached her and introduced myself as Ariel. “I’m Pocahontas” she replied, lifting her eyes up to a colorful feather in her hair. This was clearly not part of the actual Disney character’s wardrobe, but I appreciated the coincidence she was trying to imply. I smiled and shrugged my shoulder in a “It was meant to be” kind of way. “What are the odds?” I said, hoping that she would understand that we were destined to be together. She nodded her head and looked down at the rest of her ensemble. “Well, I was originally going to be a nurse . . you know . . but not just like a regular nurse and stuff . . you know. . . like a sexy nurse . . . but then I was like . . well everyones always a nurse and stuff . . so then I was like . . I’ll be an Indian!” I smiled and looked down at the fringe from her short top resting on her tan skin. “A sexy Indian!” I reminded her.
Alice began tapping my shoulder impatiently. “Come on dude, we’re out of here, this place is dead.” I looked back at Pocahontas, then back at him. “Looks pretty lively to me dude,” I replied. He looked around the room and shook his head in disagreement with this. Beauty had since left to fornicate in the truck out front with the sexy pirate he was talking to. “Fuck it . . I’m goin solo . . I’ll be at JRBs down the street if you want to join me,” he said while slapping my shoulder. I got back to my stimulating conversation with Pocahontas about what costume she was originally going to wear, but then didn’t, but you know, she was like going to wear it and then changed her mind at the last minute. I shook my head and raised my eyebrows to indicate how amazed I was with her spontaneity. I mean, one minute she’s going to be a nurse and then BAM, no more nurse! I thought about grabbing a beer from the fridge but I didn’t want to miss any more of her fascinating tales of sudden and inexplicable wardrobe changes. “Hold that thought,” I said, “I’ll be right back.”
When I returned, it appeared that clothes weren’t the only thing she could change on a whim. Army McStupidman was chatting up her and her friends. He waved his muscular arms in the air, finishing some joke that seemed to make everyone laugh. I felt betrayed by the universe. This guy wasn’t funny. Handsome maybe, but certainly not funny. I was the funny one. Me, right here. Just look at my costume. I’m hilarious. Look at him, he’s a stupid Army Man. He’s only wearing that stupid vest so he can show of his rock-hard abs and chiseled biceps. I headed back to the fridge and grabbed another beer for the road.
When I pulled out the phone from my bra to call Alice, I was surprised to see how late it was. This was no longer a “where’s the party?” phone call. “Sorry dude, I’m already home and in bed . . you score with that chick you were talking to?” he asked. I mumbled an incoherent sentence that had the words “Army” and “douchebag” in it before hanging up and trying someone else. Since my costume didn’t allow me to carry anything other than the wad of cash I had already blown at the bar, I ruled out the option of dialing 522-Taxi. The only answer I got was from my friend Katie who was already sound asleep at her boyfriend’s house. “Oh no I’m cool . . just, you know . . walking home all by myself in my mermaid costume . . I’m actually right by your house . . no I don’t need a ride it’s cool . . don’t worry about me . . I’ll just keep walking . . alone . . in the middle of the night . . all by myself . . in the dark . . alone . . no you don’t have to pick me up that won’t be necessary, it’s only like 4 miles from my house . . I’ll be there in no time . .”
It took twice the time it normally would since I could only take baby steps in my mermaid dress. When I finally made it home I tore off my wig, poured myself a tall glass of water and crawled into bed. All I could think about was what I was going to be for next year.