Six-Foot Paper Mache Alien

In 1995, the X-files had completed it's second season and my roommate Julie had become obsessed with the show. My brother Mike and I had caught some X-files fever too, and as the thrilling season premiere approached, we decided to throw a party.

I decided the best contribution I could make to the party atmosphere was a "life size" paper maché alien. After work for three days, I biked down to my parents house (they have a backyard) and built my alien. I used long thin balloons for the limbs and small round balloons for the body structures. I used plastic tubing in the fingers. I created the legendary long thin body and bulbous head of a Hollywood alien.

I painted the alien with black latex paint and let him dry in the sun. Unfortunately, some of the balloons inside the alien were still intact, expanded in the hot California sun, and burst through the black paper maché. I patched him up with glue and paper and he was ready in time for the party.

We put the alien upstairs in Mike's room and dressed his big table up with creepy surgical equipment, as though we were dissecting an alien corpse. We also made up forms for party-goers to "name the alien"

The party was pretty lame. Our apartment lacked any decent air-conditioning at that time, and the people who packed in to watch TV were too hot, even at nine o'clock. Most left soon after the show was over.

The best name anyone suggested for the alien was "Santa Claus" (Tony Duke).

After the party, I hung Santa up on my wall and I put red Christmas ornaments into his face for eyes. I kept my maché masterpiece for about a year, always planning to put it somewhere mysterious or blow it apart with a shotgun, but eventually I just gave it away to Jeanette, who was very happy to take it away to her apartment in San Francisco.


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