NoSalesTax

Two Elon alumni (2002) have pooled their talents to bring excitement and joy to your day. One is a classy woman who combines her Italian and feminine powers to influence men of all shapes and sizes. The other is a tall blond man who relies on wit and boyish good looks to impress women, especially when they're drunk. Join them in their epic pursuit of the phenomenon known as adulthood. NoSalesTax side effects may include addiction and abrupt laughter as colleagues look on in confused jealousy.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Beer Money

Before I begin, understand that I’m sitting at my boss’ desk at 7pm on a Friday, wearing black coveralls and a long black wig. No, I don’t have a date tonight. I’m actually the star attraction of the haunted hallway at the annual YMCA Halloween Extravaganza. Every 10 min., my boss comes by w/ the latest tour group and opens the door. I flip on some scary Pink Floyd song and turn in the swivel chair to face the kids, the computer screen’s glow the only light in the room, illuminating my face. Then I stand up and scream, throwing my hands up and begin walking toward them w/ outstretched hands. Granted, it’s no gorilla suit running through T-Rock’s party, but I’ve definitely made a few kids cry tonight. Yes, I am the camp director.

So I made 75 bucks on Wed. just by telling people what I think. I’ve always known my opinions are worth something, but I never thought it was $50/hr. K-Man forwarded me an email looking for men ages 23-29 to take part in a focus group. Other than age, the only prerequisite was a love for beer. Holy smokes, that’s me!

For an hour and a half, I sat w/ seven other guys and discussed Sam Adams beer as a very cute woman prompted us with questions. Behind her was a mirror that spanned the wall. She was sure to inform us before we began that her colleagues would be watching us from behind the double-sided glass. We were also being videotaped. I thought about picking my nose and listening for laughter from behind the glass, but worried I wouldn’t get my money if I did.

I instead offered my opinions on radio ads and packaging for six-packs. The other guys were somewhat creative, but I definitely got some looks when I went off on tangents about redesigning the entire box. The marketing girl was definitely turned on when I suggested keeping the basement scene for Sam Adams Light, but illuminating “Sam Adams Light” with a basement light.

At the end, she asked me for my email address, to which I obliged. OK, so she asked everyone for their email address, but I think she was just being nice to the rest. I also made $75 for eating free sandwiches and sharing my thoughts on beer. Not too shabby for a Wed. afternoon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go scare some more kids.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Night of the Living Dad

As a kid I dreamed about having a party to celebrate the two best days October has to offer- my birthday and Halloween. My parents made this dream come true in 1991. My friends received invitations to my haunted birthday party and were asked to wear costumes. I believe this was the same year as my two headed lady catastrophe, so my costume only stayed on for half the party…but not to worry, I had a glow in the dark skeleton shirt on underneath. It matched my skeleton earrings and went well with my dark blue jams. (That’s right, JAMS! I said it! There! I’m a nerd!)

The festivities began at 7 with cake shaped like a spider and a stern warning from my mom that a convict had escaped a local prison. The news of the convict scared a few of my friends, but not enough to ruin bobbing for apples or the pumpkin decorating contest.
The news did, however, make us a little uneasy about the scavenger hunt my parents had planned for us in our backyard. But when 15 girls get hopped up on candy corn and spider cake, sugar shock makes them a little bold. So we decided we’d scavange through the 2 acres, looking for clues and various hidden items in the grass. With a prize like Bonne Bell lip smackers at stake, you take your chances, know what I mean?

What happened that night is now a blur of memories. But I think the real fun started when my dad, unbeknownst to the rest of us, set off a series of fire crackers from behind a tree deep into the yard. It sounded like missiles. Our screams and flailing bodies were enough to keep us distracted while he got the tractor started, which he then sent screeching up the yard with a bloody head lit up on it’s seat. Fifteen girls, fireworks, screaming, detached heads. Total Chaos.

None of this prepared us for what happened next.

As we ran towards the house, I think it was Suzy who first noticed the sound coming from the bushes. We stopped dead in our tracks, as we had almost reached the back door- our safety from whatever the hell was happening in the backyard. When we turned to see where the noise was coming from, we saw what can only be described as a giant hairy “It”, running through the yard, in all black, with a chain saw roaring in the night.

