Ok. I’m going to tell you a story about the best Halloween costume that ever was. You may have looked at the opening photo and said, “Darth Vader? Like that costume hasn’t been done before…”, but you would be wrong. Well, sort of. Let me finish my story before you start whining, ok? Ok.
The year was 1977. The top move at the box office was Star Wars (the first one, the good one, not the dumb Jar Jar Binks one) and it was Halloween night. Now, the industry of merchandising didn’t move quite as fast as it does today, so although the movie had been out for a few months, there were no Star Wars costumes available at the local store yet. One man (my dad) decided that with the help of his art teacher wife (my mom) he would be the dark lord himself for All Hallow’s Eve. So they set about making their own costume and replicated the outfit down to the very last detail. To complete the essence of Darth Vader, my dad recorded a tape of his own breathing and strapped the tape player to his chest so he could press play at a moment’s notice.
On the big night, they attended a few Halloween parties and wowed their friends with his ahead-of-the-curve costume, but as the night got later, they did what any partygoers do after a while- they get hungry and head over to an all night restaurant. As they approached the restaurant door, my dad paused to make an important adjustment to his look. He pressed “play” on the tape recorder and stepped through the door. “Kerrr-CHAA, kerrr-CHAA.” The sound of the mechanical breathing attracted every eye in the restaurant. “Kerrr-CHAA, kerrr-CHAA.” The room fell silent. “Kerrr-CHAA, kerrr-CHAA.” Just when the stillness became almost deafening, the room erupted into a simultaneous round of applause and standing ovation that lasted as my dad walked through the restaurant to his table and sat down.
My costume this year is a headband with cat ears. I should be disowned…Happy Halloween!