Tour de Fat whetted my appetite for Halloween |

Tour de Fat whetted my appetite for Halloween

April Out WestApril E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The world needs more events where people show up in crazy costumes.Outside of Sunday NFL games, of course. And square dances. I was reading an article on on the “spotlight effect,” by O Magazine columnist Martha Beck. The spotlight effect basically means people live really boring lives in fear of being embarrassed. They avoid drawing attention to themselves at work, parties and even the privacy of a cab ride so as not to seem foolish in front of others.If they could see me now …The story, titled “Squash self-doubt, find your confidence,” really got me thinking. I’ve often made a point of doing the exact opposite of the spotlight effect. Instead of avoiding it, I seek the spotlight. Obscurity is my worst enemy.Sure, I can be shy at events where I don’t know anyone. But that’s in no way as much fun as giving an embarrassed friend a lap dance or swinging around a paddle like a stripper pole at a party.

That was an especially festive night.Acting outside of what’s considered “normal,” or being the life of the party isn’t always the easiest way to make new friends or be accepted. But I’m more comfortable letting go of my inhibitions than keeping them inside.Just ask any one of my ex-boyfriends.Moving has been a great way to test my social skills and not let the spotlight effect overshadow the inner April. Luckily my first weekend spent in Flagstaff involved Fat Tire beer, crazy costumes and a bicycle with kegs for wheels.There was no room for self-doubt. Only self-indulgence.For my first-ever Tour de Fat, I’m a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t go all out with a kangaroo costume, monkey suit or lederhosen.Instead, I was more of a woodland-nymph type in jeans and a Pepto-Bismol pink leather jacket, with greenery in my hair and a not-so-magic wand.

Like the rest of the guys from Poison, I was more out of than in the spotlight.I didn’t go over the top but I still had a lot of fun, even if I wasn’t dressed as a marsupial. Accessories were key.”Is your name Ivy?” a college-aged guy asked me.”Yes,” I said. “Poison Ivy.”You can look but you can’t touch.”All bad jokes aside, I did notice Saturday that everyone was more approachable – and friendly – when dressed up. They lost their inhibitions and gained some courage-in-a-costume.Just think if the greeters at Wal-Mart dressed as the cast of “The Wizard of Oz.” I couldn’t resist but take a cart from a guy in a Tin-Man get-up.

There’s something especially magical and Disney-like when a grown man wears an animal costume. But it can also be a little suspect because of that whole furry-animal-fetish thing. I’ll leave that to an old episode of “CSI: Miami” to explain furries.I wasn’t the only one at my table to get excited to see a guy walk into a bar dressed as a penguin. It was funny, especially when every five minutes or so my new, extremely tall German friend Martin yelled out “Penguin!”Germans apparently love their penguins. Or at least the ones that like to drink beer.I was also strangely fascinated by one man in an adult-sized Po costume from the Teletubbies ordering a Fat Tire. I thought Po would go for something lighter, maybe a cocktail.If Tour de Fat was this good, I can’t imagine what treats Halloween will bring.April E. Clark is dressing as a Denver Broncos cheerleader – even though she’s a Colts fan – on Oct. 31. She can be reached at

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