I’m not an athletic girl. I mean, I was on the swim team for years and took dance lessons all my life, but I throw like a sissy and the only time I was ever described as “fast” was not in the context of running (but seriously, that “fast” was just a rumor.) But I can assure you that day, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. I clamored over my friends, pulling shirts and hair and whatever else would get me ahead of them and into the house the quickest. As we made our way into the den, slamming and locking the back door behind us, Kati started to cry. Then Jessica started to cry.

My mom acted like she had no idea what was really going on. Over the next half an hour, she convinced us that, not only had we just had a run in with an escape convict, but that my dad was missing. Probably the criminal’s latest victim. Was it dad’s head on the tractor?

We would never know. As the night came to an end, and mothers came to our door to retrieve their daughters, most of which had probably pissed their pants, my brother, sister and I stuck close to our own mother. There were a lot of smirks going on amongst the adults, but my worry and fear kept me oblivious to their meaning. When everyone left for the night, we looked at my mom in terror, wondering why the police had not been called, why dad was missing, and what we were going to do about it.

But in the time it took me to get out the words, “This was the worst birthday ever”, my daddy had materialized, coming down from the roof, dressed in a gorilla costume.

His first words to me? Not, surprise! Or, happy birthday! Or, sorry I made your friends piss their pants, but rather, “The gorilla suit was last minute. I wanted to wear something else, but your mom thought this would really scare you guys. It was really hot in there.”

Some of those girls never came back to my house.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

From Cartoons to Vegetables


Some folks don’t take Halloween quite as seriously as T-Rock. I’ve survived just as many last days of October as my blogmate, but I cannot go into quite as much detail as she. With that, I leave you w/ my top five Halloween costumes (in descending order).

5) Go-Bot, 1985 – Don’t get me wrong, this costume was awful. I think of that year every time I listen to the Seinfeld bit on Halloween, when he mentions the plastic mask w/ the cheap rubber band holding it on, and it keeps breaking and the mask keeps getting tighter until you can’t breathe. I just remember panicking that night as trick-or-treating hours loomed (in New York City, you do not exceed the set hours for fear of gunshot wounds). My mom and I were desperately trying to make a robot costume out of a cardboard box. The box was too wide, however, and resulted in me walking around the room w/ my arms out like a muscle-bound frat guy looking for freshman girls. Then my dad came home w/ a yellow Go-Bot costume he bought on his way home from work. And that, my friends, is how my dad saved Halloween.

4) Roger Rabbit, 1989 – My mom made the entire costume from scratch, and it was awesome. If I still had the rabbit ears, and a girlfriend, I’d give them to her for a Playboy bunny costume. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about either.

3) Kobe Bryant, 2003 – Just before the NBA season tipped off, I decided to finally take the easy way out and dress as a pro athlete. After his tumultuous summer, Kobe was an easy target. I constructed my own Lakers jersey and wore it w/ matching shorts. I then found some leaves and women’s clothes and made a scarecrow, its head a balloon w/ an “expressive” face. I sewed the back of the dummy’s waist to the front of mine and met my fellow party-goers, being sure to keep one hand around the dummy’s neck. Much like my personality, everyone either hated it or loved it as I received high-fives and disgusted looks throughout the night.

2b) Superman, 1999 – Less than two months into my Elon career, some friends were headed to Chapel Hill for the famous Franklin Street Halloween festivities. Needless to say, I needed an affordable, creative costume. I ended up wearing a girl’s Superman t-shirt (waaaaay too tight on me), blue windpants, long red socks, red Filas, red boxer briefs (over the windpants), and a shiny nylon cape w/ a beautiful “S” on the back. Looking back on it, the costume wasn’t that great. Then again, neither were those friends.

2a) Superman, 1983 – Again my mom made the entire costume by hand, and it was dead-on. I have a picture of myself that night, for some reason, and the resemblance is uncanny. If Superman had white-blond hair and an ‘80s haircut, Lois Lane wouldn’t be able to tell us apart.

