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And a horrifying
blast from the past

It's finally time to announce the winners in my first (and perhaps annual - or maybe last) Media Halloween Costume Contest.

Okay, so the entries didn't exactly come pouring in, and I had to go out and rustle up a few on facebook. But still.

We do have a contest, and some pretty fun costumes.

But first, my apologies for being so late with this. I ran into difficulty with the photo posting process. Up to now, I have been hosting images at an external site, creating links at another blog site, then copying the html into the blog here. This gave me greater flexibility, until one of the spokes in the wheel changed their coding and it stopped working. So I had to save the images down to this small size to make them work. If you'd like to browse them in a higher resolution, just click here. But be sure to come back when done!

The Grand Prize winner of a large Jellybean Row piece is Michael Connors of the NTV Evening Newshour, for his Clark Kent / Superman costume. Perhaps Michael had an advantage, in that he actually looks a lot like Clark Kent. In fact, his mild-mannered, though reliable reporting style is also a dead ringer for Clark. Either way, I like how his outfit ties in so nicely with his real life persona.

Good job Michael. Please email me with your selection, from the web site, and I'll get it to you.

Tara Mullowney of The Telegram takes second place for wearing not one, but two, quality costumes. On the first night, she does a good Sarah Palin, and on the second, Marilyn Monroe vapid to vamp, you might say.

Originally, second prize was going to be the opportunity to take this blogger to lunch. However, that's not entirely fair, since such a meeting would likely give many reporters heartburn. Instead, I will offer a small jellybean Row piece as second prize. (That said, the invitation to take me to lunch is extended to any reporter with a valid credit card!)

Moving along, it's time to highlight the runners-up, who were also fabulous.

In order of appearance, you have:

Christina Marshall of CBC Here & Now, as a bouquet of roses.

Chris Batstone of K-ROCK, channeling his inner hockey star.

Sheena Goodyear, former Muse editor and now National Bureau Chief with Canadian University Press, also put on a mean Sarah Palin. (Yes, I think Palin was a popular costume this year. Blogger Kyran Pittman did a great job on her too.)

Candice Udle of K-ROCK did a good job on Marilyn Monroe.

Thanks to everyone here for entering the contest! I am now debating whether or not to do this again next year. If I do, I will invite bloggers to participate as well. I think it's time they were recognized as part of the media scene too (as commentators, at the very least).

Finally, we come to the two bonus selections, black and white shots that were taken in 1980 by the late Myrna Kielley.

The guy in the Alice Cooper get-up, playing air guitar yeah, that would be me. What you can't see are the Master John-brand boots, acquired in Toronto in 1976, when they were all the rage. The black leather boots were similar to those worn by rock group Kiss, with heels and platforms that boosted my height about five inches, giving my costume an elevated air of authenticity.

As you can see from the partygoers in these shots, it was more common back then to make a costume, rather than buy one (it's noteworthy that many of the best costumes you see today are still the handmade variety). If you recognize yourself in any of these photos, please, don't be shy leave a comment.

When this photo was taken, I was working the entertainment beat for The Newfoundland Herald, writing the Upbeat column on a freelance basis. It paid the grand sum of $30 per week, but beer was cheap back then and I was in awe that they paid me at all! Free tickets to concerts, paying no cover charge, bypassing line-ups and, best of all, interviewing musicians, were the real rewards for me.

I held a day job at the time as a surveying assistant, and it was just my luck that I had to work overtime on the Saturday morning after this photo was taken. After the bars closed, we ended up at a rocking party back in Mount Pearl, where we laughed, danced and behaved outrageously into the wee hours. (No apologies for that I was in my early twenties.)

Eventually, I realized that the sun had risen, and it would soon be time for work. I had stopped drinking earlier and was edging toward sobriety. However, my friends including my ride had not, and by this time were dissolving into piles of snoring makeup, mascara and masks.

I had to walk home, at 8:00 am, through the busiest part of Mount Pearl.

In a costume that looked great in the dark, but, in full glare of day, was morbidly grotesque.

In sunlight, the blue leotards improvised Spandex contrasted, rather than blended, with my darker blue underwear. Sweat had run the black coloring around my eyes down my white cheeks, creating a smear effect not unlike Heath Ledger's Joker. People pointed, or crossed to the other side of the street. Car after car slowed down for a closer look, before speeding away.

I gave no quarter, glaring back defiantly, as if nothing was out of the ordinary. (Was there any point trying to look inconspicuous, whilst wearing five-inch platform boots?)

But it was probably the longest walk of my life.

On arriving home, my face scrubbed clean except the black around my eyes, which left a deep shadow. Not having slept, the face in the mirror was death warmed over. I still remember the look of shock on my boss's face when I showed up at work (which was, it should be noted, located within easy walking distance I didn't drive).

By then, I had found my second wind and easily sailed through the day. In fact, I went to another party that night.

As they say, youth is wasted on the young.

For the record, my job did not require the operation of any mechanical equipment, outside of holding a tape measure, and please understand I do not endorse going to work after a sleepless night of partying. Please everyone work and play safely!

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