This past Halloween, and for the third year in a row, I dressed in an obscure costume that I doubted anybody would recognize – a groundhog keeper on Groundhog Day. If you’ve seen or experienced how Groundhog Day is celebrated in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, you might recall that the groundhog keepers wear tuxedos with top hats to consult with Punxsutawney Phil about the weather. Since I already own a super-old tuxedo that I got while still living in Canada, I figured it would be pretty easy to create this costume – all I’d need is a top hat and a groundhog. Some black gloves and a scarf would have made the costume more legit, but hey, I live in Florida.
Late Halloween afternoon I put on the costume and headed outside, where hundreds of people were already gathered (Halloween is a huge deal here in Celebration). Surprisingly, a lot of people actually recognized who I was trying to be. Part of that could have been because I had my iPhone in my pocket playing the Pennsylvania Polka by Frank Yankovic and His Yanks on repeat.
The best part of the costume, of course, was the cute groundhog puppet I found online. A lot of children (especially the younger ones, but not always) thought that he was actually alive. Often, I would pretend to have my attention elsewhere (talking to a friend or whatever) while Punxsutawney Phil would mess around with the kids, give them high-fives, boop their noses, or try to steal their candy. The kids loved it. I kinda blended into the background, but I guess that’s the point of being a groundhog handler, isn’t it? Here is me and Phil:
While I’m on the subject of obscure Halloween costumes, here are the costumes I’ve worn for the previous two Halloweens. Last year I dressed as a Terraria cultist from the Terraria video game. This is the costume that Yvonne sewed for Callum two Halloweens ago, but as last year he dressed as something different, and since I hadn’t come up with an interesting costume idea yet, I figured I could reuse his Terraria cultist costume to wander around Celebration for a while. Here I am with Amelia in Celebration last year:
Finally, two years ago Yvonne sewed the pinnacle of Halloween costumes. Amelia, Yvonne and I went as the Chanels in their nurse costumes from the television horror comedy show Scream Queens, that was still on the air at the time (this was the same year that Callum dressed as a Terraria cultist). The TV show was obscure enough that most people who saw the costumes didn’t know who we were supposed to be, but we still got a whole lot of attention for them… me especially. Not sure why.
The characters we were patterning ourselves after can be seen in this picture. And here’s us:
Too bad you can’t see my shoes. They were totally fire 👠