Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day Two-Hundred Eighty: ZooBoo!

Once again: seriously? "ZooBoo"??

Supposedly, if you say it in a high-pitched "excited voice" while doing some sort of sparkly fingers, it's not so bad. I remain skeptical.

All righty, so I missed church this morning to work at Houston's ZooBoo. It was, on the whole, a very fun and well-organized event, and a highly advantageous one for our organization to be a part of, so it was a good/productive way to spend the morning, a decent excuse for an extremely rare case of churchgemissen.* Some highlights/observations:

--I'd estimate at least 65% of all the kids who were dressed up for the event were either superheroes or princesses. Nothing else even came close to these two genres. A very distant third was Star Wars characters. Fourth, I think, was dinosaurs. Which was odd, because every kid who was dressed as a dinosaur was one of two costumes. When I saw the first two, I thought they were homemade, but I kept seeing them the rest of the day, so maybe not. Among superheroes, Marvel characters were far more popular than DC, with Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, and (believe it or not) the Hulk getting considerable representation. As usual, DC seemed to be banking all of its chances on the cast of Gotham City as Batman, Robin, and Batgirl were fairly abundant. Also a few Supergirls and a Wonder Woman or two, but overall I'd say Wolverine was enough to outnumber all DC characters not named Batman put together. As for the princesses, most of them were pretty generic. I don't know if I should count the mermaid princesses as mermaids or princesses. Thoughts?

--Interesting that almost every Robin I saw was female, save for one one-year-old boy who's older brother was Batman. I have to admit, the she-Robin costume looked pretty cool, even though it was neither Stephanie Brown's nor Carrie Kelly's, the two female Robins. (Only Stephanie is from the main continuity, in case anyone cares) Sorry, Dick and Tim (and, to a lesser extent, Jason and Damien). Apparently red and yellow look better on a girl than a boy. Though admittedly, the she-Robins I saw today were wearing pretty sparkly Robin costumes, and I doubt Batman would have ever allowed his sidekick to wear glitter.

--Very few traditional Halloweenish things, costume-wise. No ghosts. A few skeletons. A couple of witches. Not a single Frankenstein's monster. There was one boy who had a creepy demon baby clawing its way out of his shoulder, and there was one bloody mummy, but otherwise it seems Halloween has largely been taken over by books, movies, celebrities, and more friendly archetypes (like princesses and dinosaurs). I'm actually okay with this. I appreciate Halloween more as a celebration of fantasy and imagination than of ghosts and goblins. Ghosts and goblins are very much a part of fantasy and imagination, but so are heroes and fables. Of course, I'm in a line of work that is all about pretending to be someone you're not (debatable: Most people are in a line of work that is all about pretending to be someone you're not), so I may be biased. All said, however, I don't think the shift from vampires to more modern fantasies like superheroes and Harry Potter characters is a bad thing at all.

--And yes, there were more than a couple Hermiones running around the zoo this morning.

--One of the worst ideas ever: the "make a scary noise!" contest. Basically, after the costume parade, you line all of the kids up and pass a microphone down the line, asking them all to make the scariest boo or scream they can. Then, the guy handing out color sheets and trying to share information about his children's theatre company to parents while their kids are coloring can listen for almost fifteen minutes as children scream, one after another, at the top of their lungs, into a microphone. Brilliant, ZooBoo. Simply brilliant.

--I got to watch a lion, an alligator, a few monkeys, and a couple of giraffes teach a bunch of kids (and one acting bug) how to do the entire Thriller dance. The zoo brought in a dance squad and dressed them up as animals--one of the giraffes was on stilts!--and they spent half an hour teaching a large group of children to do the dance. Thus, Thriller survives to the next generation. My friend Hannah, whom I now officially suspect has super powers (though exactly which powers remain uncertain), stayed in the "bug suit" for the full time, then took nearly half an hour to get back to the break room due to the swarming of small children wanting hugs and pictures. It was epic. I've been in the bug suit for 30 minutes before, but never a full hour, and never while doing Thriller. Outdoors. Epic.

--Not ZooBoo at all, but awesome day to be a Texans fan. We play our first solid game against a good team of the season, and the Titans suffer one of the most embarrassing losses in recent history. Looks like the whole season will be this up-and-down type of nausea-inducing theme park ride. Good thing I like theme park rides.

*not actually German for "missing church"--the WBW editorial staff.