And now, the latest in Geekkid Halloweenwear! Don’t ask me why, but my geeklets wanted to be things that blow up this year. The 4-year-old had to be a volcano (nature geek-in-training that he is), the 9-year-old, an exploding seltzer bottle. Both of these had to come with special effects of course. How could I resist!
The volcano suit headgear’s flames moved with fire-like realism via a plastic fan mounted in a soccer cone. Yes, there is a toggle switch, because hey, even real volcanoes rest. My greatest success was getting him to wear the headgear for a complete 2.5 minutes! At least he didn’t change his mind at the last minute…
When it comes to costumes, my daughter figures out her Halloween persona in February. She is basically the client, and I am the consultant. She conceives and instructs, I execute the hard stuff. (She’s got a future that one.) I went through several motor/power source failures until I realized that the best power source was wearing the costume! The analog solution was best. She had better control than any electric switch, plus she could modulate the effect without microcontrollers. After seeing her "explode" many times, it was still funny.
We live in the center of small town NJ, and the Halloween scene is like one you would see in a movie. It’s almost staged, but is completely natural, frenetic, and fun. The neighborhood really gets into it. One house even had a simulated electric chair with a strobe light and sound effects. (Unfortunately, all this activity prevented me from taking very good photos of the kids’ costumes in action.)
Some of the things I learned from this Halloween’s costume-making:
• I am making a holster for my glue gun and carrying it everywhere!
• There is some really flimsy crap being made for kids today. I swiped motors from handheld fans that fell apart in my hands. It’s a wonder anything works.
• I think everyone who embarks on any project like this should get a tattoo that reads "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" ("entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity").