Put the costumes away and no one will get hurt

I came back from Burning Man a changed woman. Not in any large, obvious way. Just a few little things. The world seems like a funnier place now.

I dyed my bangs pink. Then I put on the sweater vest I borrowed from my sister, Daisy. It’s neon orange and very rectangular, knit with half-inch fuzzy strands. I looked like a neon-orange fuzzy varigated box with arms. As I went out the door, intent on my project, I didn’t pay any attention to the fact that I was also wearing black sneakers, blue socks, and a pair of bright red patterned pants.

Meps with orange sweater, red pants, and pink bangs
For a couple of hours, I was working on the van, parked on the side of the street. I didn’t want to get run over.

“I think you’re more likely to cause an accident,” said Barry.

When I came back in, a couple of hours later, I told him I’d finally gotten to meet the neighbor next door. “In THAT?” he squawked.

“Oops,” I said, a little chagrined. I’d forgotten about the pink bangs.

The next day, I stopped by the thrift store to see what kind of fall additions I could find for my wardrobe. I found lots of things I could have worn at Burning Man, but had to keep reminding myself that those things are not suitable for Seattle. I’d been looking through the lingerie rack, forgetting that most people wear such items only to go to bed.

My crowning moment came yesterday, when I looked out the kitchen window and noticed two young fellows in black pants and white shirts walking down my street.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Mormon missionaries. I find their doctrine pretty interesting. But I wasn’t in the mood right then to have a conversation with two serious, earnest young men.

If I stayed in the kitchen, they were sure to see me through the blinds and come to my door. So I did the logical thing. I went into the bathroom, where Barry was taking a shower. “Hide me!” I said in a loud stage whisper. “They’re out there! On the street!”

“What? I can’t hear you,” he shouted. Of course, he couldn’t hear me over the sound of the water, but I was whispering because the window was partially open, and I was sure the fellows were right underneath it. I turned down Barry’s chivalrous invitation to join him and cowered on the dry side of the shower curtain.

After a few minutes, I thought they were gone. I went back into the kitchen and closed the blinds. If they did come back, I wouldn’t have to answer the door.

Then I noticed the Burning Man costume box. Just as I was wishing they would come back, there was a knock on the door.
Meps, answering the door in a large and slightly disturbing rabbit head
So I was wearing a very large, fierce rabbit head when I opened the door for two young Mormon missionaries.

They jumped back about a foot. “Oh! You scared us!” they said.

Afraid of a cross-eyed rabbit?

“Sorry about that,” I said politely, as if I was not wearing the rabbit’s head. They were at a loss for words, looking at each other for reassurance. Was this really happening to them? Were they really talking with a giant rabbit?

I wasn’t sure what to say, either. I guess that was when I should have asked if they believed in the Easter bunny. Instead, I gave them a gentle warning, not wanting to waste their time.

“I have to tell you, I’m not able to hold a serious conversation right now.”

That part was absolute truth. The giant mask was hiding a huge grin that threatened to turn into all-consuming giggles.

They looked at each other. Evidently, whatever they wanted to talk with me about was serious.

“Um, do you know of any of your neighbors who might be interested in our message today?” the freckled one asked.

“No, I don’t know my neighbors very well. They think I’m weird.” the rabbit answered. The two fellows grinned, then quickly stifled their smiles and looked at each other again. Evidently, they thought I was weird, too.

“Well, we just wanted to invite you to come to our Sunday service.” They told me where the church was located, and seemed very surprised when I said I knew where it was. Maybe there was hope for this rabbit, after all.

As they turned to go, the taller one said, “You’re welcome to come to church, with or without the rabbit mask.”

I nodded my giant furry head and foot-tall ears. “Thanks! But if I come without it, you won’t recognize me.” He quickly glanced back at me. Maybe I was a member of their church already! But only the rabbit’s inscrutable and slightly disturbing face looked back at him.

They wished me a good day and made their way off the porch. I closed the door and only then could I collapse on the floor, tears of laughter running down my face.

Barry came hopping out of the bathroom. He couldn’t see the laughter, only hear the strange burbling sound and see the shaking shoulders of a large rabbit sprawled on the kitchen floor.

I told the story to friends at a dinner party last night, and the eight of us laughed ourselves silly. Somewhere, across town, I hope my earnest Mormon visitors were telling friends at a dinner table, too, and laughing themselves silly about the giant rabbit on Mercer Island.

Pass the carrots, will ya?

16 thoughts on “Put the costumes away and no one will get hurt

  1. Hi

    Im desperatly looking for a bunny head and i was wondering where did you buy or rent the one you’ve got there on the picture? P.s Love the story, so incredible funny!! :)

  2. I agree with Barry, you are hazard out on the street. You really are pushing the limits on fashion even if it was still the 60’s. We will have to catch up on Burning Man ….

  3. OOPS just remembered another one from a friend in NYC who was sick of having his car broken into…he got a CDC logo from the net and got it on to white carryout bags with a text “field specimen collections”
    He keeps his trash in these, the yuckier the better. It has worked so far.

    STAY CRAZY!!!!!!

  4. A person after my own heart!! I answer the door in a pair of tighty whities only…VERY SCARY…especially if it is a family with kids. They haven’t been back lately.
    Another good one is when confronted by intersection carside beggars, pretend to be picking your nose with the hand closest to the window. It really works.

    Love from Carol and Me…

  5. HEY, Margaret,

    Absolutely love your pink hair and multi-colored outfit. Cousin Karen is spending a few days here in Michigan and we were checking out the family on the Internet. Carlton and Kayla–and Kathy from Madison–were here today, and we were all having a great time. Missing you.


  6. Now, you need to show up at their church with the rabbit head on!
    Maybe I will use this idea when the mormoms come knocking! Thanks
    for the laughs! I needed them today! Take care, Laurie

  7. That is awesome! I love it. I can’t wait to see you again..should be back in December.
    Missing you.

  8. Uhhh…

    “I wasn’t in the mood right then to have a conversation with two serious, earnest young men.”
    followed by
    “I have to tell you, I’m not able to hold a serious conversation right now.”
    is not new information here.

    It is my friends that convince me that I am not as screwloose as rumored.


  9. Man oh man. My dad said you were funny. I really like the bunny head…. I really want one now. I’d dance in the streets.
    As long as noone could see my face.

  10. God!

    I MUST meet you. A friend introduced me to your story. I think I have found a kindred spirit. You go Girl!!!


  11. That was weary a wascally cotton tail. Meps,that was a classic!
    By the way does the rabbit wear lingerie?

  12. As they turned to go, the taller one said, “You’re welcome to come to church, with or without the rabbit mask.”

    You have to hand it to that guy – he certainly knows how to think on his feet!

    *continues to die laughing*

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