November 3, 2011 —
I have a few childhood memories of flurries on Halloween, which did not deter us from going door to door. So when the weather report suggested snow over the weekend, I wasn’t overly concerned. Planning to attend parties all over the county, I had prepared several wildly different costumes, in an attempt to avoid derision over repetition.
As the ominous clouds approached, I stayed optimistic, since we in the Catskills are made of (IMHO) hardy stuff. Casually observing the predictions (which varied out of control), I tried on all outfits one last time and scoffed at the barrage of e-mails and phone calls expressing concern. Even though the Dancing Cat Saloon (www.dancingcatsaloon.com ) had planned an event for Friday night, I wasn’t really in the mood and had to be persuaded (by gal-pal Ellany Gable) to venture out.
I trotted out my delivery-man uniform, grabbed a prop and switched gears, happy to have been convinced, since the place was jumpin’ and filled with creatively costumed revelers. As suspected, several asked me if I was changing outfits for Saturday night’s assorted soirees and I breathed a sigh of relief, confident that I had a few tricks up my sleeve. My uniform was a hit (props make all the difference!) and I began to really get excited about the weekend. And then the unthinkable happened.
Never one to trust dire warnings on television, I was dumbfounded when the snow started coming down. Although it looked fairly intense and began to accumulate, I scared myself in the mirror while trying on the Ozzy Osborne wig and felt a shiver of delight knowing I might be unrecognizable to friends. Four-to-six seemed still manageable and I mocked the friends who appeared genuinely worried. Changing of the Guard (www.facebook.com/changingoftheguard ) proprietor Shane Cobert assured me that his Mediterranean restaurant would be open, transformed into a haunted graveyard, which seemed appropriate for my headless bat-prop.
As I mapped out my route, the snowfall continued and the projections changed... Six-to-eight. Nah. Eight-to-10? No way! Checking out my “Brokeback Mountain” cowboy attire, slated for Benji and Jake’s (www.myspace.com/benjiandjakes ) always festive salute to Halloween, I planned (down to the minute) to stop there, change in the truck and pop in to Luzon Station (www.luzonstation.com ) for a peek at the Rocky Horror Picture Show (in a tuxedo) before heading out to the Nutshell (www.nutshellarts.com ) in Lake Huntington, dressed as Mae West.
While admiring a sparkly Liberace cape, the power went out. Dismayed, but not defeated, I packed an extra set of eyelashes in the glove-box and scanned the horizon. With no TV to frighten me, I foolishly assumed (you know what they say) that all would be well and practiced dancing in six-inch heels. After a rather daunting hike in the woods, all plans collapsed—not unlike the fallen trees blocking my egress. With 12 inches of white stuff (and no end in sight) breaking my heart, the power surged long enough for me to receive the flood of cancellations piling up online, and I could see disappointment in the mirror as I practiced the ventriloquist act, slated for my (now canceled) appearance at the Catskill Arts Society (www.catskillartsociety.org ) that same afternoon.
I slipped into an evening gown (just to see how it felt) and slumped on the couch, while running my fingers through the silver mylar disco wig perched on my head. A few inches later, I gave up and decided the neighbors might be amused by me scraping the windshield in my Bigfoot Monster suit, so I grabbed a shovel and tromped up the road, dragging a skeleton behind me, scanning the horizon for little kids to scare.
A bit bedraggled (and slightly bedazzled) I finished my tour of the neighborhood, with nary a soul (haunted or otherwise) in sight and started packing my nun’s habit and Raggedy Ann shoes away for next year. Slightly unwilling to let go, I sit at the computer wearing a clown suit and stilettos but am (once again) all dressed up with nowhere to go.