It’s a community event, with a big dinner, a procession, costumes, prizes, and a King and Queen. Regular blog readers will breathe a sigh of relief that the National Rabbit King has nothing to worry about when it comes to royal prerogatives. His throne is safe from Garden State usurpers.
This year, we put some extra thought (as if we have any spare brain cells) into our costumes. We wanted them to be simple, something we could make—renting something was completely out of the question—and relate to Stone Harbor somehow. We considered going as Chris Christie and a bunch of traffic cones, but in such a GOP-centric town as Stone Harbor that’s not a winning strategy. Besides, none of us were fat enough to go as the loudmouth Garden State Gov.
We settled on going as the tides. Very shore-rific. We’d incorporate Tide detergent boxes into our costumes and go as High, Low, Rip and so on. Martha and I disagreed on the fourth tide, but in the end I prevailed and we went with Crimson. Three of the tides would be in orange—Tide-y shirts and I’d be in a red (OK, crimson) shirt. Our names would be on our shirts in something approaching Tide detergent logotype. We thought we were pretty clever. Bruce came up with our name, Fit To Be Tide. As model citizen Charlie Sheen would say: Winning!
The other people at our table were some big guy with a broken tooth and his wife. They actually lived in Avalon, having moved there not too long ago. Martha could be a KGB interrogator and so in a half a sec we knew all about their lives and that if you lived in Avalon year round, the public works department will actually plow your driveway during a snowstorm. Mr. Broken Tooth wants to run for Avalon Borough Council and save the world. More power to him.
While our costumes were pretty darned good, our “performance” was pretty dismal.
There were some “dance” moves that we didn’t really practice about which Bruce and I weren’t enthusiastic anyway. I’m sure you can guess how they panned out.
As for the libretto, Pam, as High Tide, was to say, “I thought the name of this town was Stoner Harbor”. Bruce, as Low Tide, was to say, “You should see what I saw on the beach when I was out last night”. Martha, as Rip Tide, was to say “I’m more dangerous than I look”., I was to say “Roll Tide Roll” but instead I said “You Yankees sure do some crazy shit.” And even thought here were lots of drunks there and Longshoreman is the second official language of New Jersey, I probably shouldn’t have dropped the S word. What can I say? I'm a Bryant. Profanity happens.
I thought we had a shot at winning the team name title—Fit to be Tide. Genius, I thought. We lost to a group of kids in Alice in Wonderland costumes, with the stupendously original name “Alice’s Adventures in Winter Wonderland”. Truly horrible. Obviously the Shiver judges know about as much about a good team name as Gwynneth Paltrow knows about shopping at Walmart.
After the scores were validated and the winners announced, we all trooped over the dunes to the beach and the sight of more parked ambulances and emergency management vehicles than you thought existed in Cape May County. There was barely enough time to ditch most of the costume before the starter’s horn blew. Then it was a mad dash to the water.
After a hearty meal and lots bitching about the competition, we’re already planning out entry for next year. We're going to have college boys in Speedos, a dog, and cute little kids. And maybe a veteran and someone in an iron lung, oh yes--and feather boas! We're sure to win!