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The Bird is the Word This Halloween

Halloween has long been my favorite time of year...and not just because I'm a closeted goth, or for the shameless taming of my unrelenting sweet tooth. It's for the costumes, of course. Not only do I absolutely relish in planning and daydreaming of a costume an entire year (or more) in advance, but I get so thrilled to see the creativity and the downright strangeness of fellow adults coming out to play. We are granted ONE day per year (or if you're in Los Angeles, one week per year), where without fear of judgment, we can dress up as any bizarre, obscure, or ridiculous character or concept we could possibly imagine. During the Halloween season, we get to see the great lengths that freaks like me will go to to accomplish the perfect costume. And THAT is one of the sweetest and most rewarding Halloween treats for creative weirdos like us. Los Angeles is already lawless when it comes to wardrobe...we can wear any absurd or over the top ensemble imaginable on any given day and not be awarded a second glance, so imagine the limits we push when we get to play dress up for sport. Glorious! I love it truly.

For several years now, I've considered being the marvelous Melanie Daniels...Tippi Hedren's character from Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds. A horrifying cinematic experience that has traumatized children and adults alike for decades. Naturally, Tippi's wardrobe and sass appeals deeply to my love of all things snarky and vintage, and the classic macabre of Hitchcock resonates with that secret goth girl I keep locked away. But something about the costume didn't feel quite unique enough. There are boundaries to be pushed on Halloween week, so push we must.

Halloween aside, something truly frightening has begun to unfold in my neighborhood, and many major cities across the globe. Flocking by the thousands, descending upon innocent civilians, terrorizing our streets, the sheer epidemic of Bird scooters has reigned its fury upon us. With every single reckless scooter rider, comes countless menaced pedestrians. I've been sideswiped on the sidewalks from these birds. I've tripped and nearly fallen over the endless sea of scooters carelessly strewn about the middle of sidewalks. I've been dangerously close to being plowed down in crosswalks by scooter riding maniacs who clearly have no idea how to control their tiny, and ridiculous 2 wheeled vehicle. I'll tell you, I'VE HAD ENOUGH. WE'VE ALL HAD ENOUGH OF THE BIRDS! The scooter outbreak is a modern day nightmare, and I'm sick of it. I simply had to say something about these god damn birds....

Then, as sharp as crow's talon plummeting into unsuspecting flesh, I had a VISION. For Halloween, I was to portray Tippi's menaced and mauled character. But rather than being attacked by crows and seagulls, I would be swarmed by tiny savage Bird scooters.

Do you ever have those rare moments where you feel like you've stumbled upon the crown jewel of your creative daydreams? Well my dears, that moment fell into my brain in full screeching, squawking glory (ca caaaaawwww!), and it was birthed directly from my seething scooter contempt and rage. In all my years of diligent, hand-made costume dedication, this is perhaps the most passion fueled costume I have ever created.

If you ride scooters on the sidewalks and leave them strewn about in walkways, YOU ARE AN INCONSIDERATE ASSHOLE. It's not an opinion my dears, it's a reality.

And let me get one thing clear: I can understand why scooters are a sensible and efficient mode of transportation, that if used with care and consideration of other people and our shared living space, can be of great benefit. HOWEVER, if you ride on the sidewalk with a scooter, and/or if you leave them littered about in the middle of a walkway, then YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. There were numerous occasions when other party goers defended the scooters. I of course followed up by politely asking if they had broken the cardinal rules of scootering, and if they admitted 'yes' to doing so, it was with overwhelming joy that I got to reprimand these individuals for their inconsiderate and reckless behavior. I have learnt that it is a rather savory skill to be able to scorn with tact...a skill I had the pleasure of sharpening on such an occasion, paired with a remarkably healthy dose of satire.

Birds...a menace to society

When Halloween was only 2 weeks away, I had still done nothing to prepare. I had to pull this costume together with a a possessed seagull, aimed at my face and cutting through the air with a vengeance, or an uncontrollable asshat wobbling down the sidewalk at 20mph, aimed directly at unsuspecting pedestrians. Both instill terror, rage and fear among society.

Modern Day Tippi Hedren; a Recipe

For the scooters:

I handmade 6 replica scooters. Using card stock and masking tape, which I then painted. Because I am a thorough woman, and mind the details of all things, I was also sure to paint clearly on each scooter "Do Not Ride On Sidewalks". Because THAT IS THE RULE that no one seems to give a damn about following. And this is the foundation of my scooter rage.

"I'm sick of these god damn birds"

For the outfit:

- The Joanie dress in olive green, designed by my friend Laura Byrnes at Pinup Girl Clothing. I admittedly own several Joanie dresses in multiple colors already because they are perfection. The dress isn't an exact match for the Tippi outfit, but the color is almost spot on, and the era is correct. Either way, this dress is gorgeous and marvelously flattering.

- A blonde wig from the depths of Amazon. I was actually quite surprised by how good this $25 wig looked. What I wasn't surprised by was how completely bizarre I look as a blonde.

- 1960's vintage leather pumps in a cognac brown

- A 1960's vintage leather barrel bag by Coach in the same color as the pumps

- And 3 pieces of vintage jewelry that I wear with ridiculous regularity...a pair of Chanel earrings, a gold chain necklace and a matching bracelet

- A look of horror and shock for the entirety of each Halloween outing, especially when walking by any scooter shamelessly littered throughout the sidewalks of downtown and Hollywood

- I paired this with shrieks of terror, while flailing my arms in the air any time a bird barreled down the sidewalk in my direction....Finally, some semblance of sweet, snarky revenge against the bird plague.

I must say, never in my life have I gotten such a breadth of support and elated joyous responses from so many people over a Halloween costume. I was relieved and delighted to know that I am not alone in my contempt, fear and anger over the scooter take over.

The whole city is up in arms over these birds, and frankly, we've had enough. What a treat it was to rant and rave with so many people who completely agree that if you ride scooters on the sidewalks and leave them strewn about, YOU ARE AN INCONSIDERATE ASSHOLE. It's not an opinion my dears, it's a reality. So if you must scoot your way around town, please do so with respect and awareness. Because if not, you are making yourself look like a complete clown, while endangering everyone in your path AND enraging your fellow citizens. Alfred Hitchcock would undoubtedly shake his finger at you...and so would Melanie Daniels.

Raising my glass that overfloweth with vengeance and mockery, as I step out of the goth closet to stand up against The Birds.


Ashley Urban


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