One great thing about Santa Cruz is that they take Halloween seriously. This is the place where, in case you don’t remember, adolescent vampires ripped apart that boardwalk security guard in the opening minutes of the Lost Boys. (The boardwalk and roller coasters are still here, though they’ve had to find another security guard.)
Now there’s proof, though admittedly grainy, from a picture I had the presence of mind to take last night while being carried off into the mist by bloodthirsty harpies. That’s downtown, where they close the streets and the whole county floods down Pacific avenue and at least 90 percent of the people are in costumes.
Okay, some are your run of the mill cavemen, cheerleaders, and ghouls, plus a large number of sexy nurses, angels, devils, kittens, maids, nuns, firefighters, construction workers, and sorority girls who appear to be wearing their underwear. But there’s much more imaginative stuff, too, including several sorority girls in their underwear on stilts.
There were two Mongomery Burnses, two V for Vendettas, at least three “Gift in a Box”es (two at the same party, awkward), and at least two Dudes armed with bathrobe and white russian. There was a whole moving crew “Oopsmybad, Inc.” complete with furniture, lamps, and carpet; a Dance Dance Revolution machine; and several detail-oriented Hogwarts members, including a Luna Lovegood with real radish earrings and the latest copy of The Quibbler. (Here’s Luna herself, along with an authentically towel-caped Superman and a Mysterious Yakuza Assassin.)
I didn’t see any ominous all-devouring Blobs, and for that we can be thankful, since a recent post by a Cornell mycologist has concluded that they do actually exist. This is a great read accompanied by stills from the various Blob movies and a clip of an actual slime mold actually devouring the entire contents of a Petri dish (before moving on to Manhattan, presumably).
The writer sets about debunking the notion, advanced in the 1988 Blob movie, that the gelatinous monster is the result of a government-financed cross of a bacteria and a virus in space. That’s just silly, he says. Slime molds, on the other hand, are gummy and blurb around enveloping and then digesting things.
Is this any different from The Blob absorbing an entire phone booth to eat the waitress inside? Of course, The Blob has evolved to eat people (and kittens)—not just bacteria, but this appears to be a common mutation acquired in space.