DC-9 of Horror

I ended up having a fun Halloween anyway, stolen car and all.

I spent most of the weekend at Perris Valley, because my friend Lew said, "If you don't skydive, the thieves will have won."

And the terrorists too.

What choice did I have?

I pieced together enough stuff to jump. I borrowed an altimeter, used a demo helmet and went without a jumpsuit or any audibles. It's nice to know that in a pinch, your friends will still make sure you get in the air. It reminded me of when I first started jumping and borrowed gear from the dropzone and all the other jumpers.

That night was the big dropzone party. I hung out with an assortment of characters -- a flasher, a Victoria's Secret angel, a headless man, a cat, a mummy and so many others.

Me? I was Tippi Hedren from "The Birds." I wore a 1950s dress, a blonde bob wig, had fake birds attached all over my head and clothes and had blood running down my face.


Instead, people asked, "Are you a battered housewife?"

Uh, who lives in an aviary?

One guy said, "Are you a peckerhead?"

I guarantee that took more thought than my entire outfit altogether.

And one woman said, "Ooh! You're from that Hitchcock movie. The one ... that one with the lady. You're 'Psycho!'"

My God. You people don't know Hitchcock? Argh. You kids and your MTV.

The night ended with some of us partying in the cockpit of a DC-9 ... and then trying to fit into the overhead compartments. What a spooktacular end to the evening -- sitting in an old, dark, empty jet at midnight in the middle of nowhere. Very creepy. And perfect for my favorite holiday of the year.

Topping off the whole weekend, JASON CAME HOME!

My broken boy hobbled off the aircraft Monday night at the Palm Springs airport, a meowing cat carrier in one hand, a cane in the other. When he was about 10 feet away, my eyes gushed like a faucet.

I ran as close as I could, right up against the Homeland Security line. I don't think I've ever hugged someone so hard. I looked up, afraid my tears had made his face all wet -- and saw that he was sobbing too.

I didn't think it would be so emotional to see him walking after all this time, but just the sight of him upright made me all weepy. He walks with a limp, his right leg drastically swinging out with each step ... but who cares? He's walking! I'm so proud and so happy.

We must have been quite a sight at the airport that night, with Jason all limpy, the cat all meowy and me all dressed like a bee.

After all, it was still Halloween.
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