I’ll level with you here: A good number of these columns require a small bit of embellishment. It’s nothing huge, but some stories just need a bit of exaggeration to be worth printing. This story, however, isn’t able to hide behind the guise of artistic license. I only wish I was lying about spending Halloween surrounded by trash, cracker crumbs and a very old dog.
I recently said I hate Halloween, and I stand firmly behind that statement. That being said, some years I have a good incentive (or social obligation) to find some small way to participate. This year I had a party to attend, a fact that I was only made aware of hours before it started.
Given that I am a calm, collected and mostly functional individual, I immediately dropped everything I was doing when I found out. My first move was to consume enough caffeine to kill a herd of wildebeest, skip my remaining classes and set out on a quest for a costume slightly better than the traditional last minute fallback of cutting holes in a sheet.
For the next hour and a half I hurtled from one end of Anchorage to the other and back again. My costume goal was J.D. from “Scrubs,” because sometimes I like to make my quirkiness and mild lack of social skills work for me instead of the other way around. The idea was to make the most authentic costume possible without spending approximately all of my money.
I succeeded in only one of those goals.
Being a bit of a perfectionist — and an unashamed expert on all things “Scrubs” — I actually ended up with three different costumes, none of which I can return, before I broke down and bought an actual set of scrubs. With the exception of a few Wal-Mart employees, who expressed concern toward the individual sprinting across aisles with an armload of medical supplies, the remainder of the journey was rather uneventful.
Finally (excluding a baby blue moped named “Sasha” that was just out of my budget) the costume was complete including my secret weapon, which consisted of cheap soup crackers.
For those of you who were denied access to the world’s greatest sitcom as a child — which directly violates the Geneva Convention — a reoccurring joke on the show was for two characters to play a game called “find the saltine.” In retrospect, this was not an overly complex game, because the saltine was invariably found behind the player’s ear.
To make a long story short, I packed my only available pocket full of stale crackers in order to pull off an obscure reference that precisely no sane person would understand.
I’ll skip over the additional two hours it took to make an authentic ID card and treatment chart and move straight to the party.
First off, I was lied to about how important the costume was. This was a party consisting of about 20 people huddled around a pong table. Which is all good and well, but truth be told there was very little reason for me to be dressed as a fictional medical professional with a saltine behind my ear.
All jokes aside, I actually did enjoy being social for a change, especially since I was recently informed that group projects in class don’t count as being social. I caught up with some old friends, watched an abysmal flip-cup performance and hid saltines on drunk people who were too preoccupied to notice.
Because I intended to drive home — and because something about wearing a doctor’s costume suddenly makes you health conscious — my night was spent amongst the sober people. Unfortunately, because most garages don’t come pre-equipped with stadium seating, a few of us spent most of the evening perched upon the large trash bins in the corner. We were kept company by an ancient dog that I like to pretend enjoyed our company, but he probably was just there because I was feeding him the contents of my saltine pocket.
So for the first time in years I actually celebrated Halloween. There were no pumpkins, candy buckets or jack-o’-lanterns — just a fake doctor sitting on trash feeding pocket crackers to a dog, which in retrospect may have been a stray who just wandered in.
Just wait until you see how I celebrate Thanksgiving.