While I never wore a ridiculous drugstore-purchased Superman costume to the office, I did wear one to a swanky Halloween party at the home of a famous female pop star. Problem was: I arrived at the party two hours early. It was just me—in a stupid costume—and the pop star—in jeans and a t-shirt. Oh yeah, and she didn’t exactly know me either. I was a friend of a friend. So there I was, some random ex-lawyer-turned-writer in the lamest costume ever, ringing the pop star’s doorbell. I was already nervous. Being an outsider. Not famous. Not terribly successful. I was sort of the token regular Joe at a fabulous LA costume party that I was told started at seven. And like the naïve outsider I was, I thought seven meant seven.
When Pop Star opened the door, she just looked at me quizzically. No smile. No recognition. No Halloween festiveness. Just a weak, slightly annoyed smile. Then finally, she uttered the following six words—six words I’ll never forget—“The party doesn’t start until nine.” Silly me, I actually thought that seven meant seven. Plus, it was a Sunday night. A school night. Who kicks off a party on a Sunday at nine? (Answer: Pop stars.)
To be fair, she did invite me inside. Pop Star and her two assistants—also both dressed causally in jeans—talked to me for about two minutes then ushered me into the den, where I sat by myself, in a Superman costume, for about two hours. But it only got worse…
When the other guests finally arrived, it was clear that I was pretty much the only loser who took the costume thing literally. About 70% of the people didn’t dress up. The other 30% wore “cool” costumes. You know, the kind that actually make you look better or hipper than you usually do. Not the kind that you buy at CVS—and make you look like a pedophile.
As for Living the Dream, in my quest to highlight the 24-7 randomness of Big Firm life, I thought it would be funny to see Nick’s nemesis boss, Phillip Atkins, call him back to the office on Halloween night while he was at a costume party, trying to have a good time. Costumes are embarrassing enough when you’re at a goddamn costume party, let alone an uptight, humorless law firm (which is why, I guess, I thought it would be funny.) To me, Atkins’ lack of reaction to the costume is the best part of the episode. He’s just another stupid associate in a stupid outfit getting called back from a Halloween party.
Anyway, the bottom line is: If you’re ever invited to a costume party, don’t go. And if you do, go two hours late—and don’t buy your costume at a drug store.
For the deal geeks out there:
If you were paying attention to the actual episode, you’ll notice that the Partner (Edward Kerr) tells Nick (John T. Woods) that the buyer wants to bump the purchase by $40 a share. Obviously, that’s a pretty big increase. Like crazy huge. So why does he say it? Because the actor made a mistake on that particular take. He was supposed to say $4 a share, but he said 40. And since it was his best take, we decided (after considerable and vigorous debate) that we’d go with the best acting performance, regardless of the $36 increase.
Or, if you’d prefer, we can assume that the seller’s stock is trading at $400 a share, so the $40 bump is only a ten-percent increase. Not earth-shattering news here, no doubt, but I wanted to make damn sure I preempted the M&A geeks and the mistake-hunters from ranting about the seemingly ludicrous $40 increase. Just so you know, I fought to use a lesser take where the actor said $4, instead of $40, to endure the transactional veracity. Until the editor told me I was insane, and the producer suggested I was ridiculous. Just another example of legal PTSD. Once a law geek always a law geek.
As for the Pop Star’s identity? I can’t say. Which is sort of ironic. Don’t you think?