Reffing the Streets
Halloween fell on a Monday night this year -- not exactly the best day of the week to throw one of my sexy parties.
But since my apartment is only a stone's throw from the Village Halloween Parade route, we had to have it on the actual holiday (also because I was out of town this weekend, but let's not split hairlips here). So the turnout for our party was subpar to quite subpar, but that didn't stop us from getting shit-canned and enjoying one of the best nights in New York year after year.
The roommates and I dressed up in tandem as the Miller Lite referees, or if you haven't seen that ad campaign, just plain ol' referees. After all, it was a Monday night, someone had to make sure our patrons were abiding by the rules.
We called a handful of penalties inside the apartment while the party unfolded -- some of which were challenged with the circulating red flag -- but mostly I think we called a pretty fair party. When someone warranted a flag, they got flagged. Otherwise, we let them play. The refs aren't the stars here, the partygoers are...hey, this isn't the World Series or anything.
Since turnout was well below the 150-200 people previous Halloween parties have generated, I bounced back and forth from the apartment to the street. If you've never experienced a Halloween in the Village, you've really missed out on a helluva time. I don't mean that in a holier-than-thou New Yorker kind of way, I just mean you're not witnessing the greatest freak show known to man.
And it provided me with great material. Between the hours of 11:30 and 1:30, I stood drunkenly on what was probably America's busiest street and refereed all the passersby.
As with the party, I didn't call a penalty on every play, and I left the easy targets and intimidating minorities alone. A guy dressed as the Phantom of the Opera got an obvious "1986 just called" penalty; I threw the flag at a slutty chick with a referee's shirt for "Wearing my outfit except with tight Hooters shorts"; a dude in some sort of scary Scream mask walking with a hot candy-striper took home a "No way she should be going home with you" penalty.
One guy dressed as Green Eggs (standing next to Ham apparently) challenged the ruling on the field -- a "No idea what you are" foul -- and I reversed the call. Only time that happened all night. I even threw a flag at the 25 police officers on motorcycles passing by on Bleecker, calling a "Too many cops on bikes" penalty, which got a chuckle from the CHiPs patrol. Good thing I didn't drop the one-hitter in my pocket as I ran over to toss the flag at 'em.
My favorite exchange of the night came when a group of non-costumed folks passed me, two guys and a drunk girl. I flagged them for obvious reasons, and the lady took exception, jokingly of course. I issued her a 10-yard penalty, but then she turned back and cupped her left breast, yelling "Suck my tit, ref" directly at me. Classy.
I immediately threw my second flag, issuing her a personal foul for unwomanly conduct, and I yelled "You're ejected off Bleecker Street." She responded "I've got your Bleecker feet," to which I replied "Yes you do, you do have Bleecker feet, now get out of here before I fine your stank ass." Her male escorts were doubled over in laughter.
It was almost sad to go upstairs, though I had to get up early this morning, so I guess it was for the best. Two slices of pizza and a cupcake later, I hit the sack at about 2:30 and passed out immediately. Come to think of it, I should have thrown the flag on myself for such ridiculous late-night eating.
Two years ago I was Matthew Lesko, last year I went as fitness celebrity John Basedow. I never repeat a costume, but this was so fun, I'd honestly entertain the idea of doing this again next year. You really learn a lot about somebody after you throw a flag at them.
Top Three Costumes I saw last night: an NYU kid running around in an exact Tyrone Biggums outfit with crack all over his face, holding a Red Bull can and spouting out Tyrone-isms; a dead-on Steve Prefontaine (I mean, who dresses up as Pre? Classic!); and Lukas as an old timey Oregon Trail character, complete with the word dysentery on his outfit.
What else did you guys see? Any funny ones?