DID YOU KNOW? Paula Abdul is not African-American. She is of Syrian and Brazilian descent.
So every year the senior class sponsors a really, really cheap (like $2.50) Halloween-themed cruise for older undergraduates, mostly seniors. I forget the exact name of the event right now, but the point is--there's a Halloween theme. Basically you could eat the cost of the cruise in complimentary pizza rolls within the first 5 minutes of being on the boat, so there's not really any reason not to go. Anyway, Bryan had the awesome idea that he, Mitra, and I would go as i^, j^, and k^, the unit vectors in Cartesian coordinates, but then he apparently had some other engagement that he found more pressing. Suddenly, Mitra and I were left alone that morning without an x-dimension, like cakes out in the rain. So, after a few minutes of brainstorming, we came up with this e-mail to send out to the floor:
From: Sam Maurer
To: Conner 2
Date: 10/28/2006 12:06 PM
Hey floor, I need a tight black t-shirt for a costume event tonight
Mitra: "the best costume in the world."
It's okay if you're a girl... probably better, actually. Just so long as you are about 1-2 sizes smaller than I.
Also, Mitra needs an extremely low-cut, brightly-colored, potentially-clashing party shirt, lots of botox, drugs, and some chain-like gold necklaces. (Seriously, the first and last one are real requests.)
Can anyone guess who we're dressing up as? 2 cookies if you can!
I was so excited by the prospect of this costume that I immediately gave Sam's Mom a call and made her guess who we were going as. "Paris Hilton?" she ventured. ENNNH. No, obviously the correct answer is...
Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul from American Idol!
I don't know when Simon ever carries Paula around like a new bride, but I can imagine it happening--he's pretty buff, and she's pretty bad at walking around without tripping. Plus I think they're secretly lovers.
The first thing Sam's Mom asked after I told her the exact nature of our costume was, "What are you going to do for man boobs?"
Sam's Mom is kinda awesome, huh?
Luckily, Ruth had a padded swimsuit top that did the job nicely. I actually experimented with three different bras throughout the day to find one that made me look like I was a little paunchy, but not like I was in the middle of gender reassignment therapy.
I finished off the look with a little hair gel, which I normally despise, from Gabe '08 and an empty coke cup that I procured from the Anna's Taqueria Accessory Wall. I was not wearing eyeshadow; that's just what my eyes look like after I forced them to pull countless all-nighters over the past four years.
Mitra's costume turned out even better! To make sure she wasn't confused for a gypsy or something, I suggested that she clap like a seal, arbitrarily burst into tears, and just generally act like an insane clown all night. I mean, look at the above photo--you can totally tell that's Paula Abdul, right?
However, when she wanted to, Mitra could actually rock the Paula Abdul look pretty fiercely. Perhaps even better than Paula Abdul herself can. Here she is as a Bond girl with Carter '07. Now that I think of it, I can't believe nobody has ever asked Paula Abdul to be a Bond girl. She would rock with an assault rifle, I think.
Here we are all together before leaving: Sam (Simon Cowell), Mitra (Paula Abdul), Spencer '07 (uh, MIT prefrosh?), Ruth '07 (another Bond girl) and Carter '07 (James Bond).
The cruise was actually the most fun party-type event that I have attended in a long, long while. Probably since Germany when I had to show all the European people how Americans dance to "Hey Ya!" I've said it before, but one thing I love about MIT is that 90% of the student body has no idea how to dance, so the atmosphere out on the dance floor is completely accepting and un-self-conscious no matter how many people you're running into and impaling with your costume. And some of the costumes were almost as clever as our own! I think my favorite one was the three people who dressed up as an RLC circuit, although I only happened to see the 67 mHenry inductor walking around.
Former floormate Varsha '07 and a few other girls from her sorority dressed up as magnetic poetry and walked around in various permutations throughout the evening spelling sentences that were always interesting and occasionally printable.
Nicole '07 is here dressed up as Ryu from Street Fighter II, and immediately to her right you can see Wilson from Home Improvement. I was really, really impressed by the Street Fighter costumes--although you'd expect something like that from a nerd school like MIT, they even had girls dressing up as the obscure ones like Sagat and Zangief. Honestly, I would have only expected Ryu, Chun Li, Dhalsim, and maybe Blanka if they had the time.
All in all, I thought that this night could be the dark horse favorite to win the competition, and Mitra thought that we really made the night our own, sang through the colors and absorbed the smell of light. Then she started crying and clapping over her head.
Isn't that right, Paula?
Yep, that's right.
Oh, and drink Coke.