ORIGINALLY POSTED 10/23/2014
When I set to thinking each year about what would make a great Halloween costume, I’m usually brought back to a simple decision I made almost ten years ago. I was living in New Hampshire, and had been invited to a friend’s house party. The weather report was for a cold, clear night, (house parties always seem to spill outside) and I knew there would probably be around thirty people attending the party. Now, I have always been an introvert, and any introvert never really enjoys being around a large group of people, even when they are all friends. So, while the creative in me wanted a costume that somehow stood out, the introvert in me wanted to be left alone to have deep and meaningful conversations with myself. The costume I decided on turned out to be the single greatest Halloween idea that I’ve ever had.
I wore a gorilla suit. From head to foot, I was a big furry gorilla.
Now this solution seems simple, and not very creative, not to mention there was a high level of likelihood that the six-foot-three, two hundred and fifty pound gorilla might attract a lot of attention at a party. However, it wasn’t really the costume alone that made the idea perfect for me, it was what the costume afforded me the ability to do.
When I arrived at the party everyone walked directly over to the big gorilla that had just entered, and believe it or not, were incredibly entertained when the gorilla refused to say a word, or identify who was wearing the costume, or to acknowledge them in any human way whatsoever. I had created the perfect wall between the party and myself. This was a stroke of antisocial genius. I walked around, all night long, awkwardly standing next to people, dancing wildly to bad music, and all the while, never having to make small talk or pretend to be interested in anything I didn’t want to take an interest in.
As the night wore on, the entertainment my gorilla costume was giving me mounted. I could overhear people’s conversations about me as if I weren’t there.
“Who’s the big gorilla?” someone would ask.
“We think it’s Dylan, but we’re really not sure.”
“What do mean? You don’t know who it really is?”
“The gorilla hasn’t said a word to anyone all night. Honestly, we’re not sure if Dylan even said he was coming to the party.”
“Isn’t that kind of weird?"
“Yes. No. I don’t know. It’s kind of funny. Everybody’s finding hidden bananas all over the house.”
Before the party, I went to the grocery store and purchased roughly twenty bananas. Then, right before the party, I placed all of the bananas in a black backpack and wore it over the gorilla suit. Throughout the night, I hid bananas in random places all over the house. I put a banana in a light fixture, I put a banana in someone’s bed (under the sheets), I put a banana in the toilet, a couple hours into the night and there were bananas everywhere. I even found out the next day that the party’s hostess had woken up covered in smashed banana. She probably should have checked for bananas before falling asleep that night.
The gorilla became the odd event of the party, and everyone loved it. I’ll admit, I did have a few conversations with other people throughout the night, but they happily agreed to keep my secret and keep the gag going. The gorilla suit gave me the ability to experience the party in only the ways I wanted to, and it remains the best costume I’ve ever had. Maybe I’ll bring the silent gorilla back one day?