JJ Vincent is a real-life pink nightmare. How that happened is proof that truth is really stranger than fiction.
Three years ago, I attended a knitting convention with a bunch of friends. Ok, let me be completely honest. It was a knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, all-things-except-the-animals convention. One of the highlights of this convention is the Pajama Party, held in the lobby of the event hotel in Atlanta, at a time of night when most people are asleep and the conventioneers are well into the stashes of wine and beginning to wonder what exactly they were supposed to be knitting.
The previous Christmas, my partner J had gifted me with The Footie Pajamas. Have your ever seen A Christmas Story? Remember when poor Ralphie was at the top of the stairs, wearing the pink bunny footie pajamas with the rabbit slipper feet and the hood with the big bunny ears? Those pajamas, the ones that made is ever-loving father call him “a pink nightmare”.
It took me all of about 3 minutes to put on The Awesomest Pajamas Ever. We were at a friend’s house and her 6-year-old son, who had gotten footie pajamas of his own, was thrilled to have a footie-buddy. I was just thrilled to have this fuzzy pile of pink.
Back to the knitting convention (Stitches South, y’all). My partner and I decided that I had to enter the costume contest. One of the rules was that you had to be wearing at least one knitted item. So he knitted me a big, fuzzy pink bonnet with floppy ears and long trailing braids, made me a white pom-pom tail, and off we went. Our friends had heard about this but had not seen it.
If you ever want to make a hotel lobby with 100+ women, a few guys, and a handful of kids turn and stare straight at you in a way that would make Emily Post smack them with a book of manners? Be a man dressed in pink footie bunny pajamas and a pink fuzzy cap and walk down the big staircase. Or exit the elevators. Doesn’t matter. The effect will be the same.
Want to make an event organizer forget what they are doing? Walk up to them and ask to enter the pajama contest. Want to make someone or three lose a stitch or spill their drink? Walk by their table after you’ve thrown your name into the lovely knitted beanie. Want to get mobbed by every small child in the room? Walk to an open space of floor and wait for the pajama parade. Want to be very, very uncomfortable? Stand still while those same children paw and pat at you, and you hope to goodness no one thinks you are some sort of pedophile creep. Want to breathe a sigh of relief? Wait for their mothers to come fetch them. Some of them will even talk to you and ask where you got your jammies (Target, Women’s Undergarments, and they are discontinued. Sorry, guys.)
The Pajama Contest took the form of a runway walk and a “dance like crazy to whatever music we put on” walk. Since it is impossible to be mature, sophisticated, or even slightly dignified in a pink bunny suit, I had no choice but to strut like a high-class model up and down the hotel. And since it is even more difficult to play it straight when they play “Macho Man” for your “dance”, let’s just say that I won’t be getting hired by Miley or Gaga or Christina or JT anytime soon, but I wish youtube had been the monster it is now.
There were plenty of other contestants, women in shortie sets, fluffy slippers, satin nighties and see-thru robes. There were plenty of other events that weekend.
But the man in the bunny suit, the pink nightmare, will never, ever be forgotten. And yes, I won.
So what became of The Pink Nightmare? The same thing that happens when you show pictures of yourself doing stupid-fun things to everyone you know, especially when you are STONE-COLD SOBER. They ask you to do it again. And again.
And I willingly oblige.
Because really, how often do people get to see a pink apparition standing around reading a book, shopping for groceries, selling their artwork, or wandering around in a record store?
In Huntsville, AL? At least three times a year.