Erin’s challenge to enter all four of the church’s fall festival competitions might have been taken up if I had only had more shopping time. I did, however, broaden my horizons and decide to enter two competitions. But which? Pumpkin carving, chili, pie, or trunk decorating? Although the chili competition is really the grand championship, and its winners the undisputed masters of the universe, the new trunk decorating contest had a couple of advantages. First, being a new competition, it was likely to have fewer entrants, and second, the prize was four movie tickets! That’s no chili ladle trophy, but frankly, two date nights was more appealing to me. So I decided to shoot for that one because if I won, it would offset the cost of entry.
A couple of years ago we had done up our trunk with a glowing, blacklight lit forced perspective grid on neon tape a la the movie Tron. The trunk was cool, but the big hit was giving out glow in the dark necklaces. I still had most of the stuff. I’m glad I nixxed that idea, though, because a) it was not topical this year, and b) the competition ended up being judged by 10 and 11 year old boys who probably wouldn’t have gotten it.
My sister has done her trunk as a pirates treasure chest at trunk-or-treats past when she and her husband have dressed as pirates. I asked if I could borrow her stuff. She passed me a box with their pirate costumes, Jeremy’s real swords, a fancy wooden box, a Jolly Roger flag, and several lush fabrics. She also told me to use Rolo’s for treats since they look the most like gold pieces, and to play the soundtrack from The Pirates of the Caribbean. Pirates of the Caribbean, eh? We all know how much I love Disneyland despite the last trip. What if I took that to the next level? I had this PotC idea about 4 hours before the competition, and I was already baking a complex pie all day, so I kind of had to pull it together fast and furious.
First, I draped the whole trunk in red silk dupioni curtains. Then, I bought a life-size skeleton at the party store to use in my tableau. Now I really had to win. I dressed him in some of Jenni’s pirate regalia as well as the Heart of the Ocean necklace which Kent had given me as a gag one year. I had to string him up by the neck onto one of the boy’s scooters to get him to sit upright. I covered the scooter behind and underneath him with black burn-out velvet. Then I duct-taped a pirate hat onto him and started on the rest.
I hung the Jolly Roger from the ceiling with push pins, and draped fabrics around the floor of the trunk.
I carefully removed all the pieces from my 3D Collector’s Edition Settlers of Catan chest, lined it with gold lame fabric and piled it up with Rolos. Then I got out Fluffy’s jewelry box and all her costume jewelry with some of my own and bestrewed the place. I even found some gold plastic coins Fluffy had gotten at a birthday party, so those went in as well. I know I had some giant pearls and crystals from Jenni’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s bridal shower in storage, but I couldn’t get to them in time.
I tried printing out a pirate’s treasure map I found online, but it was dinky and silly-looking. So got out the paints, strapped a smock on Fluffy, and the two of us slapped together a treasure map on a piece of posterboard I had on hand. For good measure, I threw in the skull from Fluffy’s Hamlet costume.
Honestly, the photos don’t do it justice. In the dark, the trunk lights made the Rolos and every other shiny thing (which was most everything in the trunk) shimmer and glow seductively. It exceeded my expectations. It looked pretty awesome for an entirely derivative work.
As the trunk-or-treating began, I put on Jeremy’s feathered pirate hat, held one of the swords, told “me hearties” to reach in and grab “two of me gold pieces if ye dare”, but threatened to “cut yer arms off if ye took more than two”, etc. I hadn’t planned to do any of that beforehand, but I wanted to win, right? Okay, maybe I only did that because I’m a hopeless ham, and I only have a couple more years before my kids are too embarrassed by me to let me do such things.
We had to wait until the next day for the email that announced “the winners are Heather Craw and Kent Kemeny!” In fairness, Kent did turn on the Pirates soundtrack in the SUV, so I guess that’s true. But in another more accurate way:
I WON! Movie dates, here I come!
So now what do I do as an encore next year, eh?
I also entered the pie contest which is blind tasted and scored by a 6 person panel of judges. Objectivity is ensured by bringing in only judges who are not part of this church congregation. Sadly, the judging sheets for the pie contest were misplaced, so they are contacting those judges to try to figure out who will hoist the coveted golden pie plate this year and which two pies were runners up. I’ll let you know all about my pie with the recipe as soon as the results are announced.