With Halloween falling on a Wednesday, all the big contests had been on Saturday, with smaller parties happening at clubs on Halloween night. I found one with a $1,000 contest.
But during the day, I showed up to work.
I work at Intel in Folsom. There is a large campus there of seven buildings, and they have an organized costume contest on Halloween. It's a little ridiculous to wear a costume to work that you can't work in, but I figured I could get away with it in Intel's engineering culture.
I hung it up in the break room for much of the day.
It was great to wear the costume in fully lit rooms! Above you can maybe get an idea of what my view of the world was like within the tornado.
By sheer coincedence, Hurricane Sandy had hit the east coast the night before Halloween, killing about a hundred people and causing billions of dollars worth of damage. I repeated a few times that I was a tornado, and I'd like to think that people could tell I didn't build this costume in a week, but the comparison was inescapeable.
It was a big event during lunch, and I came away with first place, a $100 VISA gift card!
I got home around six and went out trick-or-treating with the kids. Why do we give out candy? Couldn't we give out Legos instead?
Before the kids fell asleep, I was headed out again, eager to compete in a final halloween contest.
Well, to be honest, I wasn't looking forward to it. I was tired. But I'd have to be dead to skip this shot to win $1,000.
I had never been to the Parc Ultralounge, but with that name I expected it to be self-important and expensive.
It wasn't pretentious! It was nice! Everyone I met was friendly and helpful and clearly having a good time. Rain had begun to fall outside, and the club had a warm "come in from the storm" vibe.
And everybody loved the tornado costume. The club had double doors and high ceilings, the perfect place for my ridiculous getup.
I really had fun. There were no other supersized costumes, so I had a good feeling about the costume contest. To help my chances in the contest, I didn't show off the spin. I reserved the spinning effect of the costume for my time on stage, and it was a hit!
There were only about 200 people in the club, and they lost their minds cheering when I got on stage and the costume started spinning around! I was a shoe-in!
A quick final round gave me the victory! $500 for first place!
I was presented with my prize, and I spent almost another hour in the club. When I did decide to head out, I could barely, barely squeeze through the packed grinding dancefloor. People gave no margin, the floor was PACKED. It took 10 minutes to get to the exit, where I finally crawled out of the costume and took a break.
Halloween was over, it had been two years since my last contest victory, I was estatic. I was also very happy to throw this wet blanket into the car, head home and crawl into bed.
The tornado costume was a success!
The mechanism was not as dependable as I would have preferred. The socket-set connections were good, but I should have welded the final upright link to the metal bolt inside the "propeller" crossbar at the top.
I shouldn't have used fiberglas insulation. Spray paint helped keep it subdued, but the fibers still caught the air and broke free, flying around inside and outside of the costume. The fiberglas was irritating.
I'm happy to have created a new style of harness for a costume. I hope it inspires other rotating costumes in the future... and I hope I don't have to compete against them.