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All that work for nothing

Published: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 11:47 a.m. CDT

After reading Ty Rushing’s column yesterday, I was reminded of my own Halloween costume horror story.

It happened in the sixth grade. the last year my family allows kids to go out trick-or-treating. “Ghostbusters” had come out that summer and every cool kid wanted to be one.

So, with the help of some of my dad’s electronic engineering friends, we made a homemade Ghostbuster costume, complete with proton pack (with all the lights, thanks to the aforementioned electronics guys). In a word, it was awesome.

The two previous years, I was a pirate and a Crayola crayon. Being a Ghostbuster was going to make me the coolest kid in school, at least for a week or so. I had never been so excited for Halloween ever — nor have I since.

And then it happened.

The skies opened up. It didn’t rain, though. It poured. I’ve been drier walking out of a shower than we got in just three minutes outside in that storm.

Wearing a cardboard box coated in highly flammable spray paint and filled with handmade electronics was deemed a bad idea (in hindsight, I completely understand why). So, wearing the Ghostbuster costume was out.

While I went to school that morning, not knowing what I was going to do, my father and his friends cobbled together a new outfit that could survive the weather using a cardboard box and a wire coat hanger.

Yes, that year, I was a television set.

• • •

If you’re reading this, thank a teacher. If you’re reading this in English, thank a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.

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