Halloween in 2009 wasn’t as insane as the previous two years. I didn’t wake up in a ditch filled with water, I didn’t ignite a club-brawl, I didn’t place high in costume contest, I wasn’t told to “fuck myself” by Scooby Doo and I definitely didn’t witness Pee Wee Herman punching a caveman in the face. However, Halloween 2009 did have it’s interesting moments. I’ll fill you in on some of them.
In 2009 I decided to dress as Rick “The Mullet Man” Suave. I created Rick and he eventually became the mascot of my blog. Halloween was the first time Rick had ever made a public appearance.
When I decided I was going to dress as Rick “The Mullet Man” Suave for Halloween, I was determined to make the costume appear as ridiculous as possible. I decided to grow my mustache out for 2 weeks before Halloween. For those of you who haven’t noticed, I grow one of the most unattractive mustaches this world has ever seen. I mean, this thing should be in the “Guiness Book of World Records” for being the world’s scroungiest mustache. I do not grow any hair in the middle of the mustache and the hair I do grow on the sides is very thin and scraggly. Growing out my mustache is always a task, for I am well aware of how awful it appears. I hated coming to work with that thing on my face during the two weeks I was growing it out.
The next step was cutting a pair of my jeans into jean shorts. I ended up cutting these at the upper thigh, right below my butt-cheeks. (_l_)
I found out that my girlfriend’s mother and aunt had scored a pair of 90’s Nike Air Jordan tennis shoes and striped socks. PERFECT! A few days before Halloween, I went to Goodwill and scored an XL plain red mesh jersey and a plain blue mesh jersey that an 8 year old had probably owned previously. I decided that I was going to wear the red jersey for the festivities on Thursday night and the blue jersey for the festivities on Saturday night.
I decided to write something I considered funny on the red jersey. On the front of it I wrote, “Da Bulls” with the number 23 underneath it. On the back, where the last name is usually located I wrote “Air Jordan” and the number 23 underneath that. I thought the words “Da” and “Air” being added would make it more humorous. It was a ghetto-fabulous version of a Michael Jordan jersey.
To top the outfit off, I purchased a 4 pack of “hillbilly teeth” from Spencer’s in the mall. I would wear a set and my girlfriend who was going dressed as my white trash girlfriend would wear a set as well.
The first of two Halloween parties I went to was on Thursday, October 29th at a bar and grill called Otis Campbell’s in West Burlington, IA. They were hosting their annual Halloween party that night. I dressed up in my Rick “The Mullet Man” Suave costume with the red, “Da Bulls” jersey. I looked wonderfully ridiculous.
I initially panicked when we arrived because there were 5 people standing outside smoking cigarettes, none of which were wearing costumes. I thought to myself, “Oh great, nobody dressed up in their costumes tonight, and here I am looking like a white trash version of Richard Simmons.” None of the people I came with were dressed up either and they were laughing their asses off at me. I felt better when I walked into the bar and discovered that there were in fact, a few people who dressed up for Halloween that night. We ended up partying there, and finishing the night at Sam’s, a bar located across the river from Iowa in Gulfport, Illinois that stays open until 5-6 in the morning. The night ended up being fun, but somewhat uneventful.
The main thing that sticks out while reflecting upon the events that took place that night, was an awkward situation I encountered at Otis Campbell’s. I ran into a dude I know who sports a REAL mullet and similar teeth to the pair of fake hillbilly teeth I had in my mouth. He looked an awful lot like me that night, but the difference was, I was wearing a costume and he wasn’t.
This guy is just an acquaintance that I always end up talking to for roughly 5 minutes every time I see him out. This is fine, but if I had it my way, we wouldn’t even speak to each other. I never want to talk to the guy, because the conversation always ends up leading to a topic that I don’t give a shit about about, which is NASCAR.
Listen, if you love NASCAR, that is perfectly fine with me. Watch it all you want. Just keep me out of it. Some NASCAR fans don’t seem to realize that many people (myself being one of them) just fucking hate racing. Many NASCAR fanatics will talk to you as if they just ASSUME that you are as big of a racing fan as they are. I have absolutely no interest in racing whatsoever, but have been forced to converse about it for hours because that seems to be all that NASCAR fans want to talk about. I just haven’t found the nerve to tell them to shut up about it because generally, the NASCAR fans I talk to are pretty nice, harmless people.
Whenever one of these dudes start blabbering to me about NASCAR, my mind automatically drifts to something else, like contemplating how long it took for the person to grow their handlebar mustache. I always wonder if these guys ever pick up chicks by talking to them about racing. If I was a chick, that would turn off my estrogen switch in a millisecond.
