We threw a party in Northeast Minneapolis in 2005, and it stands in my memory as one of the best parties ever.
My upstairs neighbor Johnny and I built a sort of temporary shelter and spooky beer garden out of giant blue tarps, rope, and various odds and ends.
It was almost complete when we ran into an engineering problem, how to secure a corner of our monstrosity that was nowhere near a fixed structure. We dragged out my 180 lb. boxing dummy, Slammy, dressed him in a mask and hat, and lashed our ropes to his sturdy frame.
People trickled in for the first few hours, then poured as social circles expanded, contracted, and occasionally combusted. Introductions flew, booze flowed, and smiles were unmasked. The variety of ages was astonishing to me; co-workers were talking to rowdy buddies, everyone seemed to get along, and I was free to be that consummate host, Count Dracula.
Sometime around midnight, my brother Jordan showed up in a costume that really ROFL’d my waffles. He was wearing khakis, a long sleeve casual dress shirt, sideburns, and a fake ponytail. He was me! Not only was it very flattering, but also very effective. My future wife nearly kissed him before she caught on to my brotherly doppelganger’s disguise.
Now that we are married and have a toddler (and closing on our first house today, yay!), our ideas of celebrating Halloween have changed a bit. We will start moving into our new house today, go trick or treating in the neighborhood, and gorge on candy instead of jello shots. We are now in a new phase of our lives where we will be unlikely to throw a kegger and invite everyone we know, where we will carve pumpkins instead of smashing them, and we will fall asleep before midnight once in a while.
I think I’ll put a mask on Slammy for old time’s sake. Happy Halloween!
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