Monday, October 28, 2013

Creepy Creatures: A Halloween Party in Kentucky

As a journalist and amateur anthropologist, I have a tendency to get myself into really awkward situations pretty much all the time. I attribute this mostly to my innate morbid curiosity, even though I always tell myself that I am doing this for professional purposes ("This will be a great story for my blog.").
The last time I found myself surrounded by a bunch of strange creatures was a couple of days ago at a Halloween party in Kentucky. And it was definitely not the Halloween theme that led to the creepy atmosphere! First off, the party was at an VFW location (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and if you are surrounded by ex-soldiers who served in Vietnam or Korea (judging from the average age at the event), it is not surprising to encounter some ... well, some strange people. Second, it was a Karaoke party so you can already imagine the results of bringing together old war veterans in costumes and a microphone!
It all started with the lady with the missing tooth. She was probably my age, but looked like she had had a very rough life. Which she was very happy to tell me ALL about after sitting next to me and showing me her beer can holder. From this she somehow found an immediate connection to her boyfriend who had died a year ago. Five minutes into the conversation, I knew everything about the relationship (how they had met, how they were going to get married) and his sickness (she didn't leave out ANY details, even though I would have truly appreciated it, I'll tell you that much). I was only saved by her going up on stage to perform a song. Or so I thought ... until she started "singing" an ABBA song. At that point I wasn't sure what was worse: her morbid stories or her dreadful interpretation of Dancing Queen! 
The second creature of the night that caught my attention was the Bag Lady. Yes, she had really dressed up as a bag lady and I am not exactly sure what that meant besides wearing a giant garbage bag. It didn't matter where you were in the room, you could always hear the Bag Lady screaming something. "I am pregnant!" or "Look at my boobs!" Let's just say: She clearly had a lot of fun with the party balloons ...
In the meantime the Karaoke stage attracted another horrible interesting performer. I gave her the nickname Ms. Monotony because I am pretty sure that the song she picked was supposed to have a melody, but her version sounded more like a cross between a newscaster and Bob Dylan on Valium.
As strange as this little ensemble might seem already, the creepy award for the night definitely went to the Devil Man. When we sat down at our table, I noticed the immobile, creepy devil mask in the background, looking directly at us. Imagine my horror when, after one hour of standing still, the devil mask started moving - and I realized it was an actual person. Devil Man never once took of his mask, in about 3 hours, and if you have ever worn a stuffy Halloween mask, you know how impressive that is! After he lost the costume competition for the scariest costume (I am not sure why!), he stormed out and left. One of the regulars at the VFW told me that she had a pretty good idea of who must have been under the mask: An older man who comes every week, stands in a corner of the room, doesn't move and doesn't drink anything, stares at the people all night, and then leaves. Which is pretty much exactly what Devil Man did, just with a devil mask.
Boy, I knew that Halloween was a spooky holiday, but I never knew it could be THAT spooky!

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