The end of October is here and one of the greatest holidays ever invented is upon us. Of course, I’m speaking of Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Samhain, Dia De Los Muertos, The Return of the Great Pumpkin. There are many reasons to be excited for spooky season. Millions of people the world over rejoice the coming of all things affiliated with Jack O’ Lanterns, inappropriate costumes like sexy velociraptors, consuming enough candy to make your pancreas up and quit, and bobbing for apples in a tub filled with other peoples’ backwash.
And even though we’re at the tail end of the pandemic, please bob responsibly.
With the coming of Halloween, I recently remembered an event from my long-ago past. It was something that happened at a themed Halloween party my brother was hosting, and the manner in which my friends and I crashed said party. It was silly, fun, and horrid. And groovy.
Let me take you back to 1998. It was a time of grunge rock and heavy metal, clove cigarettes smoked outside diners at 2am, delivering pizzas for rent money, all-night tabletop Dungeons & Dragons sessions, and renaissance fairs. It was a decent time in my life. It was also when my brother decided to throw a goth-themed Halloween party.
Not the “sacked and burned Rome” style goths. My brother was adamant that all attendees of his party should be the “wannabe Vampires who only listen to The Cure” style goths. The dress code was basically to dress like an undertaker, with extra points if you wore fishnets and fake fangs. It wasn’t very hard for any of us or my friends to accommodate this. In addition to spending the 90s playing Dungeons & Dragons, we also whiled away many midnight hours playing Vampire: The Masquerade.
Because we’re all nerds.
However, since my younger sibling was so adamant that the party resemble an Edgar Allan Poe story, my friends and I thought it would be rather amusing to show up fashionably late and dressed in attire that was completely opposite of black, gothic garb. That’s when we hatched our master plan, which mainly involved raiding our parents’ closets for the worst clothing we could find, getting a boombox, some wigs, and a Bee Gees CD.
Our conspiratorial plot was to crash this goth-themed Halloween party in full disco glory!
The culprits of this Saturday Night Fever plan consisted of myself, dressed in a brown polyester suit, fedora, and plastic gold-colored neck chains. Next was Casey, clad in a red-and-yellow, plaid suit and a crazy wig with dark hair sticking straight up. Isaac and Tim pilfered their parents’ closets for light, brown tweed jacks with those annoying elbow pads, along with gray, curly-haired wigs. And rounding out our little troupe was The Greg (the same friend I spoke about in my previous story, Don’t Surf on Space Mountain), our Filipino friend who acquired tan pants, a 40-year-old khaki leather jacket, all while sporting a cartoonishly large afro wig.
We were a walking, pastel nightmare.
That Halloween night, as we approached the house where the party was underway, we could hear the merriment and music inside. Not wasting any time, and I rang the doorbell several times in quick succession to get everyone’s attention. The door burst open and I entered first, carrying the boombox on my shoulder as it blared “Staying Alive” by The Bee Gees at full volume. Next up were Isaac and Tim. As they entered, the duo stopped to flank the inside of the door where they began imitating their best disco dancing, and used their arms as part of their faux disco dance to form an arch over the entrance. Under the Disco Dancing Arch strutted Casey, with his plaid suit and crazy wig, grooving to the music.
Last to enter, but certainly the grooviest, was The Greg. Into the house and under the Disco Dancing Arch, The Greg danced his way into the house. His ginormous afro wig bobbed side-to-side to the disco beat. The boombox that I carried, volume set at maximum level, ensured that The Bee Gees drowned out Type O Negative which was playing when we entered.
The party goers all stood there, mouths agape, not quite sure what to make of this Disco Inferno spectacle that just appeared out of nowhere. There was an even mix of laughter, giggles, and faces that undeniably said, “What in the holy John Travolta hell am I looking at?”
My brother was obviously fighting two conflicting emotions. On one hand, he was a little annoyed that we didn’t respect his Vampire Lestat soiree. On the other hand, he was highly amused because he kept laughing, stopping himself, laughing again, and then again try to stop himself from laughing more.
Even with my friends and I crashing my brother’s goth party dressed like extras from Starsky & Hutch, we all enjoyed the evening. There was definitely more music. From goth and metal, to Celtic and even some disco! There were games, numerous beverages, pizza, and eventually a live band.
We all had a great time that night. That was until the cops showed up to shut the party down because we were too loud. Why don’t the police like disco?