So here it is:
Yeah. That’s me in the gorilla suit.
Some kids kept their distance, but most came up to me and shook my hand, while a few even gave me (or rather, the gorilla) big bear hugs. Yes, it’s all cuddly, fluffy fur on the outside, but in the suit I’m a sweaty, sticky, yucky mess.
But hey, it’s Halloween.
No, it’s not the 31st. Not yet. But here in Japan, we don’t have any trick-or-treating like I enjoyed back when I was a kid growing up in rural California. There are plenty of Halloween costume parties for teenagers and above, but younger kids can’t go candy hunting on Halloween night.
Therefore, in order to allow our students, their friends, and the local community to get a mild feel for the American Halloween culture, every year my EFL school hosts a kids’ Halloween event on the last Sunday of October. The teachers all dress up for a day. We block traffic out of the main shopping street nearest our school and ask the owners of the various little shops to let the kids trick-or-treat at their doors. In addition, we run Halloween-themed crafts, story-telling, a short parade, and even a very small haunted house.
This year the event fell on the 26th, a cloudy but nevertheless warm, windless day, not at all conducive to wearing a fur jumpsuit, thick gloves and a stuffy plastic mask. But last year I wore a giant banana suit, so this year I was determined to play the gorilla. (First-world problems, I know...)
Our Halloween event has gotten progressively bigger each year, and this year, though I wasn’t counting heads through the slits in my mask, I would guess that more than 300 kids took part. Aside from a few tears in the haunted house, everyone looked like they had a great time. And despite spending four hours in a sauna suit, I did too. So a few more pictures from the event:
There are so many writers out there hoping to someday quit their day jobs and make a living writing full-time. While I fully sympathize with this sentiment (some of these people have absolutely horrid day jobs), nevertheless I am not one of them. I enjoy my day job too much for that. Not just events like this, but my day-to-day as an English teacher is lots of fun too. Anything can and does happen.
So will I ever start writing again? Well, that’s a post for another time.