It was Halloween night and Max and I were ready to go to Scorpion’s party. We kept our costumes a secret from each other and saw them for the first time when we met at our front door.
He was dressed in gold lame pants and turtleneck and wore a pointy gold- sprayed paper mache headdress resembling a radish. Through a square cutout, l could see his face.
Two Marilyn Monroes – one squat, one tall – wearing blonde wigs, white halter dresses with pleated skirts, heels and red lips, sashayed over.
“So,” he said, looking proud, “what do you think?”
“Well ….. it will give people pause.”
“Of course! But do you like it?”
I sighed. “Who are you?”
“Well, I interpreted freely. I’m a Golden Radish Award!”
“Ah!” I said. “I should have known!” Oy, vey.
Max said, “Obviously, with that black wig, animal print gown and Egyptian jewelry, you are Cleopatra!”
“You like it?”
“Stunning! But what’s in that basket under your arm?”
“Just in case anyone wants to see my asp!”
He rolled his eyes.
The taxi took us to La Casa de Scorpion. We knocked at the door and a butler in black tie let us in.
The grand staircase winding to the second floor was draped with black netting. Nail and string spider sculptures hovered everywhere as if ready to strike. Dozens of carved pumpkins of every size and facial expression punctured the darkness. Miniature orange lights dotted furniture and paintings.
Scorpion, greeting guests, was dressed in a green chef’s uniform, complete with tall pleated red hat hiding his ponytail. He wore stuck-on gray eyebrows and moustache.
“He looks like a stuffed olive with legs,” Max whispered.
I poked him in the ribs.
“Dear Sylvia and Max!” Scorpion exclaimed, looking us over. “How unique! Max, obviously you are one of the five Golden Radish Awards you’ve won. And Sylvia, Cleopatra never looked lovelier!”
He put his hands on his hips and looked directly at Max. “Recognize me?”
Max shook his head.
Scorpion laughed. “I’m you, Max, on the cover of Garnishing Today after winning your fifth Golden Radish!”
I smirked. Ha, ha, Max.
Max sputtered, “You came as me?”
“Of course! It’s a ‘Come as Someone You Admire Party’.” He winked at me.
At that moment, two Marilyn Monroes – one squat, one tall – wearing blonde wigs, white halter dresses with pleated skirts, heels and red lips, sashayed over – Bobo and Cutlass.
Bobo laughed. “Isn’t this a scream? We kept our costumes a secret from each other! But – great minds think alike!”
Mr. Francis from the Francis Gallery where Scorpion and I had our show, sidled over. He looked the way he always did in a suit with tie and pocket handkerchief.
“How nice to see you,” I said.
“It is isn’t it?” he sniffed. “I came as myself, of course!”
I should have known.
The guests included Roman emperors, Elvis Presley, Marie Antoinette, Frida Kahlo, the creepy twins from “The Shining,” Edward Scissorhands and one Mother Teresa. We danced to “Monster Mash,” “Giant Purple People Eater” and “Thriller.”
A huge pumpkin cheese ball, hot dogs wrapped up like mummies, squash fritters with spicy red dip and blood orange martinis were served – all made by Scorpion.
The senses were indulged. When the party ended, Scorpion announced his spider sculptures were party favors.
Examining ours, Max said, “What could I get for this on e-Bay?”
“Now, Max,” I said, “it’s an original piece of art.”
At the door, Scorpion kissed me on the cheek. “By the way, what’s in that basket?”
“Oh,” I said, tossing my wig, “it’s in case anyone wanted to see my asp.”
“Come along, Your Highness,” Max said, pulling me along. “I’ll bring the spider. You bring your asp.”
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