Anyways, before I left that night, I actually thought of how I didn’t want him to be around. Not only would I have to sit through a NASCAR seminar, but an awkward one because my costume was a parody of the mullet-man stereotype that he naturally fits. Of course, I end up encountering the guy. When he first caught the corner of my eye, I thought to myself, “oh good God, why?”
A few moments after noticing him, he motions for me to walk over and talk to him. I begrudgingly started walking towards him and he blurts out, “Lil’ Swaffy! God damn your still a goofy fucker! Where did you get those little short shorts?!?!” I didn’t want to make eye contact or look at his face because I didn’t want to be guilt-ridden when I laid my eyes on his mullet hairdo and his 3 remaining teeth. I didn’t want to open my mouth either because I didn’t want him to see my set of fake teeth that could have been a carbon copy of his real teeth. I responded with, “ah dude I just cut them from a pair of my old jeans.” He then said, “oh that’s cool buddy. Have ya heard about how good Jimmie Johnson has been doing lately?” I took a sigh of relief. I think this was the only time in my life that I have ever been happy that someone brought up NASCAR. This guy obviously did not “get” the joke behind my costume. To the rest of the bar, we just appeared as a couple of mullet men with jackolantern-style teeth, drinking a beer and talkin’ about NASCAR. In fact, he may have been oblivious to the fact that I was dressed up for Halloween. He may have just thought that I, Joshua Swafford am now sporting a mullet, wearing shorts cut off at the bottom of my butt cheeks and have been suffering from a bad case of meth-mouth. When you spend a large proportion of your time purposely doing goofy shit like I do, you sometimes have to wonder about the extent of insanity that people think you are actually capable of reaching. This guy may think the galaxy is the limit in terms of my capabilities. I suffered through an excruciating 5 minutes of NASCAR talk with this guy and made a clean break from the conversation and did not have another encounter with him throughout the rest of the night.
I spent the next day in a mental state of simultaneous recovery and preparation. I was recovering from the rough night I had on Thursday. I was preparing for the rough night I was going to have the next day at Fun City in Burlington, IA.
For the third year in a row, I dressed into my costume early on in the day. I do this for 2 reasons, 1.) because I truly have Halloween spirit and 2.) because I love going out in the community, running my every day errands while dressed up in a nutty Halloween costume. Some of the reactions you get from people who either forgot it was Halloween or are unaware that what you are wearing is actually a Halloween costume, are priceless.
I dressed up in my costume and stopped at my parents’ house to pick up my dad’s duster coat. This coat totally tied the costume together. I would arrive at the party looking like a mullet man with a scroungy mustache, meth-mouth, an American flag bandana and a duster coat, and when I take this huge coat off, I am wearing a pair of hideously short shorts with a blue mesh shirt designed for an 8 year old.
I couldn’t wait to arrive at Fun City, expose my outfit underneath the duster coat and ask people if there was anywhere I could put my coat. My outfit was the epitome of “fruity.” It was fruitier than Boy George climbing an orange tree with a banana stuck in his ass.
When I arrived at my parents’ house, there was a substantial amount of drama taking place. My 12 year old brother, Shea’s costume did not arrive in the mail and his whole week revolved around wearing the costume he ordered at a barn dance that night. It was all he could think about the whole week. He was supposed to be “Orange Man.” “Orange Man” is the same exact thing as “Green Man” only the color of the suit is orange. This is fitting for Mediapolis High School since our colors are orange and black. My mother had ordered the costume 2 and a half weeks prior to Halloween. Shea had been checking the mail since the day after my mom ordered the costume.A week before Halloween, I was driving to my parents’ house. I pulled on to our gravel road and saw this greenish figure, run from the road to the ditch near our house. I thought it looked kind of strange. I never see any animals run the way this figure did so I just figured it was probably a baby sasquatch. When I pulled into the driveway, I was still confused about what I had seen, until Shea ran up to the car with his camouflage jacket. I asked him if he was on the road and ran into the woods when I pulled onto the gravel road and he informed me that he was. I asked why he did this and he said that he was waiting for the mailman to come with his costume, and that he didn’t want the mailman to see him waiting on the road like he was desperate.
Well, here we were, a week later on Halloween day and his costume still hadn’t arrived. I guess Halloween just wasn’t meant to be successful for young Swafford boys. Since the “Orange Man” costume didn’t arrive, Shea was forced to wear an Elvis Presley mask with little arms and legs sticking out of the side. It was like a little mini-Elvis on his head. It was actually kind of funny. Definitely a better costume than the plastic lids I had to wear on my face when I was a little kid, but Shea was definitely not happy with it. As mentioned in “Swaff-Style Halloween,” Halloween has a tendency to be a letdown for the Swafford youth.
