This is a very old post from another site, but it’s one of those things I think about and chuckle over every year about this time, so I’m reposting it here. Without further ado, the tale of the roller ghoster!


Why You Should Never Dress Up as a Ghost on Roller Blades

Once upon a time when I was a teenager I had an idea.

I think we all know this story ends badly.

Anyway, it was Halloween, and I was part of the annual tradition of being “too old to trick-or-treat” but just the right age to chaperon my little sister and her friends around. I’ll be honest here, I actually had more fun during this period of my life than when I was actually trick-or-treating for myself. Mostly. This particular year was an exception.

See, the idea was simple, brilliant and cool. I was going to be a ghost. . . but a ghost on roller blades! This was back when roller blades were cool, which probably gives you some idea of how old I am.

Anyway, you can see why this was brilliant: Sure, the old sheet ghost costume is the lazy-man’s go-to for Halloween since someone thought of the idea 1601 or something, but the fact that it was a lazy costume only made it cooler. After all, being cool is partly about being better than other people, but it’s mostly about being better without trying.

The roller blades were what made it “better”. Equally easy, they would let me glide while the others trudged, and I would be a whirling, gliding, billowing ghost towering above the non-wheeled (and therefore uncool) people around me. Oh, and I hung one of those safety glow sticks around my neck to make me glow.

Like this.
Like this.

So off we went. How’d it go? Well. . . Sheets wrap around little spinning wheels. When moving quickly, sheets also snag on fences, trees, bushes, car side mirrors, and small children. There’s a reason you’re supposed to cover your entire body in armor before you put roller blades on. Basically, the list of hazards when you’re on roller blades looks like this:

“Fun” in the late 90s.

That’s bad enough, sure, but I haven’t even touched on the worst part! Add in the eye holes and. . .


You can probably see where this is going–in exactly the way I couldn’t.

The thing was, by the time I had reached the bottom of my own driveway, I knew it wasn’t going to work, because, while I had rolled down it, just as intended, I had rolled mostly on face. Was this predictable? Yes. Was there time to fix this issue? Yes. Was I going to be just some guy wearing an old sheet? Hell. No.

No, I wrapped myself up in that sheet, some hubris, and every teenager’s desperate desire to appear infallible and I soldiered on into the night. Because courage and determination will win the day! Or the night! I could salvage this and still cling to the ghost of my coolness, right? Right? Well. . .  the house on the corner of my old street has a spiked fence.

Less Oooo!!! More EeeeeeiiiOOOW!!!
Less Oooo!!! More EeeeeeiiiOOOW!!!

Nothing ruins your cool quite like screaming and falling down every thirty feet for three hours. It didn’t take long for me to start tying knots in the sheet to limited my billowy-ness. Of course, that was the whole point of the rollerblading ghost; to billow. Still, in the positive column, it turns out the torn and tattered remains of a white bed sheet make great bandages.

So really, looking back, I guess this is more the story of how I accidentally dressed up as a blood-stained screaming rollerblading mummy for Halloween.

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!
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