Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beating Children (in a Roller Derby Halloween Costume Contest)

People often ask me why I don't drink. I give various answers: that I never quite acquired a taste for it, that I'm cheap, that there was an incident in kindergarden, etc... All true (mostly), but the short answer for my tea-totaling is that there's very little I can imagine doing drunk that I wouldn't also do while sober.

Which brings us to last Saturday night. I went to the Gotham Girls Roller Derby Post-Season Showdown, where both the Brooklyn Bombshells and the Queens of Pain faced off against Seattle's Rat City Rollers. In between bouts they hold their annual Halloween Costume Contest.

In last year's contest, there were only 4 entries. Two with rather run-of-the-mill, store-bought costumes (I think a pirate and a sexy something or other), one person with goth/ren-faire attire and a nice set of prosthetic horns, and then one cute, hipsterish girl dressed as an abstract zebra. (I'll let you guess who won that contest.) I remember at the time kicking myself for not dressing up, as I think it was an easily winnable contest.

Not wanting to miss the opportunity again this year, I suited up as
an oldie, but goodie: the wind-powered, Affirmative Action inspired Samurai from The Superfriends. I even took the time beforehand to tailor the costume so it would seem less diaper-like. I was confident.

And then I saw my fellow contestants. Five-year olds. Nary another adult to be seen. I'd be competing against adorable, little children for gift certificates to a Halloween store.

Fortunately, I'm not a proud man.

There were four of the little buggers. Two were quickly weeded out by show of applause - the first was a kid with a strap on tiger mask, and the second who was wearing the ninja mask that was part of a third kid's costume. So it was down to me, an adorable little witch girl and the even more puckish little half-ninja child, to whom someone had given an inflatable guitar, transforming his off-the-shelf Power Rangers ensemble into a "Guitar Hero" getup.

Guess who came in third. Against 2 kids.

As I said, I'm not a proud man. $50 gift certificate, baby... Kaze no Yō ni Hayaku!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Putting Lot

It's your last weekend to combine the inspiring spectacle of public installation art with the joys of Putt-Putt Golfing! It's The Putting Lot, and it's closing Sunday, October 4th!

Head out to Bushwick, where a mere $5 will get you a ball, club and the chance to play on 9 putting holes designed by 9 different artists in a formerly empty lot deep in East Brooklyn. Mostly designed from reclaimed materials, the different installations range from a pink soda bottle forest and lake to a storefront bodega where you have to shoot your ball through an old stand-up video game. The first hole is a clever simple stretch of "green" that is simply a photo poster of the garbage that was in the exact spot where the green sits.

It's easy enough to get to. Just take the L-Train out to the Jefferson stop, get out at the Jefferson/Wycoff exit and walk a block to 12 Wycoff. Done. Afterwards, grab some cheap tacos from the highly rated Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos, a few blocks away at 271 Starr Street (between Wyckoff Ave & St Nicholas Ave). There's a map on the link.

It's a mite chilly this weekend, of course, so take a jacket.