Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011: Fire Chiefs, Fire Trucks and Dalmations, Oh My!

Well here we are at Halloween 2011. Halloween has never been a big holiday for me. Though I am reminded by one of my cousins via Facebook that I once cut a pretty cool figure as Indiana Jones and enjoyed myself. But that was different. All you needed was a fedora, a bunch of khaki clothes and a whip. If you want to enjoy your Halloween, I suggest you carry a working, snapping whip. Strictly for affect.

But here we are Halloweening with a 3-year-old boy and a one-year old girl. Finnegan let it be known mid-summer that he wanted a Fireman's costume for his birthday. He got it and was thrilled, but I predicted then that he wouldn't want to be a fireman for Halloween and we'd be buying another costume. But he stuck to his water-guns and proved his old man wrong. All he has wanted to be is a fireman. And a striking one he is.
Fireman Finnegan

But that wouldn't be good enough for me. As his father I foresaw a glut of fireman coming this season and needed to make his uniform (yes I took to referring to it as a uniform) stand out. Thus was born my month-long obsession with creating a cardboard firetruck to wear around the rest of the suit.

You start with a trip to see the fine folks at our friendly neighborhood Upland Brewing Growler Shoppe and ask them for one of the boxes the growlers come in, six to a box. Gently and carefully use your box-cutters to open a hole in the bottom and cut away the extra flaps and open up the windshield. If you are obsessive, you can cut sixteen circles of extra cardboard and glue them together in stacks of four to create tires. Once painted black the corrugation looks like tire tread. Paint the rest of the box red and decorate to your hearts content, I recommend bumpers, ladders and the number of your local fire station.

At some point you spouse will doubt your ability to pull this off and they will likely focus their attention on questions like, "How is he gonna wear it?" Rest assured that the answer to this problem, as it is to most difficult problems in this world is: duct tape. In this case, preferably red.
Daddy's Obsession
Voila! Firetruck!

Then came the first test; trunk or treat.  Yes, trunk or treat. I was unfamiliar with the notion until we were notified by Finnegan's school that there would be a trick or treat for the young devils in the parking lot of school. I was not however aware of my need to truly decorate my trunk. My one orange and black bowl with Kit-kats and Skittles was definitely found lacking next to parents dressed as witches with skeletons and cobwebs adorning their vehicles. I will see you ladies next year.

I wish I had gotten a picture of Finn with his two other fireman classmates, both looked great but they didn't have firetrucks and did not have FIRE CHIEF emblazoned on their back, so I'm thinking that made Finn their boss. Anyway...

Trunk or treating!
His poor beleaguered sister, unable to formally request a costume, was simply amalgamated into the fireman theme as a dalmatian. Poor dear. This year she was simple an accessory. Next year we will make it up to you, Millie. I swear. 
"Bad enough you put me in this ridiculous get-up and take me to a trunk party in a parking lot, but to hoist me into this contraption and just leave me sitting here is just the ultimate insult."

Trunk or treating wears a Fire Chief out after a while but, not wanting to shirk his duties, he did not allow himself to nap before going to ZooBoo at the Indianapolis Zoo. Thusly he was certain to be cranky and make sure no one enjoyed the experience too awful much. Except of course Grandma, who loved it all. The costumes, the animals, the "carry my fire truck for me" duty.
Sometimes the duty of being Fire Chief wears you down.
"Look at the ghost Grandma!"

ZooBoo at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Tonight we trick or treat our neighborhood and should there be need of reporting, this space will offer a follow-up. But for now rest assured that it is just 24 days until Thanksgiving and the all-but-certain pilgrim photos to go with.

Happy Halloween!