Bulletin Board, excerpt


Excerpt from (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Bulletin Board, November 6, 2004

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In reply to our request for Halloween tales, here's Poet X of PDX: "My favorite costume was created one year I was financially struggling, having recently moved.

"I collected entire garbage bags of leaves, especially some large maple specimens, but including a splendid variety. It took hours to sew them on to an old pair of pants, old long-sleeved shirt, socks, a stocking cap. Leaves too dry snapped off the thread and couldn't be used. I completed the coverage by taping a few to my face and ears. I was a leaf-pile!

"The best part was the head-turning sound, especially when I'd walk, but generally with every movement. 'Just call me Russell,' I introduced myself to all.

"The worst part was the leaf clutter left in my wake at the house where the party was held and, after a bit of refoliating, downtown the next night.


"Around my freshman year of high school, I created a robot costume using cardboard boxes  one for my torso, and one each for part of my arms and legs. In 4H we were studying electricity, and I used my dry volt battery and light bulbs to put flashing bulbs on my shoulders. It was a few years before R2-D2, but had a bit of that going for it.


"The best costume I created in my Minneapolis years (and there were many) was the year I realized my makeup kit from college theater was about ready to expire, so it was time to use it or lose it. I created mock tattoos on the upper half of my torso, with help from a friend for the back. Nothing elaborate, but extensive enough to make no mistake what the 'costume' was.

"It was a cold Halloween that year, and my friend and I left Minneapolis for a party in St. Paul in his little orange Toyota pickup, Marilyn. He wore a coat over his costume, a nun's habit. (Not any nun, judging by 'her' Snow White-red lipstick, cigarette holder and beauty mark just left of her mustache). Marilyn had been acting up and, just blocks from the heart of downtown, died near the Northstar Hotel.

"I was wearing a light coat so as not to smear my (albeit powdered) makeup job. He went into the Northstar to call for a jump. The tow guy arrived and gave Marilyn a jump while Sister Juanita Cocktail watched and I sat in the vehicle, barely clad and shivering.

"Marilyn running again, we left and drove while trying to decide if we should try to go to St. Paul or return to south Minneapolis. We were heading back where we'd come from as we were deciding. We decided we'd try to make it to St. Paul, so turned around and retraced our path.

"We got to the corner where the Northstar was. And what should happen? Long story short: same telephone call, same tow truck, same driver, same price! We returned to south Minneapolis instead of attending the party."

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