Free Candy and Spiders: My Halloween Costume, 2009
This year, I wanted my costume to be a bit more interactive. I had a lot of fun with my Operation costume, and really enjoyed not just being dressed up… but being dressed up and interacting with people.
Of course, the goal is to give away candy. But the fun part to me was to come up with some way to make retrieving the candy a little… challenging. I wanted the candy to be free and available for anyone to take, but I also wanted to instill a little hesitation. To add in just a shadow of a doubt that might make them pause.
So I came up with a Safari explorer with a pet spider theme. I went to a few places and bought stuff like tan shirts/pants, a safari hat, a storage box… and an electronic, remote-controlled spider.
This guy looked pretty realistic. It was a gamble, but one that (as you’ll see below) was IMO well worth it.
Fill the box with candy and the spider. Add in a little sign, some cardboard for the lid with some flaps… and we’re in business!
I liked the opacity of the box, as you can definitely see the candy. And you can sort of make out the spider. There are some red lights for the spider’s eyes that I ended up trying to cover with marker… but used a small strip of electrical tape. It’s a bit obvious, but hard to see unless you’re super close.
I’ve go a rough story I’m sticking to. I’m from the Chicago Zoological society, and part of an outreach program to share a deeper understanding of spiders. My spider is named Nelly, who is actually a trap door spider. She doesn’t spin webs, but rather burrows underground and creates a small opening. When prey walk by, she darts through, injects them with venom, and drags them underground.
Things that I plan on saying:
“The thing about her bite? It really doesn’t hurt ALL that much.”
“I’m, like, 60% sure she’s asleep right now.”
“Here’s the up side. If she does bite you, the venom will actually send you into Anaphylactic shock, yes. But the neurotoxins will end up making you numb to everything. So you won’t really feel too much as you’re dying.”
As for the control, I cut a small hole in my pant pocket. I’ll slide the remote antenna through here, and let the actual control settle in my pocket. We’ll see how well I can coordinate it, but it lets me trigger the spider somewhat secretly.
And the final touch – multiple band-aids across my fingers, and small paired dots of red nail polish. I’ve got this on both hands, and I think it adds to the overall feel of what I’m doing.
Off to work!