Bradoween Eve

I don’t love myself. In fact, I find my demeanor generally unpleasant. That notwithstanding, I created a holiday for myself. Given, I had a little help from a good buddy of mine. He agreed that I needed a holiday. He helped me with the concept.

It’s called Bradoween.

I’ll spare you the long story about the naming rights and get to the basics.

Bradoween is a holiday that falls on a Saturday in June. That Saturday is determined by the Bradoween Steering Committee (that’s… um…me). It is an all day event that generally doesn’t get started until the evening. It centers around something I call Random Icon Appreciation (RIA). Since most holidays have something to appreciate or worship (gods, flags, bunnies, etc), the Bradoween Steering Committee (BSC) decided that Random Icons deserved something as well.

The centerpiece of RIA is Mogoo, a disembodied Chatty Cathy doll head shoved on a chartreuse stake surrounded by tiki torches. We also appreciate a Count Chocula doll (known simply as the Count). This year I’m adding a decapitated lawn ornament and I hear that Marvin the Martian is going to make an appearance as well. No worship is necessary. Just some decent appreciation.

Bradoween also serves as a night for fellowship, craftsmanship, and gamesmanship. I throw a big party (or big by my neighborhood’s standards that last year hovered between 50 and 60 people.

Guests are invited to partipate in the Brad-o-Lantern contest (rules stipulate any kind of melon–with the exception of a pumpkin–can be carved to look any way the guest desires as long as the creation contains some sort of liquor or beer bottle). Last year’s winner was a hoot…half a honey dew melon was the turtle’s shell…it had mini Jack Daniels bottles for legs, a lime for a head, and raisins for eyes.

As dusk turns to night, we have the Photographer Footrace. Last year we pitted two racers against each other in the cul-de-sac. They both carried a stack of ten Beta tapes in one hand. One smoked a cigarette while racing. The other ate a cheeseburger. I almost got kicked out of the Homewners Association for that one. Sixty people on a five-home cul-de-sac, screaming for the drunk guy with the smoke in his mouth and a stack of tapes in his hand to run faster while my former neighbor Pat tried to pull into her driveway…that had to be some kind of violation of my neighborhood covenant.

This year, we’re adding an event: Field Sobiety Tests in mid-fellowship. We’re also adding Conformity Training. Since we all spend 364 days a year trying to be different from one another, Bradoween serves as the one night we can all be the same. Conformity Training this year suggests all guests wear some sort of beach wear. It should be a grand time.

This, my dear readers, is Bradoween Eve. Though last year was a rousing success (I think I may have seen the sun come up), I’m a little nervous about this year’s bash. It’s like trying to live up to myself.

So, for the next 39 hours (with the exception of a few hours for something you folks call “work”) I will be in full Bradoween Prep Mode. That is cleaning the house, making the food, buying the drinks, preparing the Icons, and ironing my Hawaiian shirt.

So…you’re sitting there…looking at your day planner and you’re thinking “Damn, that sounds like a good time.” Well, friends…almost everybody I know can make it here by car in less than 13 hours (sorry, Colorado). I’ll save you a spot in front of Mogoo and make sure you don’t get tested for Sobriety.

Just throw on that beach wear and head for the Carolinas.

Mogoo and I will be expecting you.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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