Tuesday, October 28, 2008


In one of my past iterations I worked in a small office filled with legal and medical professionals. Initially coming from a temporary agency and being hired shortly thereafter on a part time basis for doing light medical transcription, I found great pleasure in the hours spent with people whose brains I could admire. They also were a creative bunch, and at Halloween their creative juices took flights of fancy like you wouldn't believe. The year I was there, I was enabled to become a member of the Sheet Family.

Dress for the day was a large sheet with one hole for the head and two holes for the arms. On the back of the sheet where it stretched across our shoulders was the lettering: THE SHEET FAMILY. And on the front, each one of us had to pick our own given name.

As you can see from the photo above, family members were named NO, DUMB, TUFF, HOT, BULL, OH, LITTLE, A REAL, DIP, N DEEP, NEW, HOLY AND FULL OF.

We had made 11:30 lunch reservations at a local restaurant about three blocks away from our office, and at 11:15 we went downstairs in the elevator and took off walking along a busy highway to our destination. We expected people to stare - and to laugh - at us; what we did not expect was for cars to stop in the middle of the road to see what on earth was going on. Drivers would stick their arms outside the cars and signal us to "turn round" so they could see what our "given names" meant. Some cars came around the block twice. We were stopped along the street by passersby insisting on reading every last name.

And once in the restaurant, we were hardly able to eat our lunches because of others wanting to talk to us about our costumes. We were in a part of town that was highly commercial and many of the office people were dressed in absolutely outlandish costumes. Ours were simple and clever, and they were the hit of the day.

I do think you have to suspend your sense of propriety to pull of something like this, if propriety is an issue with you. It wasn't for me or for any of my friends, and not a Halloween goes by (it's been now close to 20 years) that I don't look at this picture and remember with great fondness that group of people and that occasion.

Those of you who know me will recognize me by my "name." Those of you who don't will just have to guess which one is me, but I'll give you a hint: I am.

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