Love Boat

Love Boat
Originally uploaded by Matt Stratton.

You may or may not have heard about the SUPER MERGATROID AWESOME costume that myself and some friends rocked with back in 2004.

Our story actually begins in the fall of 2003. Our friend Lou had a big, giant party for his 30th birthday, with a “7 Sins” theme. It was decadent, included a Krispy Kreme eating contest, and I ended up eventually getting engaged to the girl who kissed the most people that night.

It was awesome.

Anyway, the following year, decided to turn 30 as well. And he wanted to have an awesome party of his own. Since his birthday is right around Halloween time, he elected to celebrate his 30-a-tude with a costume party. This was first discussed in the spring of 2004.

Well, shortly after Dave decided to throw this giant bash, and I were sitting around the backyard and came up with the idea to have a group of us dress as the cast of The Love Boat. Actually, I don’t remember EXACTLY all who was part of the idea, but I know that Tracy and I were there, since it was in our yard, and because I just found this email:

Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 12:11:51 -0500
From: Tracy Hogan
Subject: Love Boat
To: matt_stratton@******.com

Do you have any idea how fun it will be to make erika look like charo? heh. i can’t wait.

You can’t really tell from this photo, but we even have custom printed nametags that say our character name, and “Pacific Princess”.

It was pretty awesome. We won the costume contest, which I think meant that Dave gave us a Spider-Man action figure.

Also, another thing about that party – in case you were not aware, Dave is the most huge Spider-Man fan in the country. As an adult, he went to “Spider-Man Live”…without bringing a kid. Anyway, that spring, we were at Titus’s blues party, and Dave pulled me aside.

“Dude,” he said. “I totally found this guy on the Internet who makes film-quality Spiderman costumes. I am going to get one for my birthday party.”

“That’s a great idea,” I said. “But here’s the thing. Tell NO ONE that you’re doing this. For as much money as you’re spending, you don’t want to lose the element of surprise.”

Dave agreed, but of course, as the summer went on, he was so excited that he told EVERYONE about this custom-made costume he was getting.

About 2-3 weeks before the party, Dave realized his error. He sat down with Tracy and myself, and enlisted our help. He wanted to regain the element of surprise.

We came up with a plan that was so complicated, but yet, totally awesome. In the end, this plan encompassed about fifty man-hours worth of work, and involved about six different people.

Basically, here’s how it worked:

For starters, Dave told everyone that there were “problems” with his suit, and he thought maybe the guy was “ripping him off”. So when everyone showed up at the party, Dave was simply in a “Peter Parker” costume. Everyone felt bad for Dave, and I think some girls might have grabbed his junk in sympathy.

At one point during the night, we got everyone at the party to come around and sit/stand in front of a big screen that had been showing clips of Dave’s favorite horror movies all night (the party was in a private room in a bar). The screen then started to show a “slideshow” of pictures of Dave as a kid, to everyone’s amusement. If anyone was paying attention, during this slideshow Dave got a call on his cell phone and took it outside.

All of a sudden, the slideshow broke into a fake “newscast” about a criminal on the loose in the very neighborhood where the party was taking place.

During the newscast, the criminal was spotted stealing someone’s bag. In the background behind the newswoman was Dave, on his cell phone. He sees the criminal run off, and he quickly ducks into an alley to the tune of “We Need A Hero” (or whatever that song is called).

We see Dave changing clothes (and having difficulty) while the criminal runs off. Finally, the criminal is viewed entering the main door of the bar as the camera pans up to see Dave pull the Spider-Man mask over his face.

As soon as that happens, the criminal bursts into the room where everyone is gathered (this is now “in real life”, not on the tape), quickly followed by Spider-Man. They engage in a scuffle while the original Spider-Man theme plays on the speakers (every time Spidey hits the criminal, a “pow!” “boffo” “sock!” image comes up on the screen). Eventually the criminal is subdued, and Dave sprays him with Silly String.

It was awesome.


~ by Matt Stratton on May 18, 2007.

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