I first caught wind of the conspiracy about a year ago. Halloween had just ended and one of the regulars at Tiny Tim's Pizza/West Mountain Brewing Company suggested that next Halloween, everyone should dress up like me. To say that Dave's suggestion caught my attention would be an understatement. Dress like me? I asked myself. The very idea of it was amusing and yet, horrifying. I told myself that it was just another weird alcohol-induced idea that would soon be forgotten; and for the following eleven months, I heard nothing else of it.
Then, about a month ago someone accidentally spilled the beans to me. An Al-oween celebration was scheduled to take place during happy hour on the night before Halloween. My worst fears were realized when I was forced to confront the fact that other people were going to attempt looking like me, the person who really doesn't like photos of himself. The next few weeks sped by quickly as we descended deeper into autumn and toward the inevitability that I knew I'd have to face.
As the event drew near, I wondered how I should dress for the occasion. Let's face it, I have no problem with being different and since everyone was planning to mimic me, I thought that perhaps I should dispense with my usual dark attire and instead, wear some old worn-out blue jeans, throw on a flannel shirt, leave my hat at home and assume a bit more of a grunge look.
"What? Are you going to let them out goth you?" Thomas asked. "You've got to show them that you're the goth king. Wear your cloak and show them how to do it right!"
My friend's words inspired me and I quickly decided that I would indeed, wear the Van Helsing cloak that my Canadian friend, The Insomniac,
had made for me.
The day of reckoning started off cloudy; and as the afternoon progressed toward evening, the dreariness continued to intensify. A light rain was falling as I stepped into the gloom and made my way toward the pub and the celebration in my name. I made it a point to arrive early so that I could sit in my favorite and customary spot at the bar.
The first thing I noticed upon entering was this banner, which hung above the doors in the front. The entire piece was created by Kerrie, a very talented artist who is on staff there. In true artistic style, she signed her name on the back. Over the course of the evening many other notes and signatures appeared on the front.
I took my place at the bar and ordered a brown ale. No sooner had I taken a sip or two when this character came in. Some folks in attendance believed that his hat made him look a bit like a pimp. I however, thought that he looked like Slash, and quite a few others agreed. So, this fellow quickly gained the identity of Pimp/Slash Al.
The above character's arrival was followed by Disco Al, who came on the scene complete with an Afro (something I haven't seen in ages), a shiny belt and his dancing shoes. I never thought of myself as a disco-liking person, but how could I argue with this hard evidence to the contrary?
Now the lady on the left deserves special attention. She is Female Bartender Al. In actuality, she manages the place and was behind this whole affair from the git go. I believe it may have been she who originally gave me the name, Dark Al; this, in order to distinguish me from the other three or four Als who hang out at the place. I like to tease her about putting some metal on the sound system or otherwise coming over to the dark side, but she never does. Recently however, she took a trip to New Orleans and came back with the shirt you see here. A house of voodoo indeed!
Standing on my left is Authentic-Looking Al. He did an incredible job of copying my style and some folks actually confused him for me. He was also behind many of the photos I've posted here.
The Als kept multiplying faster than mushrooms after a storm!
From left to right are Male Bartender Al, Female Bartender Al, Girl Al, myself, Pimp/Slash Al, Disco Al and Professor Al.
And then Reformed Alcoholic Rabbi Al made his appearance!
Now this particular Al wore a very, very cool hat. As a matter of fact, his hat has renewed my interest in acquiring a witch-hunter hat of my own.
This is Owl Al. He tried very hard to convince me that he wasn't wearing a wig but I didn't buy it, not for a minute.
Here we have Madison Al. She's another one of the delightful people who work at this special place.
The Als kept showing up until there were an estimated 25 or so of me in the establishment. While I can't remember the exact names all of the unique Als who showed up, I can recall a few more, such as Off The Bad Golf Course Al, sexy Al and Pirate Al (well, at least that's what I called him).
In closing, I have to say that Al-oween was a heck of a lot of fun, even for a somewhat introverted and reclusive type like myself. Most importantly, I feel fortunate to hang out at a place where everyone is so awesome. Hell, they actually seem to like me! And because of me, a whole lot of people went goth for a night. How cool is that?
Photos appear courtesy of Don Shreve
and Melissa Boyte.