Halloween 2012: The Big Shift

Jon as mad scientist
The actor gets into character.

PeterLaura While Jon’s been doing the trick-or-treating thing since he was two or three, we didn’t seriously start decking out both him and his entire wheelchair until about eight years ago. (We made up for the late start with some pretty decent costumes). But this year was the next big Halloween transition for the whole family.

Last year (and to a lesser amount the year before that), Jon’s deepening voice was causing some neighbours on our streets – the ones who didn’t know Jon, anyway – to lift an eyebrow a bit before shelling out. Admittedly it is a bit weird to give candy to a dude who says “trick or treat” in a resonant baritone, even if he is in a wheelchair.

Combine that with the fact that most years Jon didn’t want to go for marathon candy runs; he was content to make it three-quarters the way down our block (on one side) before declaring that it was time to head home. We’d stall a bit by dropping by some of the homes on the other side of the street, but generally had to motor home pretty fast because once Jon got tired of socializing, he let everyone know it. He’s not too candy-driven; to him a little is as good as a huge amount.

So this year Jon agreed to dole out candy on our front porch, as long as he still got to wear a costume. And got some candy on the side.

So he shelled out the rest. We expected him to last only a few minutes; he happily stayed on the porch for almost 90 minutes! As he always does, Jon picked his costume; this year he decided he wanted to be a mad scientist!

Jon as mad scientist
Mad scientist Jon! We were amazed the wig stayed on his head the whole time. You can’t see them very well, but he has goggles slung around his neck along with his askew tie.

Most of the costume had to be sourced rather than constructed, so it wasn’t nearly as labour-intensive as in other years. This worked well as Toronto was getting quite a bit of the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, especially in the rain and colder-weather department. Because there was no sewing involved Mom didn’t have to do much more than make brightly-coloured gelatine to fill the beaker, flask and test-tubes. (We used gelatine to prevent spills in case anything got knocked over by Jon or any trick-or-treaters).

Glowing round-bottom flask
Glowing Erlenmeyer flask
Some cleverly-placed lights under the equipment and we had a nice spooky glowing effect. Dad whipped up a bit of 3D animation of a cartoony arcing Van de Graaff generator projected on the front window.

Van de Graaff generator on front window
How it looked on our window.

Van de Graaff offVan de Graaff on

Who can say where the next costume will take us next year? Maybe Mom and Dad have to get in on the costume theme fun!

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  1. Grandma says:

    Great team. Looks like another successful and fun year.

  2. Tamiko says:

    If he’s still an ornery teenager next year, don’t be surprised if the last thing he wants is having Mum and Dad dress up like him.
    He might agree to a family display, however, if he’s the star attraction and the two of you are –‘staff’ !

    Mad scientist with a chemistry lab AND a van der graff. Love it.

  3. Bev says:

    Seriously cool! (again)

    (Though if I were a trick-or-treater I might just have been a leetle bit nervous about what nefarious glowing substance might be found lurking inside those innocent-looking candy wrappers!)

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