The mood lightened up a bit when I heard that my dad was going to be wearing “Green Man” at a Halloween party followed by Fun City that night. I could not wait to see this.
I dressed up and was ready to go, but we needed to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up some fake eyelashes for Krystal’s costume. Wal-Mart is a pretty funny place to be when you are dressed like a mullet man. I admit, since Krystal and I discovered how ridiculous her hair extensions look on my head, I have worn the mullet out in public many of times. I do this for my own pleasure. Its like my own personal sociological experiment. It is interesting how certain groups of people treat you differently when you are dressed as a mullet man. First off, when you see other mullet men within the community, they are much more friendly to you than when you are dressed in normal fashion. Some of them go out of their way to speak or wave to you. There seems to be an “understanding” amongst all “mullet men.”
Another observation I have made is that people who are dressed in suits or in other classy apparel have a tendency to laugh at you when you are sporting a mullet. If people with mullets do not notice the large percentage of preppy looking people laughing at them, then they are 100% oblivious to their surroundings.
One time I dressed up in my “mullet man” gear and went to a relatively classy restaurant in Muscatine, IA called “The Button Factory”. My girlfriend, who happens to be extremely hot, was with me. Some of the looks we got from people were hilarious. This one guy in the parking lot who was wearing a suit and tie, looked at me and laughed, and then glanced at my insanely hot girlfriend and shook his head. I knew exactly what he was thinking and it was hilarious. He went from noticing this funny looking mullet dude and laughed, then saw Krystal and thought to himself, “how did this mullet guy pick up a girl who looks like THAT?” At Wal-Mart, Krystal and I were catching some of these same looks from people.
After Wal-Mart, Krystal and I went to her mom’s house where she dressed up in her outfit, and we took some pictures. We looked like a match made in heaven, although I admit, for having such gross looking fake teeth in her mouth, Krystal still looked pretty hot. We bee-bopped at Krystal’s mom’s house for a couple hours, watched the Notre Dame Irish football game and then went on our way to Fun City.
For those of you who don’t know, Fun City is an event center/club/bar/casino/bowling alley/hotel in Burlington, IA. We started out at the event center because this is where the costume contest was being held.
My costume received somewhat positive reception. I was acting in character most of the night and kept catching myself repeating absurd phrases to people such as “Yeah, times are hard. Lately I’ve been pimpin’ out my girlfriend for Subway stamps,” and “yeah I’ve been working on my career as a professional wrassler. Lately I have been wrasslin’ little kids and stealing their lunch money so I can use it to buy powdered milk for my kids’ Fruity Sparkles cereal.” To be honest, I was feeling somewhat uncomfortable in my costume because the fattest part of my body, which is the bottom of my stomach, was clearly exposed. I don’t mean to brag, but in my teens my body used to be ripped. Absolutely chiseled. I had good muscle definition in my arms and legs, and had 8-pack abs. I weighed 152 pounds as a Senior in High School and was able to bench press 310 pounds. I have gained roughly 60 pounds since then, and instead of being ripped, I now have more of a bulky look. I am ok with this for a couple reasons. Nobody ever starts fights with me when I go out and they shouldn’t because I can scrap if provoked. Also, some girls seem to be into the bulky look. This was cool when I was single. My main complaint now is that I don’t like having that spare tire on the bottom of my stomach. When I take my shirt off, I still have the outlines of a 6-pack, but the spare tire at the bottom of my stomach kind of makes the legitimacy of my 6-pack questionable, and it just so happened that my shirt was cut off right at the spare tire section. This was bothering me the entire time I had the costume on, but I tried hard not to show how bothered I actually was by it.
The candidates for best costumes had already been chosen before we arrived. The categories were most original, scariest and best group costume. One of my good friends, Ryan Peterson, won the most original costume contest. He went as Teen Wolf. The resemblances between him dressed up as Teen Wolf and the actual Teen Wolf from the movie were cunning. He made a perfect Teen Wolf. This is the same guy who got 3rd place in the most original costume contest the year before when I got 2nd place as Green Man. That year he was dressed up as a dude midget giving a girl midget a piggy-back ride. The Petersons’ are a very funny, creative family. The scariest costume was awarded to a couple of zombies. The best group costume was awarded to Slipknot.
After the costume contest came to a conclusion, my girlfriend and I made our way to the club area of Fun City. The place was packed as it usually is on Halloween night. I received a phone call from my mom who informed me that they had left the party they were at and were pulling in to Fun City parking lot. This was awesome news considering my dad was expected to be dressed as Green Man.
