Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fin Fang Foom

Our furnace, which has been apparently operating at about 11% efficiency, crapped out for good last week. It means our house is actually cold instead of just emotionally cold. Fortunately, tradition afforded us a way to get out into the sunshine on a beautiful October Sunday: Del Ray’s annual costume parade!

Two clarifying things about that paragraph:

1. The parade starts at 2pm, about the time when two free-wheeling adults used to wake up on a Sunday in autumn. Those people are dead and their souls stripped like Black Lanterns. They now try to spend the eight hours before the parade wondering how they are supposed to entertain a tiny dragon who refuses to take naps and breathes fire.

2. The term “parade” should be used loosely. Tradition mandates at least one fire truck, a few motorcycle cops and a grand marshal. And these elements pass dutifully in a relatively straight line. Afterwards, however, it becomes impossible to distinguish the participants from the spectators as all panic breaks loose and people run willy-nilly into the street, often in the direction opposite of the official route.

The Del Ray Costume Parade 2009 was very much similar to past parades in that it was extremely awesome to the extreme. It serves several ends but is especially effective at gauging what movie studios and franchises have the best costume marketing teams. This year we’re looking at vampires and werewolves, natch, but extra glittery for some reason. Harry Potter lingers too. And it seems that no one will ever put a proton torpedo into the thermal exhaust port that is the Star Wars cultural empire.

But the biggest gainer this year (besides Max from Where the Wild Things Be Hidin’ At) has to be the costumed super-hero get-up. There’d been plenty of Spider and Super Men in the past, for sure, but this year every other kid was bedecked as an Avenger or Justice Leaguer. I think there was even a Brother Voodoo.

But Winner #1 was this kid who went as your basic Kal-El.

He was bending foam pipe insulation so enthusiastically that he received standing ovations at every block. It was pretty fantastic.

Winner #2 was a costume that I didn’t even notice at the time of the parade. It wasn’t until later that evening when I was looking through the pictures trying to find a Batgirl that I realized what I had.

Some dude actually dressed up as a White House spokesperson. Auburn pride and all.

I know, terrifying.

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