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November 2nd, 2011
On Halloween, Oscar The Grouch Almost Got Beat Up By Gandhi

I started celebrating Halloween a little early this year. I went to a party dressed as Oscar The Grouch, he of “Sesame Street” fame. I was expecting to fly under the radar at a party while rubbing elbows with Whittier’s elite – after all it is the birthplace of Richard Nixon. Instead, I walked into something out of Arthur Rimbaud’s absinthe-rotted mind.

Let me open up the curtain and explain what happened. The names of the innocent, as well as the guilty, have been omitted and will only be referred to by the costume he or she was wearing. I was invited to the party by the Great Horned Owl, which in turn was being thrown by the family connected to Andie Walsh and Duckie from “Pretty in Pink.”

When I first arrived, everyone was there. There was Popeye and Olive Oil, along with Michael Myers, a Hindu goddess, plenty of Calacas, Gandhi, Miss Piggy, a pirate, Chucky, Axl Rose, Johnny Ramone and even Michael Jackson. The whole scene looked sideways and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Psycho” was being projected on a wall outside. Everyone was either laughing or dancing. A couple of steps beyond the DJ stood an open bar which would be the cause of much merriment. After drinking more than my fair share of beers, I gained the courage to move up to rum and coke. Rum is not my friend. Coke is not my friend either. Now when you combine the both, it leads to a jumping point for disarray and mayhem. However, I had reached a point where caring was no longer an issue, and the bartender liked my costume to the point where having an empty cup was an insult, and being as polite as I am, I did not want to be insulting.

As time went on, the costume contest began. I got a couple of votes, but was undoubtedly eclipsed by both the Hindu Goddess and the Great Horned Owl, who was redubbed the Horny Owl complete with sophomoric catcalls. In the end, the multiply-armed goddess walked away with the crown. That was when things went from sideways to right down volatile. It was the calm right before the storm.

The musical playlist for the party was typical and unimaginative. It was the same playlist from a party you went to 10 years ago. In fact, they will be playing the same music at any party you go 10 years from now. All of the usual suspects were represented. “Blister in the Sun” by The Violent Femmes, “Rock Lobster” by The B-52’s, “Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure and “Anything, Anything” by Dramarama were displayed in their overplayed prominence. Frankly, I was surprised why Katy Perry and “California Girls” did not bother to make it. They probably had a previous engagement at a Sweet 16 in Huntington Park.

The Great Horned Owl in all her owl-like wisdom took the initiative to make some musical requests. Unfortunately, I have not yet encountered the 16 year-old DJ who has John Fogerty and the Creedence Clearwater Revival as part of his musical repoirtare. My 62 year-old uncle would be a better fit to oblige that particular suggestion.

Suddenly, and without warning, a woman dressed like a chola approached the Great Horned Owl. I cannot tell you if she was dressed like a chola because it was part of her costume or simply a casual weekend. At any rate, she demanded to know why the owl had decided to show her talons and decided to make her DJ son sit on the top of her predatory nutritional pyramid as part of her prey. She could not give a hoot (no pun intended) about the owl’s protests. All of a sudden the owl was accused of being a cougar.

That was the preamble of all hell breaking loose. The chola began pointing accusatory fingers which only snowballed Duckie into getting violent. The whole scene was a cross between “Jersey Shore” and the “Real Housewives of Sodom.” It was both ugly and uncomfortable, as people tripped over one another to restrain Duckie and Gandhi. No fortune cookie in the world could have predicted that scenario – and in the end, it much ado about nothing. We let out a collective sigh and made our way out.

In the end, the whole evening ended with a flat note plagued with ridiculousness. Duckie’s ego got the best of him, as he attempted to fight an enemy that was not even there. Watching drunks shadowbox should never be a spectator sport, but it seems unavoidable when you step into the alleged haunting grounds of the Great Horned Owl.

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