October 24, 2012
It is the time of year once again when we are asked to make a choice, one that can have dire consequences. It is a decision that demands study, reflection and a serious inventory of one’s principles.
In the end, it comes down to who will get the job done. Do you go with President Obama? Do you go with Gov. Romney? Or do you, once again, pull the lever on Hairy Disco Guy?
Like most of you I have spent a good bit of the past few months trying to decide what I will go as this Halloween. I suppose there are those who would argue we have bigger decisions on the tarmac, but I seriously doubt anyone’s putting as much thought into them as they are what to wear this weekend.
I will admit, when it comes to picking out my annual Halloween costume, I have a history of choking. I go through pretty much the same routine every year. I start off about mid-August contemplating something grand and glorious. By late September, procrastination has taken its toll and I’m down to just whimsical. Inevitably, two days before the holiday I find myself frozen by indecision. I’ve over-thought it and end up just shouting out something. It’s the same thing that happens to me when there are too many options on a Chinese menu, only with less appetizing results.
This consternation has resulted in some predictably poor decisions over the years. Once, in college, my three roommates and I decided to go as a clothes line. We attached ourselves to one another with rope knotted with dirty clothes. It was cute until the first time someone had to use the restroom. I still can’t look some of them in the eye.
For most of the past dozen years or so, my fallback costume has been Hairy Disco Guy. When all the other costumes fall through, I shave my beard into a super-smooth mutton chop/mustache combo, feather my hair into a center part, and slip into my beige and blue polyester leisure suit. That’s the Disco Guy portion of the costume. For extra effect, I sport a broad collared shirt, unbuttoned past the point of modesty, and a shiny gold medallion to better emphasize my hirsute man-chest. That’s the Hairy part.
The genius of the Hairy Disco Guy costume lay in its convenience and capacity for variation. The leisure suit itself is just the base. The real magic of HDG was in the accessories. For the first few years, I wore the suit with my lucky “Stamps of The World” shirt, a thin, rayon, wide-collared number splattered with multi-colored foreign stamps, a prize find from a Toledo Salvation Army store. When my wife managed to shrink that shirt down (and don’t listen to her insistence that rayon can’t shrink) I took to pairing it with a baby blue ruffle-front left over from some late-‘70s prom. My medallion of choice evolved from a tasteful St. Jude to a larger zodiac charm and, in later years, a massive bejeweled dollar sign Flava Flav would consider gaudy.
Of course, Hairy Disco Guy is more than just a slick set of threads. Over the years, I have developed an entire lexicon of HDG attributes. Hairy has a certain walk, a loose-limbed swagger that lets the ladies know he’s here to play. He is given to hair tosses and mustache smoothing and that groovy little tongue click/eye wink combo only the incredibly smooth can pull off. And more than anything, Hairy Disco Guy knows how to chat up the ladies. He has a rap of pure honey, a smooth-boy jive straight out of Starsky and Hutch reruns. Think Huggy Bear, but a whiter, shorter, chubbier, much hairier Huggy Bear.
As in years past, I had no intention of settling for HDG this Halloween. My goal was to go with something topical and hilarious. I considered going at Ann Romney’s prize horse, but couldn’t get the hooves right. I contemplated going as one of Michelle Obama’s meal plans, but couldn’t get the broccoli to stick to the tofu suit coat. I even sketched out a costume that would serve as an allegory on the presidential race. It included two turkey necks and inflatable figures of Lech Walesa and John Paul II – neck and neck in the poles.
As I mentioned, I tend to over think these things.
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