One week ago, our annual pre-Halloween graveyard smash came to the historic Capitol Bowl. Monster Mash 2013! was an afternoon of costumes, kids, bowling, contests, eating, drinking, and -- above all -- fun.
Comparing last year’s Monster Mash to Monster Mash 2013 probably is not very enlightening. This year, we had more adults and kids over the course of the afternoon. This proves that the print media are not dead yet; the event made the top 8 gigs in both the Bee and the News & Review. Last year, more people came in costumes. We learned that fewer Halloween parties were attended the night before the 2012 Mash; being both vertical and in costume after a party the night before was asking too much. This year, we had many more bowlers. The lanes were full; maybe people finally have figured out that bowling is relatively inexpensive family entertainment. Last year, we had more dancers. Of course, that relates to how many people are in costume. Once you put on a costume, you are anonymous or at least somebody else. This year, we had better hula hoopers. Had we not declared a tie, our winning hula hoopers still would be going today -- a week later.
The bottom line, however, was that this year and last year ended up in a dead heat on the fun quotient! And I got to wear a wig, a different outlandish coat, and a garish -- actually, extremely garish -- simulated rhinestone skull ring. My costume was Amadeus meets Mark Lindsay at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
The big difference between last year and this year was that the Rockabilly Love Cats, Sneaky Tikis, and Lava Pups are a year wiser. Practice and gigging made for three bands that knocked the ball out of the park. A baseball metaphor is appropriate because the World Series was still underway. All three bands still are perfecting their schticks. Over the course of a year, some of us had learned what works and what does not.
In the “nothing teaches like playing live” department, the Kool Kat and I learned that we are not very good a impromptu standup. "Suck" may be a better description. The Rockabilly Love Cats were done. The Sneaky Tikis had played. Our hula hoop and costume contests were finished, and prizes awarded. The Pups successfully pulled off “Ghostbusters.” We were on a roll.
And then . . . and then . . . . Sue broke a string. As I was about to launch us headlong into “Rumble,” the Kool Kat exclaimed, “Wait! Wait!” What? Sue was off to grab her back up guitar -- 6 strings, not 4. While she and the Kool Kat fiddled with tuning and disabling 2 of the strings. I gabbed into the microphone. Becky ran her hand across her throat to indicate “shut up, fool.” But Sue and the Kool Kat were still fiddling around. What was I to do -- just stand there in stunned silence?
The Nagging Little Voice, which had been silent for awhile now, decided to join Becky. “Shut up or come up with something funnier.” I answered back -- inaudibly, thank goodness -- “stuff happens. You shut up.”
Finally, we were ready to play. We did. The crowd had fun. We brought the Sneaky Tikis up to close out the show. Monster Mash 2013! was in the books. And, as hoped, it was a graveyard smash.
As we packed up, somebody asked, "Why didn't you do the 'Monster Mash'?" My response was, "We got behind. Come back next year, and we will sing it just for you."