Thursday, November 02, 2006

Everybody Loves a Panda on Halloween *

* some more than they probably should.

[Ling Ling with the Koreans on Halsted. No, I don't know them either.]

Tuesday night I joined Kevin (as Princess Fiona), Dop (as Shrek), Jessica (as Bea Arthur), Marty (as his Medical History) and Dave (who was dressed in a suit but aside from that I don’t believe was supposed to be anybody) for a night of Halloween revelry in Boystown (photos can be found here).

First up was the Halloween Parade, where all kinds of people – straight, gays, families with kids – crowded the streets. Because their costumes were quite simply awesome, Shrek and Princess Fiona got all kinds of attention walking the sidewalks, while Marty, Dave, Bea Arthur and I just sorta followed behind them (they were in their element). I did make a fan of two little girls who wanted to touch and hold my hands, which was cute (I was prepared for all kinds of attention that night, but not from toddlers), but I also scared the crap out of another child on the sidewalk, so there you go.

Sidetrack was packed, mostly with people in costume. Ling Ling’s big head made it hard to move and maneuver through the crowds. Unlike Saturday, I was able to keep the panda head on all night (thanks to a little McGuyvering with the headband and additional Velcro, which helped make the head more stable and secure on my scull) but the drawback was that if I ever took the head off I would never get it back on (it seriously takes about 5 minutes to get it back into place). The other drawback is that it limited my vision and my mobility. For example, if someone grabbed my ears (which happened often) I couldn’t turn around to see who it was. Likewise when someone grabbed my tail.

Luckily, Bea Arthur and Marty and Dave where there to protect me. And trust me you don’t
mess with those bitches. At one point an overly-friendly patron started a grope on Ling Ling and Bea Arthur and Marty were all up in his grill: “This isn’t a petting zoo buddy! Move along!”
Me: “Yeah, beeyatch!”
Ling Ling was ready to bust some ass, and luckily for that guy Bea Arthur needed to hold him back.

Extra points to Bea Arthur from saving me from lighting on fire earlier in the evening (that would have been so NOT cool for me).

Dop and Kevin, who honestly had the best costumes there, did not win the contest, which was complete bullshit. Second place went to a guy dressed in a big, stuffed vagina. As he was on stage I heard two guys next to me talking:

Guy #1: “I don’t get it. What is he supposed to be?”
Guy #2: “A vagina.”
Guy #1: “A what?”
Guy #2: “A vagina.”
Guy #1: “Oh, that explains why I don’t recognize it.”

90% of the people recognized my outfit, but I was surprised that some did not. Seriously, how could you not know I was panda?? A few people figured I was a bear, but didn’t know what kind. “You look like my dog. I have an akita!” one drunk guy said. Excuse me, I ain’t no dog. However my favorite was the guy who thought I was – get thisa cookie.

What is wrong with you people?

Wanting to be seen by more people (and who could blame them they looked so good) Dop and Kevin suggested we go to Roscoe’s. Luckily Kevin knew the bouncer and sweet talked her into not making me take off my panda head in order to verify my ID. In Roscoe’s there was a little more room to move around, so I was able to show off some of my killer Ling Ling pop and locks. It was awesome.**

Some of the more ridiculous things said to me Tuesday included:
  • “Hey panda, I’ve got some bamboo for you to chew on.” (Ha ha. Very original.)
  • “Pandas don’t wear shoes!” (This killed me because it’s as though everything else about my appearance – the huge head, the strip of Velcro down my back – was plausible. But a panda wearing black slippers? Unacceptable!! How about: “Pandas don’t hang out in gay bars drinking Long Island iced teas!” – that would have been a more appropriate observation, I think.)
  • “Oooh I want to French kiss that little panda tongue!” (Which he did; I was pretty much powerless to stop him. I’m just glad it was the costume tongue and not mine.)
  • “Hey panda, why you taking the train?” (What did you think, that I’d fly? I gotta get home somehow.)
  • And my favorite: “Can I blow you?” (Obviously one of those freaky furry fetish people. Umm, that would be a no.)

Later, on the long ride home, while waiting at the bus stop on Chicago I was stopped by two drunk bums who initiated the following conversation:

Bum #1: "What are you?"
Me: "A panda."
Bum #2: "Gimme some money."
Me: "You’re barking up the wrong tree dude, this panda has no pockets and no money."
Bum #1 (reaching for my panda head): "Take this off."
Me: "No."
Bum #1 (again): "Take this off."
Me: "No."
Bum #2: "You got any weed?"
Me: "No."
Bum #1: "You a girl under there?"
Me: "No, I am not a girl under here."
Apparently, that was the magic answer. Sure, the facts that I had no money or weed were negligible, but the not being a girl part was the deal breaker. They immediately moved on.

So I must admit, I am going through a bit of Halloween withdrawals. I loved being a panda for Halloween. As did a lot of other people, too.

[Ling Ling with the Devil Girl on the Brown Line. No, I don't know her either.]

** and of course by "awesome" I mean "completely retarded."


classyandfancy said...

Fiona & Shrek = AWESOME! You can't blame people for wanting to love you up and down, but you are allowed to protrude panda spit on them for not knowing what a panda looks like.

btw next time Flaming Lips comes into town Dr. Ken and I may need to enlist Ethel's services, we need our claim to fame and she is our golden ticket.

kb said...

i, for one, was very impressed with your dedication to the panda head. 5 hours, countless drinks, poppin'/lockin', and el ride later, and never once did you spoil the illusion. you WERE ling ling.

Julie_Gong said...

How did you drink with the panda head on?

And for some reason I about lost it when you wrote, "Excuse me, I ain't no dog."

Such a funny panda.

Jessica said...

I do appreciate that you continued to refer to me as Bea Arthur throughout the blog. Well played sir.

Todd said...

I don't believe the panda suit has seen it's end of use yet.

Sizzler Sister said...

I'm still disturbed by that "can I blow you?" comment? Who says that?

Cherry Ride said...

Classy - I'll broker a deal: I can get Ethel to make costumes if you invite Richard and me.

Kevin - I was pretty impressed too. After about an hour of swass and back sweat, my body just sorta went zen.

Gonger - I knew you'd ask me that question! There was a small hole near my mouth from which I could stick a straw through.

Jessica - yeah "Bea Arthur" sounds so much better than plain old "Bea."

Todd - I think you are right. I'm thinking about breaking it out again for New Year's and maybe my birthday in June (but it might be a little hot by then).

Sizzler - Yeah, I was disturbed too. It happened as I was walking to the train. I think the guy was (obviously) desperate for some action.

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

If every time I wore a panda suit somebody struck up a conversation with, "Can I blow you?," I think I'd be reluctant to take off the suit too.

Yes, Classy, we will be borrowing grandma's panda suits for a Flaming Lips show.

Loudlush said...

OK, for the first time ever I'm envious that we don't do Halloween over here. It all looks like brilliant fun (and I'm not one of those freaky furry fetishists.... usually).

darci ann said...

note to self - time of year/holiday to visit the cherry ride Halloween. Wish I could have seen all this.

Ms Smack said...

You guys all look fantastic, but yes, Shrek especially is my choice pick.

I reckon Gancer looks pretty edible too! :)

Erika said...

Bill...i love you. hahaha..I laughed my ass off reading this posting. You kill me. I love the panda smart.