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The Ocean Shores Pirate's
Best Costume Idea Ever

Happy Halloween!

You know what Halloween means around these here parts, don't you? Well, if you've read any of my Halloween articles over the past four years (2002, 2004, 2005), then you know that Halloween is the time to do some sort of fun activity with your good friend and mine, the Ocean Shores Pirate!

Come on out here, Ocean Shores Pirate, and say hello to the good folks reading this!

Arr, ahoy, mateys.

How drunk are you this year, OCP (Ocean Shores Pirate)?

I be a bit less drunk than last year, that be fer sure. I ain't hallucinatin' about no squid nor earlobe sammitches nor nothin' o' the like. I do be hallucinatin' that my breath be takin' on vaporous forms that be havin' conversations with me, though.

Well, OCP, what shall we do—

Now before ye be goin' off half-cocked, Chris, I gots a bone t'pick with ye.

Oh, really? What's wrong?

Why does it be that ye only be bringin' me out durin' th'Halloween season? D'ye think I'm worth naught else but t'be dusted off like some old-timey holiday record, t'be played durin' the season and then jammed back in the closet like some sorta smelly old boot?

No, it's not that at all, it's just that—

And I be havin' a general beef with ye about this whole "articles" thing ye be tryin' to do on yer website. Ye ain't done written an article since May! That be almost six months ago, matey!

Well, this summer I didn't write any articles because I was concentrating on my paintings, with that whole "Painting of the Week" thing.

Aye, that be true, I be supposin'.

And I'm sorry if you feel neglected during the rest of the year, but Halloween is really "your thing." You should feel proud!

What's that ye be sayin', oh ghostly vapours from me mouth? Ye want t'be ridin' the elephant at the county fair? 'Tis too expensive for the likes of ye!

Umm... anyway, OCP, what did you want to do for Halloween this yer?

Huh? Oh. Hmm... Arr... Let's be makin' ye a costume! A grand costume, the likes of which shan't be forgotten so long as the briney sea spills forth its seaweed onto the shorelines, much as I spew forth me insides onto the rim o' the toilet. Sorry 'bout that.

Um, I'll clean that up later. What costume should we make?

Arr! I be not knowin'! All I be knowin' abouts is the smell o' the salty air in me nostrils as the voluminous sails unfurl and me stout, sturdy ship takes off across the seven seas!

Wow! You just used "voluminous" in a sentence!

Aye, and I just vomited a bit in me throat. What be it to ye? I know not what ye should be for the "All Hallow's Eve!" What be one o' yer favorite characters from childhood? How's abouts one o' them video games ye grew up on? That thar Sinistar costume were a jolly good one, arrr.

What do you mean? Like Pac-Man or something?

Nay, not "or something!" I be meanin' Pac-Man exactly!

A Pac-Man costume, huh? That sounds pretty cool. I don't want it to be half-assed, though.

Neither do I! The last man what crossed swords with me ended up with me trusty blade cleaving half o' his arse, and let me tell ye, the results weren't exactly pretty. Arr. Half an arse ain't me idea o' a good costume. This Pac-Man shouldst be a grand affair to affront and delight th' good peoples of all the seven seas!

All right! Sounds good to me. Where to begin?

At the beginnin', ye blubberin' idiot!

<Sigh> I know. But what's the beginning?

<Sigh> Do I have t'be doin' every damned thing meself this year? Gimme that there pen and I'll be drawin' a picture o' the Pac-Man fer us t'be basin' our costume upon! Here!

Wow, OCP, that's really good!

Now here's what I be thinkin'. Ye shouldst be makin' two o' these Pac-Man panels, and ye should be wearin' one on each side o' yer mangy body, so as ye be lookin' exactly like the Pac-Man from either side! And I be thinkin' these things shouldst be large an' in charge! At least a yard from tip to stern! Like this:

That's a good idea. They'll cover just over half my body that way. What should I make them out of, though? Cardboard? And How do I connect the two pieces? I don't think I should just hold a Pac-Man on either side of me. I want this to be an actual costume that I can wear!

Aye, and it will be, it will. Have patience, me lad. Patience, like when yer waitin' for that sweet, sweet booze to make the long journey from yer lips to yer belly to yer bloodstream! Sometimes the wait seem t'be takin' forever, but ye know it'll be gettin' there eventually!

And, nay, ye shouldn't be using cardboard, nor foam the likes of which ye used to construct yer Sinistar. It be seemin' as if all yer costumes for the last several years were made o' the cardboard or foam.

Last year I made a Spy-vs-Spy character out of paper.

And what be paper, other than very thin cardboard!? Nay, ye needs t'be thinkin' outside o' the proverbial box, matey. Think back t'yer childhood. Was yer costumes made from the cardboard or the foam back yon?


Nay! They were made outta the cloth! So here's what I be thinkin'. Ye shouldst cut the Pac-Man panels outta great pieces o' yeller cloth, then cut yerself another strip o' the cloth and sew it to the circumferences o' both panels, bindin' them together like criminals lashed to the underside o' me ship!

And this strip needs be wide enough to encase yer scrawny shoulders. So I'm thinkin' it shouldst be five or six inches. Har har! Ye be a scrawny-shouldered wimp!

Well, let's say two feet wide, so I can comfortably fit in between them. But if I'm completely enclosed in this costume, how will I see out? And how will I get in it in the first place?

Aye, these be problems. Hmm... if'n I weren't so blasted drunk, I couldst probably be o' some assistance to ye, lad. But alls I can be thinkin' about at the moment is the taste o' sweet rotgut as it goes down me gullet... and then the less-sweet taste o' the same rotgut as it comes coursin' back up me gullet and passes me lips in the opposite direction.

Okay. Well, we'll obviously need some sort of slit or hole in the bottom of the costume so I can get up into it. That's easy. And how about using some sort of black, see-through cloth for the interior of the mouth-part of Pac-Man? Here, gimme that piece of paper.

Nay! Let go o' me paper!

Here, like this:

That way when I'm inside of the costume I'll still be able to see out.

Arr, matey. The last person what took a piece of paper from the Ocean Shores Pirate ended up up-ended over a barrel of drunken, killer squid. O' course, I ended up eatin' the squid before the braggart were dropped into the barrel. They tasted of rum!

Well, I guess we should go to the fabric store and see what they have.

Nay, lad. Leave me here, unguarded in yer liquor cabinet. I be swearin' that it'll be in the exact same condition when ye return as it was when ye left!

Umm, I think I'll take you with me.


Well, the fabric store had some cheap yellow fabric. I figure we can make our Pac-Man panels about 42 inches in diameter. That means that the circumference of that circle would be 131.94678 inches (circumference = πd), but since the mouth is one quarter of that circumference, the yellow strip in between the two Pac-Man panels only has to be 98.96 inches long.

Arr... ye be hurtin me brain, laddy!

And the black mouth part has to be 24 inches by 42 inches. Easy!

What about the hole in the arse o' the Pac-Man so ye can enter and leave it at yer leisure?

Oh, yeah. Umm... I guess I'd need about eight inches. So round that down to 90 inches of yellow circumference. Let's say 24 inches from the bottom of the mouth to the hole, and then the 8-inch hole, and then the rest of the 66 inches up the backside to the top of the mouth. That sound good?

Sound good!? Ye scallywag! Ye know I can't be doin' the maths in me brain-addled condition. Such insolence usually be meetin' the broad bottom o' me boot, but in yer case (yer such a nice kid), I'll be settlin' for a bottle o' peach flavoured schnapps.

Sorry, I don't have any.

Then maybe some Malibu Rum? Orange-flavoured?

Y'know what? I foresee another problem. I have neither a sewing machine nor the knowledge of how to sew.

Aye, but yer mum has the both o' them! So git ye to yer mum's place, and do all o' the cuttin' and the sewin' with her help!

Okay! Here are the results of the cutting:

And now here's my mom, working hard at the sewing machine!

And so now, finally (after two days and some four hours total), the Pac-Man costume is all sewed together!

Arr! Hooray! Try 'er on and let's be havin' a look-see at what she looks like upon ye!

This doesn't seem like what it should really look like.

Arr... nay, it does not indeed. Try liftin' up one o' yer feet and stickin' it in the bottom o' the mouth to have it stick out a bit.

Umm, that be a slight bit better, but ye still don't get no cigar. Ye know what this means, don't ye?

That we're gonna need to build some sort of skeleton for the inside of this costume, right?

Aaaigh! Don't be talkin' about no skeletons to this pirate! Why, skeletons be the very height o' bad luck at sea. If yer sailin' along and suddenly a skeleton boards yer boat and stabs ye with its boney sword, then that be considered very bad luck indeed!

Well, good thing we're not A) in a boat or B) at sea. And also that we're not making a bone skeleton. We're making a skeleton out of a material that'll be light-weight and sturdy, but flexible enough so that we can bend it in a circle for that wacky circumference. How about PVC pipe?

Arr, to the hardware store, for PVC pipe, some appropriate pipe fittings (fer the corners and what-not), and some industrial-grade alcohol!


I still can't be believin' that a hardware store dosn't carry industrial-grade alcohol.

Well, now all I need to do is cut the pipe into the right lengths. Let's see, I'll need four at 21", two at 24" and two at 98.96", right?

Aaargh, not the maths again! This be worse than when that skeleton poked me with its boney sword! Oh, but don't be forgettin' to subtract an inch or so to take into account the size o' the pipe fittings! That'd be a thing only a drunken idiot wouldst do!

You keep surprising me this year, OCP, with some truly insightful comments!

What's that, ye vaporous ghost from me mouth? What did ye say about Guatamalan coffee grounds? Aye, they can be used as aphrodisiacs for sea-dwelling mollusks.

Come on outside and let's get to sawin'.

That's right, matey, saw away! Arr, but this reminds me o' building the riggings for me sails. 'Twas a good time, sailin' the high seas with me rowdy crew o' sailors: Captain Crunch, Mr. T, Golgo 13, Brainiac, Unicron, and the rest o' the gang.

Those aren't your sailors. Those are toys sitting on my toy shelves.

Arr... and sail the high seas we did...

Well, while you're "reminiscing," I'll start constructing the frame.

Aye, that be lookin' like Pac-Man's mouth piece already! Wait yerself just a gorram minute! It's startin' t'seem like this here fancy costume might actually work.

Of course it might. Did you think it wouldn't?

Of course I thought it wouldn't! I figured this whole thing was just some booze-induced feelin' o' megolomania! It just now hit me that this Pac-Man costume is gonna be real!

Well, we're almost there. Let me slip on the fabric and put the bendy pieces of PVC pipe (actually CPVC, because it bends easier) inside... like this!

Arr! I'll be damned to Hades, where I'll spend all me time talkin' to James Woods! That looks like the God-forsaken Pac-Man himself! This actually be workin'! I be so excited that I be on the verge o' losin' all control over me bladder! I also be so drunk that I be on the verge o' losin' all control over me bowels! I'm takin' bets as to which one fails first. Three-to-two odds on me bowels! Any takers?

There's a problem, though. The two sides keep on collapsing together. I'll have to make a support bar in the back of the costume to keep the two curved pieces apart. I'll just cut another 24" piece of PVC, attach it to two T-shaped pipe fittings, and then slip those over the much-thinner CPVC pipe, and then tape it into place.

Holy crap, OCP. I think this thing is done!

Arr! Then what d'ye be waitin' fer, laddy! Try 'er on and let's see what ye be lookin' like!

Here we go. From the front:

And from the side:

Wow! This is the most ambitious costume I've ever done! And it's also probably the most successful. Just look at how completely awexome (awesome with an X) that thing is! It looks just like freakin' Pac-Man!

Arr, glad t'be o' service to ye laddy. Well, I guess it be time to relegate me back to a shelf or a closet until next year, eh?

Well, maybe if I get around to writing more articles this next year, I'll find ways to include you in them. At the very least you can pop up at the end of an article and say that it's bonafide, or something. Deal?

Yeah, just like that! Well, I guess that's it for this year's Halloween article, huh?

Aye, laddy. 'Twas a good Halloween, though, so there be no regrets on my part. Oh, and if any o' ye wagered on me bladder givin' out first, ye can meet me later to collect yer money.

Happy Halloween, everybody!


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