Any other mother would have been shocked and appalled at the costume that this ten-year-old boy had chosen to wear to the Halloween party that night. However, when his mother saw how he was dressed, she was neither shocked nor appalled, just mildly baffled.
“And what exactly are you supposed to be?” she asked.
“Well,” he said, “Mrs. Grunberg told us in school that the whole idea of Halloween is to dress up as something that scares people and makes them afraid. And that’s what I’m going for here.”
“Couldn’t you have dressed up as Freddy Krueger or a vampire or a zombie?”
“Yeah, but they’re not scary. They’re just made-up creations intended to scare simple-minded people.”
She cleared her throat before taking another puff off of her cigarette. “I’m sorry,” she said as she exhaled, “but I haven’t got a clue who or what you’re supposed to be. Mind indulging me with an explanation?”
“I’m Global Warming!” he announced proudly.
She soaked in the sight of him once again. “Explain,” she demanded.
First, he pointed to his upper body. His hair was messy and dyed black. His face, neck, and arms were painted deep red. The T-shirt he wore, laden with singe marks and holes, looked like it had been rescued from a fire. “Well, you see,” he explained, “once global warming takes its full effect, the toll on the earth will be disastrous. You won’t be able to step outside due to the harmful UV rays. If you do step outside, without proper protection, it’ll be like you’ve been burned at the stake. That’s, of course, assuming that you’re able to step outside at all, because the melting of the polar ice caps will mean the rising of rivers, which will mean that many coastal areas and maybe even some inland areas will be totally flooded. Thus, the wading gear,” he concluded as he pointed to his lower body, which was clad in gear suitable for fly-fishing in a mountain stream.
“And you think people will get this?” his mother questioned.
“Not at first, but after I explain it to them, they’ll realize just how scary my costume really is because I’ll be a walking reminder of what’s in store for this planet in the future.”
Any other mother would have told him simply and directly to march himself upstairs right now and change into something neither as disturbing nor avant-garde. This boy’s mother, however, shook her head and sighed. This was par for the course for this peculiar soul.
“Well, have fun,” she said, “and I hope the other kids don’t beat you up for being so weird.”
“I’m not worried. People will remember me, and that’s what I want.” On that note, he left.
His mother chuckled to herself as she took another drag and returned her eyes to the television. She knew in another hour, she’d probably receive a call from the mother (and friend of hers) who was chaperoning the party, talking about the boy’s bizarre attire, wondering how such a young kid could come up with such a complicated costume. She would simply state that her son did not think along the same lines as other kids. Or adults, for that matter. He was a true original in mind and spirit and there was nothing wrong with that to her.