Every time I think the new cycle has gotten as rough as it can get, the lows keep coming. Bickering politicos, angry voters, spying, tattling and a whole bunch of incompetence make for some pretty depressing headlines. So I figure it’s time to give you some really good news.
Hairy Disco Guy is back.
I know, I know. I’m pretty excited too. I’m glad I could do my little joy to your lives.
In case you lost track of the status of Hairy Disco Guy, let me get you caught up.
Hairy Disco Guy has been my Halloween alter-ego for the past dozen years or so. Every October I shave my beard into a super-smooth muttonchop/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-patch. 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 was just the starting point, the costume equivalent of a blank artist’s canvas. The real magic of HDG lie 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 picked up in my college days at 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 T-Pain 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.
Now that you have the picture, it will undoubtedly shock you to hear that not everyone was a huge fan of my costume alter-ego. A few years back, my wife decided that Hairy Disco Guy needed to go. I suspect it was jealousy over the attention I was getting from the ladies in my man-fur and polyester grandeur, but whatever the cause, it took an ugly turn.
“I suppose you plan to wear the lounge lizard getup again this year,” the wife started, in her tone of disdain perfected over 18 years of marriage.
“It’s Hairy Disco Guy,” I corrected. “Lounge Lizard would be a completely different costume. And it’s not a getup, it’s a character study.”
“Well, we all think it’s time to give your character a break. It’s getting old.”
“A break? What would I tell my public? They look forward to hanging with HDG every year. Think of the Phippses, they’d be crushed.”
“Actually, they’re the ones who asked me to talk to you. Apparently, after last year’s party, the baby started having nightmares. Now she’s developed a phobic aversion to man-made fibers and wire-haired dogs.”
Understanding the unspoken message between my wife’s cruel words — that she feared HDG’s power over women — I hung up my leisure suit for what I thought was the last time. I spent the past few Halloweens going as Grumpy Father of Two Teenage Girls. Mostly it involved wearing a cardigan and timing showers. I keep a prop shotgun in case Future Ex Boyfriend stops in.
But this year I will be dusting off the platform shoes and squeezing back into the trusty leisure suit. My wife has agreed to allow the Hairy One to return. I explained to her that, in these dark days, the word could use a happy surprise.
“I think you mean a good laugh,” she added.
Alas, jealously, like Hairy Disco Guy, never truly dies.