Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Once upon a time
Once upon a time in a land called St. Paul, a group of bar workers formed a group called the Vulcanettes. The Vulcanettes were an answer to the vulgar Vulcans, who, in their red jump suits, black&red capes and goggles, stormed through bars and parades during Winter Carnival, disrupting carnival events, getting drunk and smearing grease paint kisses on everyone in their path, willing or not.
The Vulcans were founded in 1886 as a legitimate group of the Winter Carnival, a foil to King Boreas, who is enchanted by the beauty and glory of winter. "The King of Fire.Vulcanus Rex is the TRUE KING of the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Vulcanus battles to end the cold of winter, and seeks to bring the warmth of summer back to the beautiful City of Saint Paul."
Anyway, in 1991 I was working at Sweeney's Saloon when the owner decided it would be fun -- and no doubt a good marketing tool -- to form a group of his own mischief-makers, whom he dubbed the Vulcanettes. He had a small van painted with the Vulcanette logo, outfitted about 10 of us in red satin jackets, capes and masks, and set us loose on the town.
Those were some fun times. I don't remember details -- it was an occasion for much drinking -- but I do recall storming into bars in a cacophony of screeching whistles and giving out candy to enraptured children on the sidelines of parade routes.
This weekend one of the girls on that original squad had a costume party. I pulled my old costume out of the closet and was surprised to find how easily it all came together. I figured she would be the only one who would know what I was dressed as, the only one to laugh, and I was right.
So here we are, 17 years later. Fellow Vulcanette Shamala is dressed as a Vikings cheerleader, "Roxie."