Edible Clothing, and Long-Winded Intro
I was still a normal person in some ways until I saw that wig, Cleopatra cut, pretty cheap, one mid-October in Minneapolis. Instead of some thrown-together Halloween costume, I could make a really cool twisted Tut thing. I got pictures to decide which Egyptian elements to use, and figured one of those upside-down rainbow bead necklaces would look pretty cool. I could have used a few slaves, cause those take forever to make, but not having any, it took me 24 hours to make a ragged one. Still, with the wig and the eye makeup and an asp arm ring and black velvet pants cut at the knees, with brass chain winding down from there to my shoes, it seemed pretty cool. It turned out as much Cleo as Tut, but there was no time for adjustments. I went to a Friday night pre-Halloween party, which was OK, not great. After a couple hours of sleep, I had a decision to make. Mom had convinced me to fly to DC that day, thus missing Halloween proper. With such a large investment in the costume, I thought I should wear it on the plane. Such thoughts are easy at a party, but require real fortitude at 6 AM when it’s time to get to the airport. Hell, John Wayne woulda done it, so I had to.
Friday night, downtown, I only attracted moderate notice. In the airport at 7 AM, all eyes were on me, except in the direction I was looking, where all eyes were carefully averted. The security people and the flight attendants were the only ones that pretended I was normal. People in front of me on the plane would turn around and look, but drop like alarmed prairie dogs as soon as I saw them. In DC, my aunt was amused, Mom shocked, and my sister horrified. Once I had changed into civvies, we went to the National Gallery. I thought people were quite rude, paying no attention to me. I had never known of my exhibitionist streak before.
The next Halloween was better, and I got third prize at one club. Then came a Halloween spent in Orlando on business, as boring as it sounds. I planned the next costume for some time, but it was a fairly dull idea, while the competition had gone through the roof. I was invisible that night, and deservedly so. Never wanting to reach such depths of suffering again, I pondered next year’s costume on the way home. Some costumes were beautifully designed and executed; others were simple, but had an original and entertaining performance aspect. Halfway there, I thought of a gingerbread house. If I made an outfit out of candy canes and cookies and whatnot, I’d have fine visual style, while the little partygoers eating the outfit would add the performance element, and might even be fun.
A month later I wondered what to wear to Norah’s party. I’d met her a week before, and while I found her likable, she had a rather sharp reaction to some mildly unusual act of mine. If her sense of propriety was really that strict, there was no sense in my wasting time on her. Also, that morning I saw Bugs Bunny get some use out of an old Halloween costume, so I decided to try something edible, to test both Norah and the first prototype for Halloween.
Nothing in the cookbook seemed right, so I went to the grocery store and wandered. Marshmallows: not bad, but how would I attach them? Next to them was marshmallow cream, which seemed like the perfect glue. Unfortunately, the cream being soft at room temperature means it’s practically liquid at skin temperature. So there I was at 9 PM, wearing shorts, half covered in barely sticky marshmallow cream. In desperation, I melted all 5 bags of marshmallows, let them cool a bit, and started spreading. It worked pretty well, and one roommate did the final tailoring.
Norah was not amused. “What the hell is that? You’ve got to be kidding… stay away from my couch, my walls, … just stand in the middle and don’t touch anything.” OK, that question is answered, but since most of these people are graduate art students, why does everyone seem to agree with her? It took an hour for them to realize I wasn’t a performance artist, but rather a bored engineer. They got friendlier after that, but I still considered the experiment to have failed. However, someone mentioned a warehouse semi-rave party downtown, so I left at midnight to give it one last try. It was full, so there was a long line. Without a word, the girl in front of me took a fingerful of marshmallow and ate it. Far ahead, the doorman said “Hey, you… that’s cool…you go in now, for free.” Within seconds there were two girls licking my shoulders.
At the first party the marshmallow had a hard surface, so it wasn’t that messy. A marshmallow outfit in a hot, crowded dance party is a different matter, leaving plenty of marks on the black clothing that predominated, but since the whole room thought it was a cool idea, they were willing to make allowances. Though I was tasted by many, most had boyfriends in the vicinity, decent, understanding boyfriends on the subject of Paul tasting, every one of them, but there nonetheless. The only truly interested one was the punker with only a half inch square of hair, plenty cute, but not my sort, I thought. Since then, I’ve wondered if I was a bit hasty in my judgement, but there’s nothing wrong with a night of good clean fun, one of the very best.