I first heard about ’WeeM on the radio. The morning drive-time DJs were talking about this great weekend-long Mensa Halloween party. They said people dressed up as puns. It sounded like fun. Someone had told me years ago that I probably was smart enough for Mensa. When I was a USO volunteer and when I was in the Navy, the guys I hung out with were all in the nuclear program or advanced electronics. You had to score at least 120 on the placement tests they gave you in Boot Camp to get into those programs, which I did. I was interested in Hospital Corps School, however. I didn’t realize my score on those tests put me in the top two percent intelligence of the US Navy—just that it meant I could attend pretty much any school I wanted of the sixteen Navy schools that were open to women at that time (1971).
Thirty years later, I joined a singles group that played games every Friday night. We mostly played Trivial Pursuit and some of the members were Mensans. They encouraged me to join and invited me to HalloweeM. It’s the second largest Mensa gathering in the country, surpassed only by the National Annual Gathering. It lasts the weekend and features lectures, socializing, dances, LOTS of food, and of course the really cool costume contest those DJs were talking about.
That first year I didn’t know there was a theme. I decided on a simple pun, hoping no one had done it before. I put curtains around my grandson’s baby photo and mounted it on a belt around my abdomen. While I was waiting in line to go on stage and introduce myself, a man cut in front of me. We’ve since become good friends, but that night I didn’t know him at all. His reason for cutting in front of me was that we should have been together. He was wearing a mask over one side of his groin. His costume? A “masked ball.” I, of course was a “womb with a view.” One should be careful when attending a masked ball.
I had so much fun, I joined Mensa. The following year I knew the theme was scientists and their discoveries or inventors and their inventions. I dressed rather sexy (okay, downright erotic), carried a test tube with a glow stick, and went as “Madame” Curie.
Those are my two best costumes. The all-time best costume ever was my friend, Mikey. He dressed as a swami and carried a woven basket with a top and a toy flute. He took the top off and played the flute a bit, looked in and shrugged. Played some more and pulled out a toy snake. It flopped on the rim. He played some more, picked it up and it flopped again. After the third try, he made an announcement. “Sorry, folks… I seem to have a reptile dysfunction.”
Mikey hasn’t dressed up since then. Even he can’t top that.
I wish they’d have us dress up as authors. I’d wear a poster of Rock Crazy, which is coming out here, next week! I guess I’ll have to settle for having coupons on hand this year so people can order the book. http://tinyurl.com/museituprockcrazy
You can reach me at the following places: