The Halloween selection at thrift stores is always a little depressing. There’s the beatup and never used vampire makeup kit still clinging to the backing card. There’s the 342 baby costumes of Winnie the Pooh and a bunny rabbit. There’s 14 VHS copies of the Olsen twins’ Double Double Toil and Trouble. There is the odd Minnesota State Fair cloth cowboy hat that was thrown in with the Halloween crap. And then there’s the school-age kids who are either poor or just have bad parents, dispiritedly trying to find some sort of passable costume that will fit.
But today I found something different. I found a Halloween costume that is scary indeed, but for all the wrong reasons.
A Troll mask, and isn’t that unsettling? Would you sleep with this in your room at night? Didn’t you see this thing in the film Poltergeist, swirling around among Carol Ann’s toys? My question is, who was this mask for? By the sheer size of this thing, I can tell it wasn’t meant for 11 year old girls who wanted to be a Troll doll for Halloween, of which I am sure there were droves. Maybe it was a joke mask for unfunny guys who think ironically wearing a Troll mask is a clever and hilarious thing to do, period. Maybe it was for perverts who wanted to wear this mask while naked. I just don’t know. I can only theorize.
Trolls are due to make a come back. They have reared their naked behinds and faces-of-satan about every twenty years, the last spate in the early 90s. Russ Trolls came in every size, article of clothing, profession, hobby, and God knows what else. Everyone had somewhere between 2 and 138 of these things. Everyone. Let he who didn’t own a Troll doll cast the first stone. Even I had one, although I cannot remember what it looked like, because I have blocked it out. 11-year-old girls and women-in-festive-sweaters who collected Beanie Babies collected these creatures first. Trolls were so popular, they even tried to market them specifically to boys with stupid shit like Battle Trolls.
The Battle Trolls commercial: (Watch it just to laugh at a boy playing with Battle Trolls.)
While at the thrift store, holding this thing by the hair like a scalped head, and wondering if the girlfriend would like to be this for Halloween, two young boys scampered past. One teased the other, “you could be that weird-lookin guy with orange hair.” Ha, infants. This is before your time kids. This is no weird-lookin guy, this is a freaking authentic Russ Troll Doll Mask from 1992, a year I was eating candy corn before your butts were born. Then that was it. I bought it, and I bought it at Value Village, a place I risk contracting tuberculosis everytime I enter its sliding doors. So of course, before trying it on I hosed it down.
Seriously, I just can’t get over it. Look at that thing. It’s huge. You can’t take your eyes off it, can you? Well some Halloween costumes are just made for certain people. Or some people were just born to be certain things for Halloween. Like the people who are those slutty French Maids, or the douchebag Rasta Mans. And for some reason, a Troll mask made me think of the roommate. She was born to wear this thing, and I had to ask her to indulge me in trying this thing on. She is 25 pounds and like, 4 feet tall, and they seriously made actual Troll dolls bigger than her back in the day. So I knew she would look perfect in a mascot-sized head.
We did this thing where, she put it on. I laughed. I put it on, she laughed. But then we got serious. She noted the efficiency of such a costume and how you could wear anything you wanted for the rest of it. You could be a farmer Troll, a painter Troll, a zombie Troll, or even that Irish Troll from the picture above.
Here she is barely balancing the weight of this thing on her neck. Afterwards, she ate the cat in the background while wearing the mask. Honestly though, what were people thinking in 1992?