It all started Friday with trivia at the Brick, where my team didn't win the pot but did take home the largest of three bonus-question pumpkins (now moldering on a doorstep in Strawberry Hill). I followed the loss by drinking an energy drink bought at a gas station and taking a "disco nap" on my futon.
After a refreshing shower, I headed to the West Bottoms loft of John Bersuch, who had converted his living space into a haunted house. A couple hundred feet of black plastic sheeting formed a maze, and dudes in scary costumes were supposed to be going Boo! Bersuch had offered his scarers free beer, though, and they all got drunk and wandered off, leaving the maze a disorienting, pitch-black tunnel.
There were some impressive costumes: a 7-foot-tall dead bunny, a sandwich, a couple making out beside a prone Satan, and Kenny Rogers. That last was the stand-in for 'Toine, the hype man for Bacon Shoe, in which Bersuch is the MC, Lethal D. The real 'Toine had gone to South Korea with his girlfriend to teach children how to make chicken-fried steak (and maybe speak English, too), so D hired a kid named Greg Franklin to replace him. Fake 'Toine, as Franklin is called, did well. He has an unusually good white-boy rap voice. I didn't stay for what came next, a band called Ewok Grinder featuring Franklin not as Kenny Rogers but, I assume, an Ewok.
For some people, nothing is beyond reach. Saturday, I went out alone dressed in a half-assed Sherlock Holmes costume: trench coat, pipe, deerstalker, mock cravat. I went to the Embassy, the bar on Main where Muddy's and Slam-Erz used to be. DJ troupe Nomathmatics was holding court with two video projectors, a turntable, a CD-J and a farm of laptops. This fabulous group, which spins electro-pop, new wave, punk and just about anything retro and dancey, is made up of three young Hallmark graphic artists and a videographer named Paul Villasi, who shows vintage exercise videos, titty films and the like and claims, "I haven't gotten a single iota of footage from YouTube."
The Embassy was jumpin' like a toad. A lot of sexy people apparently work at Hallmark. Besides Nomathmatics, with their black-shirt-and-tie fascismo cool, there were Hallmarkers Magnum P.I. , his robot girlfriend, a svelte female Malcolm McDowell from A Clockwork Orange and two babes built like valkyries in T-shirts and jogging shorts. Cody Critcheloe of the Ssion showed up later. "They [Nomathmatics] need to have a monthly night because everybody's desperate for one good dance night. It may exist, but I don't know about it," Critcheloe said.
I agree. How does every third Tuesday at my apartment sound?
I ended up at Karma, where I talked to Marie Antoinette and her stately, dead boyfriend.
Sunday, I gave up trying to kick my drungover (hangover with remaining tipsiness) and made myself a cocktail. Then a friend called with a free ticket to the Buzz Halloweenie Roast in Westport, featuring the Architects, Blackpool Lights, Placebo, She Wants Revenge and Social Distortion.
By this time, I had rechristened myself Howlin' Jack Hague and was taking notes on my arm. The only good bands were the locals (the first two) and Social D.
After this, I slept in my car for a while, then, after fortifying with a No. 1 from Taco Bell, witnessed the return of DJ Hottentot Potentate (given name: Duncan Burnett, a former employee at Westport record store Rock Therapy) at the Record Bar. My last stop, again, was Karma, where one of the guys from She Wants Revenge was supposed to be DJing. I never found out for sure whether he was there, but there was plenty of New Order in the air.
Things got weird. For no perceivable reason, a friend gave me $20 for my watch (refunds available within 30 days, RyJo), but when all was said and done, I did not violate my personal maxim, A gentleman does not "get freaky."