The Great Urban Race is Afoot

Remember ages ago when I asked you for help coming up with a costume/theme for Galen and my team in the Great Urban Race? Well, then a month passed… and I still didn’t tell you how it went. Please forgive me. Can we still be friends?

My aunt Carol recommended we check out this page of couples costume ideas. We read through the whole list, stopping occasionally when we found potential options. Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles? Charlie Brown and the Red-Haired Girl? Homer and Marge Simpson? Then I got to Sherlock Holmes and Watson and didn’t need to keep reading.

We pulled the costumes together at the VERY LAST minute. Friday at lunch, I went to a toy store and bought two magnifying glasses, then stopped by a smoke shop and bought a pipe.

(I feel it is necessary to tell you about my experience in this smoke shop. I had visited 3 or 4 stores downtown, asking for pipes – any kind, old, new, tobacco, bubble-blowing – and nobody had any. Then one man recommended a nearby smoke shop that I had passed hundreds of times in my life but never really noticed. When I went in, I realized I was in way over my head. Not only did they have way more pipes than I had ever seen, but everyone in the shop was smoking. I didn’t realize this was legal. One of the men working there must have seen the confused look on my face, or noticed that I was the only non-hipster in the shop under the age of 50, because he asked if he could help me. I told him I needed a pipe for a costume, so I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I definitely had a budget. He pulled out a big basket of pipes and told me they were the cheapest ones they had. While I was poring over them, trying to figure out which one had the best color and curve for our costumes, two other store workers decided to come over and help me. One was an old man smoking a cigar who decided to tell me the history of pipes and which kind Sherlock Holmes would have smoked. Except he picked the wrong ones, if you asked me. The other was a blond woman about my age with an asymmetrical haircut and a pipe in her mouth. Blondie sauntered over to me and my basket of pipes, puffing at her own, and said , “You just gettin’ started?”)

When Galen got into town that night, we sped to Goodwill in search of a vest and a trench coat. We got there ten minutes before closing time, but still had plenty of time to find Galen an awesome brown suede vest with fancy buttons, a trench coat for someone twice his width, and a tie.

We were going for as many shades of drab as possible.

We had to lose a few layers around tea time.

We didn’t win the race, but we had a fantastic time. We didn’t win best costume, either, although we did make it into the final round of voting!

After the event, we had a few drinks with some friends…
…and Galen stayed in character the whole time.

It was an awesome adventure.

Aunt Carol – thanks for the website recommendation!  I would be honored to buy you a beer (or high tea?) at Waterton as a thank you.



Filed under Keeping Portland Weird

2 responses to “The Great Urban Race is Afoot

  1. Sounds like fun…you should check out CitySolve Urban Race (

  2. Excellent scrambling, Mego. You and Galen win first place in my contest. We may need your help with the Bulger golf tournament costume plan, though we’re waiting for a final ruling on the theme. I’m favoring the cowboy idea. Think Goodwill will have chaps?
    I’ll take that beer and raise you two.

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