Spinning Tornado Costume

Page 5

On Friday night, I tried to go to Shawn's Halloween party at the Townhouse, but realized when I got there that I'd have to squeeze into the door and be pegged in a corner all night in this getup. Instead, I walked around the streets of midtown Sacramento, figuring out what I should change before the big money contest on Saturday.

The costume got a great reaction from the public! I was amazed to hear people having difficulty figuring out what the costume was. One unfortunate remark was "spinning garbage".

The universal (swivelling) socket connectors I had bought were crap. The pins in them wriggled free, making it impossible to spin the tornado. Goddamn Harbor Freight!

Also, the harness was too wide on my shoulders.

I came home and got to work making some improvements. I bought new universal socket connectors from Home Depot, bent the harness to fit my shoulders better, and added a giant pair of googlie eyes.

Googlie eyes have been very good for me in the past. My Fandango paper bag hand puppet costume won the Zone Ball costume contest a few years back, and my "The Money you Could be Saving with Geico" costume had placed second. Crowds love giant googlie eyes!

I had bought a few tiny people to glue to the tornado too. The were very small, so you can't see them in these photos.

Finally, on Saturday night I headed out to the big contest at Cal Expo. This was the "Exotic Ball", a huge party in a warehouse with a $5,000 top prize for best costume. In previous years the money had been split between 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, but this year it was winner take all!

I arrived right at the beginning of the party. Francois was there unloading his van. He was setting up his Transformer costume. He was probably going to be my fiercest competition inside. We chatted a bit, then I went back to my car and got dressed.

One of his posse helped me get this great motion blur photo of the tornado costume in action! Isn't that a great shot!?

The tornado costume is really difficult to see out of. I was kicking myself immediately. Why didn't I give myself a larger viewport(s)?

Early at the party I squeezed through the entry doors and made it over to the preliminary judging stage. There was no line, and I had immediate help getting up the stairs to show off the tornado.

Everyone seemed to love it! I was really going to have fun being able to reveal that the costume would spin.

I impressed the judges enough to win a finalist badge! Awesome! Now I would wait. The costume contest was around midnight.

Unfortunately, the tornado costume was an anti-social costume. I could hardly talk to people. They could barely hear me and I could barely hear them. It was also fragile enough that I was afraid to wade into big crowds as I usually do. I was limited to squeezing handshakes and giving fiberglasstic tornado hugs.

This Wizard of Oz group was extremely glad to see me. I handed one of them my camera and then watched as they passed it around and took this photo. I was not in any position to recover my camera if one of their munchkins had taken it. Luckily it came back with this nice group shot.

I scanned the crowd for great costumes. There weren't many. There were a lot of sexy asses and laced corsets, but not a lot of great, stage-ready contest-winning costumes.

The Evil Jack in the Box costume above was tall, but made of white balloons. I could beat that.

Please Continue Reading Page 6 of the Spinning Tornado Costume >

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