The Halloween Parade

Eight men dressed as hookers.

Eleven women dressed as Corpse Corps members. The rendition of the Eighteenth Squad by their lovers had everyone laughing.

One person in a Richard Nixon mask. One of Ronald Reagan, and four of Clinton. There were six Dick Cheneys. Amazing how the old monsters never die. The one wearing the president’s mask–where did they find that, anyway?–got both boos and cheers.

Three little girls dressed as princesses.

One little kid dressed as Meaker. One was wearing his youth hockey uniform and one dressed in a karate robe. One eight year old had a Nielsen jersey on and carried–and dropped–a football. He wouldn’t have been old enough to have remembered seeing Nielsen play, but was too young to be blamed for appreciating the laughs he got.

One guy dressed as Donald Trump ran up to Brooks and said, “You’re fired.” Everyone laughed, even Brooks.

Seven vampires, most of indeterminate sex.

The people dressed up as the Fruit of the Loom fruits looked good enough to eat.

The woman who wanted to advertise her availability by wearing nothing but shaving cream was barred from the event by Brooks, much to her distress.

Several people dressed up as Romans in togas, drinking wine, probably real, straight from the bottle. There were twelve gangsters, male and female. No less than nineteen women dressed up in maids outfits. Two cross-dressing male nuns dragged Father Tutumbo rather unwillingly behind them in chains. He said a mass soon thereafter attended by thirty people.

Four ninjas appeared out of nowhere to attack the nine pirates and stage a battle, where like little kids playing cops and robbers, everyone declared themselves invulnerable to the other side’s attacks.

Three drunken doctors and four equally drunk nurses offered free exams (without a copay) to the suddenly ill.

All the kids cheered for a tall, thin penguin waddling down the parade route carrying a hockey stick. He would waddle up to a child before suddenly turning and running in the opposite direction to howls of laughter. The adults assumed there had been some new cartoon to replace Spongebob just before the collapse made it impossible to spend hundreds of dollars on made-in-China merchandise. They shrugged, but they still laughed at the kids’ hysterics.

There was a Cat in the Hat. There were two clowns, one of whom was wasted and the other who juggled machetes. There was a girl in a blue and white cheerleader’s outfit who did backflips, cartwheels, and other impossible flying combos without pause down the course to loud cheers.

There was a man or woman in a monkey suit. No one ever figured out who it was.

Somehow, there was candy for every kid. There was pumpkin pie. There was cider and apples.

Inside and out that night, there were no zombies. It was a good night.

By a year later, one third of the people would be gone, victims of the hunger, the cold, the disease, the undead. But for one night, no one cared.

It was a good night.

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