Mr. Stay-Puft. Jakarta style.

PC reader Stlkid send me an excellent story – in 1984, while living with his family in Jakarta, Indonesia, he didn’t have the opportunity to catch GB in theaters, but that didn’t mean he didn’t catch the bug.

From November 83 to January 86, my family and I lived overseas. The majority of this time was spent in Jakarta, Indonesia. Now during this time, dozens of stateside fads passed by without us knowing they even existed. For example, the whole ‘Wheel of Fortune’ craze? Yeah, we only caught the tail end of that. However, there was one thing that our friends in the States told us we absolutely needed to check out at our earliest convenience, ‘Ghostbusters’.

Fortunately for us, a bootleg VHS tape made its way into our third-world VCR in the fall of 84 (amazingly less than a few months after the movie premiered in US theaters).

Now, we lived in a small house, surrounded by a cement wall that had broken glass at the top of it. There wasn’t much opportunity to trek around downtown Jakarta making friends. So, when I wasn’t at Cub Scouts or tee ball, I planted myself in front of the television and watched ‘Ghostbusters’ or ‘The Sound of Music’ (insert joke here).

Halloween was fast approaching, and when my mother asked what I wanted to be the answer was obvious. I wanted to be the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Note: Geography enthusiasts will point out that Jakarta is about 100 miles away from the Equator. That means it’s around 90 degrees there all year. As if that’s not enough, the upperbody and head of this costume are roughly the equivalent of a thick pillow.

So, it was off to the annual American Club/American Embassy Halloween Parade, where at the end of the parade, a 5,000 Rupia (roughly $5) gift certificate would be given out to the kid with the best costume in his or her age group.

I was hopeful that my tribute to Mr. Stay Puft would bring in the prize, but understood that I was up against some rather tough competition. When they announced the winner of the five-to-eight year old bracket as the Pillsbury Dough Boy, my hopes were dashed. ‘Oh well,’ I though, ‘We’ll get ’em next year.’

It was at this point that I was being herded on-stage by a couple of adults. What the hell were they doing? Clearly the youngster in the Pillsbury Dough Boy costume would be furious.

The jerk emcee asked, ‘What made you decide to be the Pillsbury Dough Boy?’ With tears rolling down my cheeks I sobbed, ‘I’m the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!’

Oh well, screw him. I still got the gift certificate.

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