Somewhat Acceptable

I love Halloween- my favorite part is a tie between the candy and making costumes. If I think our costumes are particularly awesome, we like to go somewhere where people are judging and giving prizes for the best costume. We’re not really dead-set out to win, mostly it’s just a chance to show off the costumes in front of a wide audience. Then again, maybe it’s a good thing we aren’t all hellbent on winning, because we never do. We’re perpetual runners-up.

Three different times, three different costumes, have gotten us called up on stage for the final judging.

One year it was when we were the Residents:
Residents

We lost to a Dalek who’d clearly fashioned the costume from cardboard and household items. The MC thought she was a saltshaker, but her costume was absolutely the best one and she deserved to win.

Last year we were Lord of the Flies castaways:
Flies

We lost to Bender Bending Rodriguez who’d really outdone himself and deserved to win.

This year, though, we broke away from our usual habit of making matching/complimentary costumes. Both were of an Adventure Time theme, though. Jon was a seven-foot Earl of Lemongrab.
Earl

And I was the Flame Princess:
Fire

It was understood from the get-go that my costume wasn’t really the centerpiece this year. I spent way more time making Jon’s and he was the horse we were betting on. Besides, my costume only seemed to shine when I was around actual fire.

So off we went to The Shelter, proud of the Lemongrab costume and wondering if we had a shot at winning this year. We believe that at these nights, part of the trick to winning is not just to show up in a kickass costume, but to play it up as much as possible, look like you’re having fun. Funny how that works, though- trying to look like you’re having fun is much more fun than just sitting there brooding and waiting for the judging to begin. So we danced all night.

Earl Dancing

The problem with Jon’s costume, which is a frequent problem with a kickass, elaborate costume, is that his vision and mobility were severely impaired, as well as his hearing to some extent. Jon also reports that it was about 1,000 degrees inside the papier mache Lemongrab head. And staying decently buzzed enough to dance while maintaining proper hydration proved to be very challenging.
Earl Drinking

At times, he just needed a break. Fortunately, sitting quietly and brooding looked really good, and in character, while wearing a Lemongrab head.

Earl Sitting

Since I was not overheated (despite being a Flame Princess) and I could hear and see, I sometimes felt like a Seeing Eye Princess for Jon on the dance floor. I made sure he didn’t bump into anyone or knock people’s drinks over. His pointy nose did jab me in the eye at one point, though. I was the perfect height for that weapon to be at exactly eye level.

Finally it was time to award the prizes for best costume. They called out the names of the finalists, and neither Jon nor I were all that surprised when the DJ said “Where’s the Earl of Lemongrab? Can we get Earl of Lemongrab up here?”

So there he was.
Finalists

I was not called on stage, but I wasn’t really expecting to be. I was happy to hang out by the pretty spiderwebs.

Flame Web

And they announced the first runner-up….The Earl of Lemongrab.
Earl Posing

UNACCEPTABLE! Jon was pretty happy, but this was the first time I felt a little robbed at second place. Those other costumes really weren’t that great. And the Dalek? I’m a Dalek snob now after that first costume contest several years ago. That winning Dalek had a full body cardboard costume that she was hiding in, not an R2D2 hat with a dress. Lame. She wasn’t the winner, though. The winner was the one I thought was second-best, the Grady Twins. I admit they’re creepy and horrible, but clearly they didn’t put the same amount of work into it. Besides, I’ve seen it done before.

I guess it just means we’ll have to do something even better next year.