I don’t remember what I had plotted to dress up as on that fateful night. My teen years are mostly a blur to me now. However, I do remember making a drastic switch at the last minute, hoping the uniqueness of the new Halloween costume idea would be a hit at the church carnival.
This was back before Halloween safety was a concern. There were no news stories scaring parents about razor blades tucked into apples yet. Cautions mostly focused on:
- not letting your children go out alone
- sticking to your own neighborhood
- dressing warm for the chilly weather
- being careful with accessories like broomsticks and swords
- not running into the street while trick-or-treating
- walking facing on-coming traffic if not on sidewalks
- wearing comfortable shoes with your costume
- being considerate of younger kids with your masks
Considering the potential dangers of a Halloween costume were never addressed.
Not that we would have listened.
Teenagers tend to believe they know everything already, so I would have had difficulties accepting the fact that our idea really wasn’t a sound one. My friend and I were simply looking at the originality of the idea, a way to stand out from the crowd of:
- plastic Batman costumes
- witches carrying broomsticks
- generic princess dresses
- cheerleader outfits
- vibrant clown costumes
- teens dressed up like little kids
These were trendy Halloween costumes when I was growing up.
We didn’t consider safety, and my friend and I definitely did not consider comfort when we came up with the wacky idea of turning ourselves into a single three-legged man!
Could We Win the Halloween Costume Contest With Our Idea?
In all honesty, the idea for that year’s Halloween costume wasn’t mine, but when a friend asked me if I would consider going with her to the party as a team, I decided to go along with the crazy idea.
No one had ever showed up as a three-legged man to the annual Halloween carnival before, which meant we actually had a chance of winning the Halloween costume contest. To pull it off, we had to get our hands on a pair of super-large pants that had legs wide enough to fit the two of us. We also needed an extra-large shirt.
They were not as hard to come by as we originally thought they would be, but getting the costume ready to wear was a bit more tricky.
Somehow, we managed to pull it off.
The Snag in Our Plan
What we didn’t realize was that to make the costume work, someone had to sew us into it just before we went to the carnival. We didn’t expect that, but with spirits and excitement high, we saw that little detail as only a small bump in the road.
The bigger hurdle was actually walking in that Halloween costume.
Neither of us thought about practicing how to walk together with three legs, so we would actually be able to function in the costume. As a result, our gait was clumsy and we often fought against each other when trying to walk.
The church Halloween carnival was always held outside on the patio, where the kids played basketball. There were dozens of carnival booths, a haunted house, a cake walk, trick-or-treat for the little ones, and a Halloween costume contest for the teens and adults.
However, within the first 30 minutes of arriving at the party, the two of us fell flat on our faces. I accidentally twisted my ankle when we fell, so we had to sit down for the rest of the evening. With wounded pride, we had to admit that what we thought was going to be a sure-winner costume turned out to be a bust. My ankle hurt so bad, we couldn’t even play any of the carnival games together.
As for the costume contest, we did get an honorable mention for uniqueness and creativity, but the prize for the best Halloween costume that year went to:
Pee-wee Herman instead.