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October 21, 2013

Halloween Night 1975

Halloween Night 1975
It was the fourth year of my first tour of duty as a Navy journalist. I had been assigned to handle public relations for a Navy Office in Milwaukee WI. This was a terrible decision by whoever it was who sent me there because my pay grade was so low that I couldn't afford to live there. I'll talk about that more in another post. But the critical part is that, by my third year there, I was living alone, my family having (temporarily) disintegrated.

I moved to a studio apartment near Lake Michigan. It was the first, and so far only, place I lived that had a Murphy bed. My money was short so I had to ration my socializing. Part of that rationing was to take advantage of the USO club. I could always get some coffee, conversation, and sometimes a free meal there.

The young ladies who staffed this USO Club were all young, attractive, and charming. They all liked me because unlike most of there clientele I had made it clear that I was not on the prowl. When I was there I became a kind of protector when other servicemen got too rambunctious and irritating.

I was sitting at a table there brooding into my coffe mug one afternoon when Rose came and sat down across from me. Rose was what my father would call a "pocket Venus". (Actually, that's not true, he would have said that she would be a good centerfold for Reader's Digest.) she was small with a lovely figure and masses of curly dark hair surrounding a sweetly pretty face with sparkling mischievous eyes.

I always liked talking to Rose, she was smart, witty, and charming. I smiled at her and she asked me if I was going to come to the USO Halloween Party. I shook my head, I didn't particularly enjoy the big parties.

"I wish you would," she said, "I need a date."

What could I say other than yes.

The problem was that the party was the following weekend and we had no costumes. The costume store in Milwaukee had been stripped to the walls by people with more forethought than us. Among the few things left were a brown, hooded monk's robe, sort of a Friiar Tuck thing, well-used and a bit ratty, and an emerald satin 18th century-looking ball gown. Rose tried on the dress and it fit beautifully, so I bought the robe and rented the dress and in a fit of ingenuity bought an odd selection of make-up.

On Halloween afternoon, we met at her house and concocted our plans as we got ready. We were going to do a little scenario at the party. Rose had a pair of plastic fangs, and I had bought some make-up for her that glowed green under black light. (I knew that they were planning to have black lights scattered around the club.) Her fangs glowed too. I'll save the details of my make-up for the reveal.

So when we arrived at the club, she was a fetching and sexy vampire girl and I was a monk with his hood pulled down to shadow and conceal the face completely. A large wooden cross hung from a cord around my neck. In one hand I had a huge mallet I'd borrowed from a carpenter friend and in the other was a wooden spike.

As we'd planned, we spent some time playing hide and seek with me chasing her about the club trying to spike her (not a euphemism). Eventually I started acting exhausted and leaned on something. Everyone started watching as Rose crept up behind me and suddenly pounced. She stuck her head under my hood and bit (actually kissed) my neck before rushing off.

I did a transformational type of shudder and doubled over as if cramped, then stood and pulled my hood back.

I had used liquid latex and, stretching my skin, painted it on and let it dry, when I stopped pulling the skin tight the latex bunched up to look like a mass of wrinkles. I'd used black wax to make all but my canine teeth invisible, and applied two realistic puncture wounds to my throat.

There was quite a substantial and enjoyable gasp from our audience and Rose and I got a nice round of applause.