Save on that boob job

The city’s crackdown hasn’t put a damper on business for Halloween Headquarters, which has been haunting the building formerly occupied by now-deceased Mind Games at Second and Main streets downtown.

The shop has sprung up in Chico for the last 10 years, and its Durham-based co-owner Shelton Enochs, a former mayor of Chico and Oroville city administrator, has 10 similar stores in Davis, Sacramento and the Bay Area. Enochs said he’s been assured by the city that no one sees him as contributing to the downtown party scene problem. The out-of-town troublemakers, he said, “don’t wear costumes.”

Enochs said the shop has a wide range of customers, and prices range from about $20 for an outfit to nearly $200. This year, he said, SpongeBob Squarepants is popular, along with Renaissance women, the Grim Reaper and, strangely, nurse costumes. Naughty nurses, no less. You can be one for $24.99 or a sexy cowgirl for $89.99. Boys—even 300-pound boys if you get the big-and-tall size—can be priests. Realistic fake boobies are $8.99.

“The soccer moms have been in buying costumes for their kids and themselves,” Enochs said, and it’s likely Oct. 31 could be the busiest day of all, as college students and procrastinators come in for their fun. “It’s a chance for people to be uninhibited,” he said.

(Dracula’s Closet, in the Almond Orchard Shopping Center, is also locally owned, but I’m writing about this one because Enochs took the initiative to call and complain after I wrote about its new, corporate competitor Spencer Gifts in the Chico Mall. Squeaky wheel, you know.)

They must be marketing majors

The Playboy party school designation may be annoying Chico State graduates and community leaders, but some entrepreneurs have found a way to make a buck off the deal.

Someone (if it’s you, e-mail or call me) has developed a T-shirt celebrating the dubious distinction. “You can always retake a test but you can’t relive a party,” proclaims the shirt, which I saw in the window of Sunshine Imports downtown. It says, “Playboy’s No. 2 Top Party School” and has “1. Arizona State” in little print and “2. Chico, California” big.

It was only a matter of time. Down at The Underground, they dragged out an orange “Halloween Chico Let’s Get Crazy” black cat shirt to place beside the Jesus action figure with moveable arms and gliding action.

Don’t touch my rally monkey

I was gone all last week, first for a jaunt up to my hometown of Yreka, and then down to Orange County for the big scrapbooking convention. My three friends and I got our bachelor of scrapbook arts degree from Creating Keepsakes University, so eat our glittery acid-free dust, baby! I’d been saving up for months, and it was totally worth it.

There was some other, minor event cramping our style at the Anaheim Marriott, however: the World Series. The management people and sports reporters were stationed in our hotel, and the Giants were staying across the street at the Hilton.

I am no fish at all in that pond, let me tell you. I couldn’t even talk my way into the press office five floors down from our room. So, after watching me bomb as a journalist, my pal talked me into going to the Hilton on Saturday night to stalk the Giants. There were a few teens trying to get autographs and some kind of groupie situation where the players could pick up chicks in the hotel bar. We got manager Dusty Baker’s autograph, along with those of pitcher Chad Zerbe, infielder Rich Aurilia and catcher Yorvit Torrealba. "Great game," I told them, which was kind of not true because during the game I was in a class learning how to crumble cardstock in "shabby chic" style and apply pigment ink to the ridges. Also, I like the Dodgers.