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On Saturday, October 27, there were several more Halloween parties to crash. I planned to hit two or three... The first one I got wind of was in Encinitas. It started early, and as I was coming from North County, I thought I'd go to that one before heading down to National City.

My date and I had planned to dress as Sonny and Cher. I shaved my beard but left a long, goofy mustache. I decided, in the spirit of the holiday's gore and blood, that I'd be Sonny after his skiing accident. I wore fake blood on my face, ski goggles around my neck, and I made a sign that read, "Gypsies, Tramps, and Skis."

Before we got into my car, I gathered a few small tree branches and tucked them into my collar and belt. My belt buckle was a cheesy microphone, which I was glad to make use of after buying it for a dead-rock-star party I had attended.

There were two security guards at the party's driveway who were charging $10 a head for entry. I was able to talk my way in but thought it was odd that a doctor would charge people to attend his party. Sure, he had a lot of food and drink and a DJ, but it had to look bad to some of your fellow employees at the hospital who're probably working $15-an-hour jobs.

There was a dead pig on a table, which grossed me out, but a crowd of people was devouring it. As I walked by, someone asked, "Who are you supposed to be, road kill?" I said, "Are you talking to me or the pig?"

He looked at my date and said, "I know you're supposed to be Cher, but who is he?"

A few minutes later, someone else said, "You're Sonny and Cher, but who are you?" as they looked at me. Cher replied, "I would need a mustache to be both Sonny and Cher." I said, "Luckily, she waxed it a few days ago."

There were five other people who came up to us and had no clue as to who we were. Our costumes were a bust.

But we weren't alone. One doctor had a tuxedo and a mask. He had a receding hairline, and Cher said to me, "Look at Jack." He did look a bit like Nicholson, and I thought he was the Joker from Batman . According to his nametag, he was "007." I said, "You just wanted to utilize the tuxedo you had." He said, "Actually, yeah. I just wore it to a party for Roger Moore in Los Angeles." I said, "He didn't have to wear a nametag that said 007, did he?" He said, "Nah. Everyone recognized him."

I had read that Moore turned 80 and couldn't believe he was that old. He doesn't look it. 007 said, "If you saw him in person, you'd believe it."

He told me he usually dresses up as historical figures such as George Washington.

I found out later who my date was referring to when she said "Look at Jack." There was a guy in a Jack in the Box head on the dance floor. He looked funny bobbing his head, and I wondered if he would take an eye out with his sharp nose.

Another guy had made a bathtub costume, with bubbles and a showerhead. His friend followed him around in a bathrobe and shower cap.

An older doctor was walking around in a hospital gown that had a fake backside sticking out. He had an IV drip labeled "Viagra" attached to his arm and a pretty blonde nurse following him around with a bedpan. She said, "Don't tell anyone I took all these supplies from [my] hospital."

I walked by a room that had strobe lights and a DJ. There were a few people dancing.

Out by the pool, I found a bartender serving drinks.

A woman in a devil costume asked me to guess who she was. Since she was wearing a nice dress, I said, "The devil wearing Prada?" "No," she said, "the devil in a blue dress...but I guess it could be Prada."

She didn't know who I was either.

A Middle-Eastern woman in a nurse outfit came up and said, "You don't know who I am, do you?" I backed up for a better look and said, "Yeah, I went to your sister's wedding. I haven't written about it yet." She looked at my date and said, "He asked my friend to marry him."

Luckily, I had already told my date the story: I jokingly wrote this woman's friend a note about she and I having an arranged marriage because the wedding we were at was an arranged marriage.

This "nurse" was actually a political writer named Sunana. Because of my costume, I guess, we started talking about musicians. I think she said she produced a Grammy-winning album and once worked with Meatloaf. I mentioned a lawsuit about Meatloaf using the title Bat Out of Hell for a second album. She told me about him losing two other lawsuits: one for someone not being paid proper royalties and another due to his albums not having the correct record-company labels on them. I thought, Three lawsuits -- Meatloaf is probably living on meatloaf these days .

I promised Sunana that I'd write about her sister's wedding and then she went to take her brother, who was the DJ, a drink.

As we left for another party, I assured my date that I wouldn't propose to anyone there.

* * *

I hadn't heard back from the people in National City and decided not to drive that far south. Gerald's San Carlos party was put together when a friend of his had to cancel her party due to the wildfires.

There were musicians playing downstairs, but I stayed upstairs with two of the biggest pizzas I'd ever seen.

I glanced over the rail to watch the band. Gerald, dressed as a nun, was on bass. A Mexican wrestler was on drums -- cape and all.

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