1) Eggplant Man, 2001-2002 – Easily my most famous creation, Eggplant Man was born at summer camp 2001. During a counselor skit, I fished out a full-body purple spandex suit from the drama closet and immediately became Britney Spears (check out her Oops, I Did It Again video, over and over and over…). So two months later, when my friends and I decided to hit up Franklin St. our senior year, I racked my brain for a costume that involves purple spandex. I luckily found a green beehive wig at Walmart, and instantly became Eggplant Man. The logo on my chest said it all, and may very well be the only eggplant I ever draw. I wore it again the next year during the AmeriCorps Halloween bowling party. Days later I nabbed the best g/f ever. Coincidence, or power of the giant vegetable? We may never know.

Monday, October 24, 2005

And my mime costume didn't even make the list...

We carved a pumpkin and it rotted…I toasted pumpkin seeds and it gave the Greggster a stomach ache….and now the idea of nothing to do on Halloween is making me sad….so today I will reminisce about great costumes from the past.
1. Lady Smurf
Talk about great parents…I had blue makeup and an adorable little white dress. The perfect costume for me because yes, I am a lady. A classy lady. A smurf lady.
2. Two headed lady
One year I told my parents I wanted to make my own costume without their help, so I used this fake head my mom brought home from her art studio and attached it to a pole and a harness, which I slung over my shoulder and carried for an excruciating 3 hours. Towards the end of the night I took the head and the harness off, and walked around in what was leftover- a black shirt and pants. I can’t really remember what I said I was at that point. Maybe I should have exposed the giant bruise the fake head and harness made on my shoulder. At least them I would’ve looked like a battered woman or crash test dummy.
3. Morticia Adams.
I’d repeat this one given the option. A few friends of mine wanted a theme, so we picked the Adams Family…we had a Pugsley, Flora and Fauna, Morticia, Cousin It and Grandma. My dad wasn’t too keen on the idea of letting us roam around the neighborhood by ourselves, so he dressed up as Lurch. He was a good sport. He even did the groaning noises all night. I’m lucky to have this kind of a dad.
4. Red m&m
My mom used a hoola hoop to construct a giant red m&m. I wore a red mask and painted my hair red and looked absolutely adorable. I think I won a prize that year.
5. Heidi Fleiss
Two years ago my roomie and I racked our brain to come up with flirty, funny costumes. We raided our neighbor’s closets, toyed with the idea on naughty schoolgirls, but couldn’t settle into one thing. Then we remember- I had a hot black suit and she had a horrible fur coat….So we were Heidi and a hooker. This was a serious crowd pleaser.
6. Dirty Girl Scout
In another attempt to be sexy, I decided I’d be everyone’s favorite alcoholic beverage. I used my sister’s old Girl Scout costume, a short tight skirt and knee high boots. Unfortunately I saw about 10 other girl scouts that night….but they were just slutty girl scouts. I had an edge because mine was actually the name of a shot. You see how much smarter I am than other people? I really have that going for me.
7. Miss North Carolina
Remember the scandal a few years ago that involved a certain Miss Carolina, certain ex boyfriend and certain naughty pictures that were taken “without her knowledge”? I was working at a bar that year and the other hostess and I both dressed up as Miss North Carolina…the naughty one and the one who took over her crown…We told people if they could guess which was which, they could see the nude pictures that were taken. No one answered correctly. Can you imagine?
8. Snow White
In an attempt to not be sexy, but rather stay warm and not embarrass myself, seven college friends and I painted t shirts and quite easily became Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We even had little dwarf hats for them, and I wore a red ribbon. We got a lot of compliments that year, mostly from drunk girls who were freezing cold in their mini skirts and tank tops. Losers.
9. Lydia from the movie Beetle juice
Totally obscure but great costume…by the end of the night I told people I was a witch, just so I didn’t have to explain it anymore. Some people have no imagination.
10. Supportive Girlfriend
Last year, the Marine Corps Marathon was on Halloween, so instead of wearing a costume, I wore a water bottle, a fanny pack and a camera, and trudged along the marathon course with my future mother in law, cheering on our men, taking pictures, and drinking free samples of Michelob Light. Oh, and gagging about all the bloody nipples we saw. I’m not kidding.
11. A Princess
Most girls have been princesses at some point in their lives, right? My mom was working at a costume and art studio at the time, and got a hold of this incredible white and gold medieval princess costume for me. It was beaded and totally over the top, a dress fit for a real princess. I however, felt like it needed something….so I wore a green metallic wig, just to really drive home the point that my childhood and imagination were really out of the ordinary. I think my brother was a bull matador that year. Who ARE we????