The year was 1984; yours truly was a spry nine year old boy intent on living out my wildest fantasies on Halloween and become something I wasn't. Oh, and to collect copious amounts of candy of course, but that transformation into some kind of monster or hero was a driving factor ever year when the leaves turned yellow and the winds began to howl.
I was lucky growing up. I had a mom that was both creative and really crafty! Normally, my Halloween costumes were elaborate and hand crafted and generally pretty amazing. I'm talking about a full body papier mache R2-D2 costume that slipped over my head and covered me from head to toe. Cowboy costumes, aliens, monsters and skeletons; I dreamed it up, mom would figure out how to make it. In 1984 though, I didn't know how well I had it. All I could think of that year were the boxes upon boxes of Ben Cooper vinyl costumes on the store shelves in their bright shiny colors and how all my friends were wearing them. You know the ones I'm talking about. They had the molded mask and the plastic one-time use suit to match. I had to have one. I had to have an X-Wing pilot one pictured above. (That's not me in the picture, that's what the costume looked like though.) So, I threw a fit, I begged and I cried until finally I got to be Luke Skywalker in a plastic sheet.
Trick or Treat that year started out exciting. Mom dropped me off in town with my friends and we set off. I was feeling six feet tall in my bright orange Luke Skywalker costume. That excitement didn't last however. As we made our way through our small town, going door to door, the problems in the costume design started to show. I couldn't bend very well. After a few sets of stairs, the plastic began to tear. Every time I pulled the mask off of my face to see what kind of loot lay in the bootom of my pillow case, the elastic band worked it's way a little bit looser. By the time we completed our loop and returned to my mother at my grandmother's house, all I had left was a plastic mask that I could no longer wear and the tattered remains of a plastic table cloth painted to look like an X-Wing fighters flight suit.
I think the old Ben Cooper costumers are great and I love to see the varieties that were available to us back in the day. Nothing beat a home made costume from mom though. In 1984, I went from the kid that had crazy costumes that every one was jealous of and that I could still wear if I wanted, (I wore that R2-D2 costume every day for almost a year when I was 5) to a costume that looked like everybody else, and I didn't even get to hang on to it when it was all said and done.
I think I'm safe in saying that every reader on this site grew up loving Halloween as much as I did. I'm sure you all have your stories of your Ben Cooper Costume that you were sure would make you the envy of all your friends, only to leave you as that blockheaded kid that couldn't make himself a proper ghost costume.
So there's my story, now what was your worst Halloween costume?