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The Monk and the Gorilla

By June 16, 2012November 25th, 2013Personal Stories

It was around the time where I was getting to be too old for Halloween, so I didn’t do the whole candy collection thing. Instead, I served as a candy dispenser for the kids who wandered over to my parent’s place. I decided I would also dress up to entertain the children that passed, but I wasn’t exactly sure of what I would do. All I knew is that I had a mask, and a monk’s robe.

The mask was designed to make my head look like a large, sinister skull. Not quite unique, I know, but this one was different – when I first saw it, it struck me as being particularly high in quality. As a result, I couldn’t help it – I had to buy it. I didn’t have any specific plans, but I knew that somehow, somewhere, the mask would be entertaining. In fact, it reminded me of the time I bought a giant stuffed bear, another occasion where I felt the potential for comedy outweighed the price.

The skull mask

The skull mask

It’s also worth mentioning that I bought the skull mask in a very strange location – it was in a theatre supply store that occupied the entire first floor of an old skyscraper. And by old skyscraper, I mean from looking at the exterior, you immediately wonder why they haven’t demolished it yet. I imagine the foundation was strong enough to warrant keeping it open. Still, the exterior showed some serious wear and tear, and the majority of the floors were visibly abandoned.

But the building never collapsed under my weight, or anything. In fact, there were two other businesses in there, both of which were gyms. I knew this because I was a member at one of these gyms, and I often went to work out after school. Despite the¬†existence¬†of these small pockets of life, the building always seemed better suited as a location to film a horror movie. I suppose it’s therefore appropriate that I should find a creepy-looking mask there.

As for the robe, there was really nothing special about it – it was brown, had a hood, and when I wore it with the mask, it made me look like an undead priest of sorts – and a large one, at that. So it was in this attire that I took a seat outside of my house’s front door, on a lawn chair. Every now and then, I’d stand up and slowly make my way around the front porch, head bowed and arms joined.

Eventually, a mother took notice of my seated figure, and I could hear her explaining the sight to her child. I could tell from her voice that she was on the sidewalk, which was easily six metres away from me. The distance actually added to the scene, as the lawn itself was dark – the only light was next to the me, the undead priest.

Since I knew someone was watching, I felt a certain need to entertain. I therefore gradually made my way back into the house to seek out my brother. He had a gorilla mask, but no costume to speak of. We discussed how we could bring his mask into the scene, and arrived at a decision. Soon afterwards, I found myself back at my post, with the mother and child still present. My gorilla-faced brother then exited the building, and stood before me. Apart from the mask, he was dressed as a civilian.

For some reason, we decided it would be entertaining to stage a fight between both he and I. According to the plan, I threw him to the ground, and started to swing fake punches at him. He groaned along with my fake hits, playing into the scene. Unfortunately, what might have been entertaining for 16-year-old boys was certainly not entertaining for the little child who was witnessing this. After all, if the mother had to explain the scene, then the kid couldn’t have been very old. Once the fighting started, I heard the woman gasp, and then the shuffle of her leading her child out of there.

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Traumatized an innocent child.

I know, not my finest moment – but it’s not like I got out of bed that morning, and decided I’d traumatize a child. If anything, the mistake allowed me to exercise more caution around children. After all, they should be allowed to keep a certain innocence until they are inevitably introduced to TV, movies, and the like. Dressing as a creepy skull-faced monk was probably scary enough. Probably.

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