Friday, October 26, 2012

What Bootsie Saw

I swear, it was the cutest thing I had ever heard Bootsie say.  It happened last Sunday night, after she had seen me dressed in a Halloween costume earlier that day.  "Googie?" she said with no small amount of incredulity in her little two-year-old voice.  "I saw you a boy."

She had indeed.  That afternoon, I had stuffed my hair under a short black wig, slathered the area around my eyes with dark shadow, spirit-gummed on some eyebrows and a mustache, and velcroed a fake bird to the shoulder of my mortuary-black jacket.  Why?  For three hours last Sunday, I became Edgar Allan Poe.

My other major writing interest, apart from this blog, is to help a former student of mine, known this time of year as "Joseph Nightmare," to produce poetry/prose readings every couple months at various venues in and around our town.  We call our organization "SpoFest."

In October, we become "SpookFest," complete with scary material, costumes, and special effects.  This year, in an effort to increase audience involvement, we added a three-round Edgar Allan Poe trivia contest.  Emceeing that contest was yours truly, outfitted to look the part from head to toe. (If you are interested, you can see our readings and trivia rounds on our website at

Googie as Edgar Allan Poe
I saw Bootsie eyeing me curiously as I left the house for SpoFest.  I was glad she didn't seem frightened or unduly alarmed.  She just kind of took in the sight, processed it during the evening, and, I think, was glad to see me morph back into the real Googie later.
I have always been fascinated by the way children use language to describe new experiences.  They take the limited vocabulary and syntax they know, and find a way to adapt it to an event or situation not yet in their repertoire.  People often think of these adaptations as "cute."  I think they are the brilliant epitome of creativity.  My baby girl saw me a boy, and, thanks to the photo, you can see me a boy too. 
We are thinking about Stephen King trivia for SpookFest 2013 (that is, if we are still around after our "Doomsday" SpoFest, set for Dec. 4, 2012).  That costume will probably be a little more challenging to put together, but I guess I had better prepare to see myself another boy.
I wonder what a then three-year-old will have to say about that?   


  1. Bootsie's comment also indicated the brutal honesty of children that age. How refreshing! I have had several moments like this in the past, but never wrote them down. Now I cannot remember them! Well that won't happen again! Thanks for reminding me to record all the precocious comments as they are spoken!

  2. This is wonderful and so glad we got to see the boy you! Should be fun to see how you recreate Stephen King and what Bootsie thinks of him!