This years Halloween costume was my best costume ever! I was the Hulk! But it wasn't easy. When all was said and done, Karla and I spent close to 20 hours on this costume.
It all started one day, when I saw this new toy in the store called The Hulk Hands. They were gigantic foam Hulk fists that you wear like boxing gloves. The best part was, when you punch things, they'd make crashing "hulk" noises, and say things like, "Hulk Smash!". Naturally I wanted them. Who wouldn't? Since they were obviously targeted toward kids, I had to come up with some kind of reason to actually buy them. Fortunately for me, Halloween was just around the corner.
Ok, great. I figured I'll be the Hulk this year for Halloween. The problem was, Hulk hands don't exactly make a complete costume. Oh, I'd seen some of the Hulk costumes offered at the stores, but they mostly entailed some kind of big, pillow-stuffed sweat shirt that was supposed to look like muscles. Mostly they looked pretty stupid. If I was going to be the Hulk, it had to be really cool, really funny, or both.
I was about to give up the search (and forget my dream of owning my own Hulk hands), when I came across a flyer in the paper for K-Mart advertising this years new costumes. Apparently, the big new costume this year at K-Mart were these inflatable costumes. They had quite a variety including Sumo Wrestlers, Football players, and the Muscle Man pictured to the left.
I thought, "Wow, that's perfect! Do they make a green one?". Well, it turns out they didn't make a green one. In fact, no one makes a good looking green muscle suit. Never-the-less, I thought I'd get this costume. If I couldn't figure out how to turn it into the Hulk - well it's still a pretty funny costume, right?
The Inflatable Muscle Man Costume was made out of nylon. Ordinarily, nylon can be dyed - but it requires a special kind of dye called Acid Dye (it's scary sounding, but the acid is actually house-hold vinegar). So I ordered a big batch of green Acid Dye and gave it a try. The directions called for dyeing the "garment" for 45 minutes. Well, after 45 minutes, the Muscle Man suit didn't look any different so I left it in for another three hours! As it turns out, nylon won't dye if it's been weather treated, or fire proofed - both of which were done to the Muscle Man suit. To make matters worse, parts of the suit weren't as weather and fire treated as well as others. Parts of the suit actually did turn slightly green. The result was, now I couldn't even wear the costume as originally intended. Things looked grim. This costume was turning into an expensive failure.
By now it was just 3 days until our big annual Halloween party. Out of desperation I tried coloring a section of the costume with a green Sharpie pernanent marker that I'd gotten free in Bristol Tenessee at the Sharpie 500 NASCAR race back in August. It worked great! However, the pen only lasted for about a quarter of one leg before it was dry. Well to make an already long story slightly shorter, $40 worth of permanent markers, and 15 hours later the suit was complete.
Karla even sewed a velco fly in the crotch for me, which was nice considering all the beer that was flowing during our Halloween party.
One final note. The Hulk Hands actually also came with a Hulk Mask. But it was too hot to wear, so I resorted to make-up. Besides, the make-up looked funnier - and it only took 3 showers to get it all off.