By Jason Offutt
The Girl danced through the living room. I wasn’t surprised; it’s her preferred mode of transportation.
“I’m going to be a butterfly for Halloween,” she said, and flitted away.
I was fine with her costume choice. She already had a butterfly outfit and my wife and I were pretty excited about spending as little money as possible on something she would use only as long as it would fit. Free was beyond fine.
“I’m going to be a pirate,” the Boy announced.
Excellent. Plastic pirate sword (already has), red bandana (already has), eye patch (can make with materials from around the house), “aaarrrgg” (can teach). This was going to be a fiscally responsible holiday.
Until the next day.
“I’m going to be a Hex Girl for Halloween,” my daughter announced at breakfast on Oct. 10 while we still had time to deal with it. Not like that wretched Oct. 30, when all that was left in the costume aisle at the local store were inappropriate naughty French maid outfits.
The Hex Girls are a vampire-themed all-girl musical group that appeared in only two Scooby Doo movies and one TV episode in the past 10 years. She just earned 50 nerd points from dear old Dad. Good girl.
The first Halloween costume I wore to school (that I can remember) was the cartoon superhero Underdog. Hard plastic mask held to my face by a thin string of elastic, plastic shirt and cape, and my own pants. Not authentic, but I knew I’d save the world at some point during the school day, so authenticity was irrelevant.
I was the only Underdog in school that Halloween, but after years of being characters like Frankenstein’s monster, Superman, and the Grim Reaper, in sixth grade I went trick-or-treating as Groucho Marx.
Fifty nerd points? Heck yes. What 12-year-old who lived after 1950 knew who Groucho Marx was?
Well, me. Just me. I got a pillowcase full of candy that year from adults who appreciated the novelty. I’m just sayin’.
“I’m going to be a ninja for Halloween,” the Boy announced through a mouthful of tator tot casserole at dinner Oct. 12.
“And I’m going to be a princess,” the Girl said.
The thoughts of a child are as consistent as those of a squirrel. I should be used to that by now.
“So,” I said to the Girl. “You’re not going to be a butterfly, or a Hex Girl?”
She looked at me like I’d gone mad.
“I’m a princess,” she said. “A prin-cess.”
Of course she is. All 6-year-old girls are princesses.
Given the state of her worldview, gown, shoes, tiara, and royal wave were all accounted for. The Boy’s ninja? Well …
What was I worriedå about? They’ll both change their minds tomorrow. I wonder if we have anything lying around the house that would make a good Godzilla costume?