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Growing Up Geek - Hulk Smash Halloween!

Growing Up Geek by Joey Paur

I have some very early memories from my childhood, and I'm amazed by the things that I can remember. They are very vivid and really interesting to me. My earliest memory comes from when I was 2 years old, and it is of me pushing one of those awesome, old-school, metal yellow Tonka Trucks up and down the walkway in front of my family's apartment. I loved playing with that thing. 

I've been a Marvel fan for as long as I can remember, and The Hulk was my first favorite superhero. When I was 3 years old I wanted to be The Hulk for Halloween, so my parents went out and got me one of those vintage 1980s Ben Cooper halloween costumes. I was so excited when they brought it home for me, and I couldn't wait to wear it. 

Ben Cooper was one of the three largest Halloween costume manufacturers in the U.S. from the 1950s to the mid-1980s. The costume came along with a very inexpensive plastic mask with little holes that you could barely see out of and scratched around your eyes. It also came along with a vinyl suit that tied in the back. Those things were so cheap but so freakin' cool. When I looked up the Hulk costume online the memories just came flooding back.

My parents made me wait until Halloween to wear it, but when the day finally came arrived and it was time to go trick-or-treating, I couldn't wait! We put the costume on and my first stop was going to be our neighbor's house. I was just going to go over there and come back home before the real trick-or-treating adventure began. I went running out the door and my mom stopped me. Why? Because she wanted me to put my coat on, a typically motherly thing to do. I was so mad that she was making me put my coat on because it covered the costume! What was the point of even putting on the costume if I had to wear a coat!? The Hulk didn't wear a coat, why did I have to!? I threw a little tantrum, but in the end Mom won. Mom always wins. 

So I ran over to our neighbor's house while my mom watches me, I got my candy, showed off my cool costume, and came running back home. Of course, I don't want to wait so I ran into the apartment and ate the candy I just got. The one thing I can't remember about about this whole thing is what kind of candy I got! I got inside, took off my coat, and what did I find…?

My Hulk costume had been torn up! The whole front of my costume was shredded, and to this day I have no idea how it happened. Maybe my coat zipper got stuck in it or something, but I was so mad! That wouldn't have happened had my mom not made me put on my coat in the middle of the winter. So what does a 3-year-old do when he's angry? He turns into a real Hulk of course. There was crying, a tantrum, and Joey Hulk smashing the floor. 

All I wanted to be was the Hulk for Halloween, and that's exactly what I turned into. My poor parents had to deal with a real Hulk that night. Of course, now I understand that my mom just didn't want to me to get sick, but as a 3-year-old I didn't see things that way. I just wanted to show off my radical costume! 

I eventually calmed down and turned back into calm, happy Joey. I put on my Hulk mask, my mom put my jacket on, covering up my torn costume, and I had a fun night of trick-or-treating.   

What is your earliest memory of Halloween? What was the first costume you can remember wearing? 

*Disclaimer: The photo in the preview is not me. I couldn't find any photos of myself wearing it, but that was what it looked like. 

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