When I met them outside the restroom area, I saw my mom dressed as some green-haired clown, and my dad dressed in street clothes. My heart sank. Evidently my dad was dressed as Green Man at the party they were at, but no one knew who Green Man was so he felt awkward. Therefore he refused to wear the suit into Fun City. This was very disappointing to me because after Halloween 2008, no Halloween party seems complete without a Green Man appearance.
At that point, I made the impulsive decision to go out to my parents’ car, strip myself of the spare tire-exposing mullet man costume, and hop into the tight-fitting Green Man costume.
To say the Green Man costume is always a smash hit during Halloween is an understatement. Everyone was excited to see Green Man. Everyone except Krystal. I didn’t notice that anything was wrong with her for the first hour or so, probably because I had so many people in my face yelling, “GREEN MAN!!!”
It became obvious that something was wrong when I tried talking to her and she informed me that she was annoyed because she believes I always feel the need to be the center of attention. This threw me off guard. I never considered myself the type of guy who constantly craved the spotlight. In fact, for the most part, I have always considered myself a pretty quiet guy, especially if I am around people I do not know. I feel awkward if all eyes are on me.
However, it is probably obvious to anyone who notices that I write these stories, that I do crave something. I love to make people laugh. That is the only reason I write these stories. A large percentage of what I say in general, every day chit-chat, I blurt with intentions of being funny in some way or another. That is why I wore the Green Man suit. I didn’t want to be the “lord of the dance.” I just wanted to make people laugh, and I knew I would have success with Green Man, because quite frankly, it is a hilarious costume.
I tried talking to Krystal some more. I told her that I wasn’t trying to be the center of attention, that I just thought the costume was funny and that I had no idea why she was upset. She said, “well, you go outside and dress up as Green Man and have people all over you and here I am, still dressed up as the mullet man’s white trash girlfriend.”
When she said that, I had an epiphany. I finally realized how much of a bunk move I made by spontaneously dressing up as Green Man. Here is Krystal, who dressed herself DOWN to match MY costume and I have the nerve to stray away in the middle of the night and dress as something totally irrelevant to her costume. The majority of the girls there dress themselves UP in sexy costumes, while my girlfriend dressed herself DOWN to match ME.
I felt like a complete pooping shaft. I tried calming the situation by saying, “ah I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean to do that, but you still look good!! Your costume is funny and you still look damn good baby!!” This was true, she didn’t look ugly by any means. I don’t think Krystal is even capable of looking ugly. She wasn’t listening to any of my sweet talk though and I, being disappointed in my own lack of putting things into perspective, was officially in a bad mood.
This was a different experience for me. Usually when I am dressed up as Green Man, I am in a pleasant and goofy mood. However, with these circumstances, I was Green Man with a bad case of the grumpies. This was noticeable to some of the people there. This group of guys I didn’t know came up and were uncontrollably enthusiastic when they saw me dressed as Green Man. They were grabbing me and yelling, “HOLY SHIT GREEN MAN!!! ITS FUCKING GREEN MAN!!! OH MY GOD GREEN MAN!!! LETS GO FIGHT THE PHILLY PHANATIC GREEN MAN!!! HOLY SHIT THAT’S SO FUNNY!!!! WHERE’S THE PHILLY PHANATIC GREEN MAN?!?!?!” As they were hanging on me and screaming these words at me with booming enthusiasm, I just kind of stood there motionless and didn’t respond. In fact, I was pretty annoyed. After about a minute of them trying to get a reaction from me, one of the guys said, “this Green Man is a fucking faggot dude, lets go.” And then they walked away. I just rolled my eyes at them. Nobody could see that I was rolling my eyes due to my face being covered in green spandex material, but I was definitely doing it. The thought of how badly I could probably whoop all their asses crossed my mind for a split second, but I just let it blow over. I have tried hard these past few years to refrain from my hot-headed tendencies.
I grabbed a couple beers from the bar, one for each hand. I had an itch on my eye and with the hand in which I was holding the beer that I hadn’t begun drinking yet, I tried to scratch the itch. This resulted in me spilling a half a beer all over my green spandex-covered face. I evidently temporarily forgot that bartenders open your beer for you before they hand it to you. This definitely increased my symptoms of “the grumpies” so I found Krystal and told her that I wanted to go home. My mullet man costume was now in my parents’ car. They had already left so there was no way of me dressing up as the mullet man again in an attempt to make Krystal feel less awkward. She agreed to leave and that was the end of Halloween 2009.
In conclusion, Halloween 2009 was for the most part uneventful, but had some pretty funny moments. I wish I didn’t have to wait another year to indulge in the festivities again. Shea’s “Orange Man” costume arrived in the mail that following Monday. The curse of unsatisfied Swafford youth during Halloween continues.