It is hard to describe how the California Raisins looked to me then. Their jagged movements and strange eyes gave them an anesthetized quality, like hepcats that had just woken up from getting their wisdom teeth pulled. Those big, weird white gloves à la Mickey Mouse, but way cooler and—more importantly—way more adult. Unflappable, purple, saxophone-playing, rhythm and blues raisins.
“Mom, I must be a California Raisin for Halloween this year!”
It took little persuading to get her to phone my grandmother, a seamstress of the proper caliber for the undertaking. Grandma happily agreed to begin work on my visual opus and would make everything from scratch, just as she’d done in previous years for costumes such as mummy, army man, and mummy army man. While these had been merely generic ideas, the California Raisin costume would stand alone, I knew—a sloppy but brilliant confection of edginess, innovation, and haunting subliminal imagery. The Best Costume ribbon was as good as mine, and I’d probably steal the parade as well.
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So, what are you going to be this year?