It is eight o’clock in the morning, your fellow geek calls you up and announces a last-minute con she has decided to attend. Obviously, you have to go with her, but what to wear? It is now time to perform your own superhuman feat and put together an acceptable geek outfit from easily found items. From the depths of my underslept brain came the idea for Quick Change. Like every superhero before me who must race into action, I too will change into my comic-loving alter ego in record (or just sort of not-slow) time. The mission: find an outfit inspired by a comic book character in a thrift store, resale store, or sales rack in under 20 minutes for under $20.
It is the holiday season. Even though I did all the shopping and gift-making I needed to do over a month ago, the world is still a hectic place to navigate during this time. Even my local, handy-dandy Unique thrift store has been packed everyday. People are working extra hours to make holiday ends meet, shopping on their lunch breaks and/or as soon as they clock out, and generally making it impossible for me to get non-holiday related tasks done.
Luckily, caffeine is always on our side. Something Shannon Wheeler knew when he created Too Much Coffee Man (TMCM) in 1990. Wheeler had originally attempted to address serious issues through a comic medium in his college paper, but when no one seemed to be reading it he added the secret ingredient: coffee.
TMCM was one of the first comics I ever read. My mom collected cutouts of the panels and often toyed with the idea of going to see the TMCM opera.
My last venture into the Quick Change world started out like the previous two. I wore red tights, shorts, and a tank top under a heavy coat and…ended up a completely different comic book character than I planned. You see, Reader, sometimes things do not go the way you think they will. No manner of planning or dressing accordingly will grant you absolute insurance that things will turn out the way you want them to turn out. I am sure you all understand this problem.
So, my attempt to be Robin must be saved for another month, because the store was PACKED, PACKED, PACKED, and I had to get out as quickly as possible.
That was when I saw this gem hanging up:
After that it was just a trip to the winter section for mittens:
And this unfortunate hat:
And then this, my most unflattering outfit, was accomplished:
Everything was done in ten minutes, and it came out to about $17. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
A child asked me if I was dressing up as Santa Claus. Well, small being, when you get older and Chris Kringle is no longer bringing you gifts for being “good,” the caffeine fairy will take his place. Except you will require the gifts of coffee in order to do good work and will probably reward yourself with a nap. So, yes, perhaps I am dressed as Santa, and my gift to you, Reader, is this month’s terrible photoshop: