And now, a special guest post from Miriam Kriss, uber-agent from the Irene Goodman Literary Agency:
Halloween in New York City is a big deal, the nearest thing we have to Marti Gras. Everyone, from the free-wheeling and scantily-clad Village Halloween Parade partiers, to the more innocent parade of young princesses, pirates and superheros that clog Brooklyn's Seventh Avenue, to the bag lady who hangs out on my friend's Alphabet City stoop, gets in on the act. So even in my poor college days I felt I had to make an effort for my first NYC Halloween.
There's a great costume shop on Broadway, just down from the Strand Bookshop, that's a block deep and I went in there to find something fun. Most of the costumes were out of my price range and the ones that weren't looked it. Finally I settled on a pair of fangs, really nice ones that had plastic molds you melted then fitted to your eyeteeth, where they sat suspended as though they grew there. At twenty bucks I could swing them and I figured paired with a little black dress I already owned, some white face powder and dark lipstick, they'd make a costume, without eating up any extra storage space in the dorm. After I did my little chemistry experiment of boiling water and shoving the plastic into the fangs, then molding them to my teeth, I looked in the mirror. The fangs looked great. They were ivory colored, not a glaring white, looked very natural and were surprisingly comfortable. They were a big hit that year and at the end of the night I stuck them in an old Altoids tin.
The next Halloween I pulled them out again. Since they were so comfortable I thought I'd wear them around during the day as well, not the full on vamp getup, just the fangs (ignoring cheerfully the whole vamp in daylight paradox), getting into the spirit of the holiday. I was riding the 5 train uptown, yawning at the injustice of 9am classes, when I noticed a good portion of the car's passengers staring. I glanced behind me to figure out what they were staring at, then with a rush I remembered the fangs. They were comfortable enough I'd forgotten they were even in and I'd just flashed them at the car. I gave a little boy who was getting off a quick toothy smile, and laughed as I heard him tell his mom there was a vampire on the train.