‘Don’t fill our hearts with high expectations then just show up as a sexy ghost,’ say locals
By Isabelle Orr, Contributor
“Fool me once, shame on me,” James Gleeson told reporters last Friday. “Fool me twice—I won’t let it happen again.”
Gleeson is speaking about Vancouver resident Anthony Pickering, who promises larger-than-life Halloween costumes but has failed to deliver for the last six years.
“It’s disgusting. It’s shocking, really,” said Gleeson. “Last year he said he was going to handcraft a full-body Transformers costume that really transformed and drove. He showed up to my party as—get this—a plain banana. Not even the Rasta hat kind.”
Pickering, 37, has promised strangers and loved ones alike many fantastical costumes, including Groot from the popular action blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy, a mermaid with a robotic, moveable tail, and a fully functional iPhone 8. Despite his claims, Pickering’s actual costumes produced on October 31 have included “black cat”, “man going to the beach”, and Waldo from Where’s Waldo?
“He already had the red-and-white striped shirt for Waldo,” Gleeson added. “Pretty much everybody does.”
Lily Morrison, Pickering’s neighbour, feels especially cheated by Pickering’s thoughtlessness.
“He really hypes it up every year, telling us about parts he’s ordered online,” said Morrison. “He gets my children all riled up. They love Groot! Then, on Halloween night, he shows up in the most hastily thrown together costume imaginable. One year he just walked into my Halloween party with a lampshade on his head. Actually, that one was pretty good.”
City officials have been made aware of the issue. Councillor Elizabeth Ball held a press conference last Saturday afternoon to address reporters.
“We’re not going to get our hopes up this year,” said Ball. “It’s just not fair to us. This has been a recurring problem and there’s no sense getting all in a tizzy, no matter how absolutely dope the costume sounds.”
Those on Pickering’s side suggested that he, like many Halloween lovers, had simply ran out of time to adequately complete the costumes.
“Obviously time is not the central issue here,” Ball stated. “Pickering started telling people his plans for this year’s Mayor McCheese costume as early as November 1. That’s 364 days to get it together. Besides, Mayor McCheese isn’t even that hard. It’s basically just the head.”
Pickering gave only a short statement to reporters, stating “Hey man, life gets in the way! You know how it is. It’s just Halloween. It’s not Christmas, for God’s sake.”
When asked about the promised Mayor McCheese costume, Pickering began trying to shut his front door. “Yeah, yeah, I ordered a bunch of parts from Japan,” he said. “Really niche stuff. It should be coming in any day now.”
Reporters then confronted Pickering with an empty Value Village premade costume bag for an adult size large “Incredible Man” found in his trash. Pickering declined to comment further.