Is it possible to be too authentic this Halloween?


With Halloween upon us, I thought you might appreciate this funny story from the archives of “weird stuff that happens when you have no legs…”


Emerson always wanted to be a pirate. From the time Margo and I met him as a three year old he just loved to don the pirate hat and threaten us with his plastic sword. So of course, when it came time to celebrate his birthday, it had to be a pirate party.

Emerson’s parents, Paul and Clare, wanted to make this the best pirate party ever, and had gone about designing a treasure hunt circuit that meandered through their property; taking in various “scenes” and opportunities for pirate type action; not to mention booty to be looted along the way. And of course, to up the ante, they’d asked Margo and I if we wanted to be props, to which we instantly agreed.

I would wear my short “stubbie” legs; the ones I use for hiking and climbing; along with an eye patch and pirates hat; with a hook hand thrown in for good measure…

You can see where this is going…

The kids thought it was great as they worked their way around behind the chook shed and through the woods, squealing with delight as they discovered each of the stations Paul and Clare had set up, and I’m sure most of them thought it was great too when they reached me; all pirated up; hiding in the woods…

Except for one little guy named Leif.

His eyes got really big. Big, and scared, then his bottom lip dropped, and started to quiver…

Then, the screaming and waterworks started…

That’s when I realized there is such a thing as too authentic.
I knew it.
Leif knew it too.
Emerson just though it was the best birthday ever!

Archived Comments


  1. Jen McDonough says:

    October 31, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I have been laughing about this post for two days. Thank you for the wonderful gift of perspective my friend!!!!!


  2. Paul says:

    November 5, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Warren, I just read this….my first thoughts were with poor little Leif…then my own tears started to well up as a picture started to materialize……of you, in your full pirate regalia, stood there in the forest, in front of Leif going through his meltdown……and I’ve been howling ever since!


    • Warren Macdonald says:

      November 6, 2014 at 6:31 am

      Hey Paul, great to hear from you! Yeah, it was kind of intense, and one of those moments that (like most) came out of nowhere… Kind of like the one I talk about in “A Test of Will”; where I realized I wasn’t one of the tribe anymore; that I’d be seen like some kind of ghost. Or some kind of way too authentic pirate…