Entering the otherworldly realm of Hallowoads stone-cold sober with a blown-up Donald Trump mask is probably not the best start to a night, but it’s also not the worst. Chalk it up to journalistic integrity, but for some strange reason I was determined to experience Woads in its raw, distilled form, with unhampered senses and a clear head. “Where did that get me?” you ask. The answer is simple: awkward dancing, awkward encounters and an awkward exit around 11:45 p.m. I saw sloshed friends, wasted classmates and total strangers going ham, and I’m glad they all had fun. As for me, it was too strange to stay; too strange to possess that mental faculty while everyone around me was gone. And I don’t mean gone on booze per se, just gone in the moment, gone having a grindfest, or gone while crunking to Fetty. Standing alone in the electronic bonanza with me, myself and the Donald was simply too much to bear. For my next Hallowoads, assuming I return again, I now know I’m better off getting plastered with the rest of them … I now know it makes it easier for all of us to cope.”
— Ryan Gittler
As a junior, my first foray into the shit show of Hallowoads was preceded by a healthy amount of anticipation. What would the line outside be like? (Uncharacteristically short.) What would people’s costumes be like? (Half-assed in the fashion typical of college students; “slutty.”) Would the allure of Halloween make the usual Toads crowd more or less thirsty? (I’ll leave that up to your imagination.)
My boyfriend and I decided to meet up after attending separate pre-games. Meeting him on the dance floor for the first time, he was actually so drunk he didn’t recognize me until his friend pointed me out. We exchanged some short slurred sentences and sloppy smiles. Under the twinkling lights of Hallowoads, drenched in the sweat of strangers, slow dancing to Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It” because he couldn’t stand — let alone dance — on his own, the scene was inexplicably and eerily sweet. Minutes later, we went home, drank some water, and passed the fuck out.”
— Wayne Zhang
We never made it to the front of the Toads stage, but we did stake out a spot in the back. (More room to dance, we reasoned.) As we bumped and grinded against no one, thoroughly enjoying “Soulja Boy,” a waif of a girl — dressed as a “kitten” or perhaps a “hot college student” — turned to us with a smile. “Nice costumes,” she said, “Are you freshmen?”
“No,” we responded. “We are seniors.”
“Oh,” she said. “That’s why.” As she dragged a large-ish male virgin away, we pondered our SWUG zenith.
In honor of Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party (a movie we have seen in theater several times and will eloquently defend until our last breath), we decided to dress up as a sausage and bun to Hallowoads. Specifically: we purchased, from “findcostume.com,” a “one-size-fits-most” “couples” set of 100% polyester outfits, which included holes for our arms and faces. Below are the highlights of our very own Wednesday night Sausage Party:
A drunk banana hit on us. “Hot dog and bun!” he said. “We condiments need to stick together!” (None of us were dressed as condiments). Then, in a scene not dissimilar to the orgiastic conclusion — SPOILER ALERT — of our movie inspiration, he drew us together in a dance floor menage-a-trois. Trapped between unrelenting Banana and terrified Bun, Hot Dog (Abigail) faltered, her tiny red hood falling down. “He was hard,” she whispered after our escape, following 45 traumatizing seconds of potassium-rich thrusting.
Bun (Caroline) was just happy that one person, at least, recognized her costume, and didn’t call her “toast.”
We were disappointed in our class. Come on, guys, it’s time to be SWUGs. We got it when you judged our Lincoln Chafee and David Foster Wallace costumes last year, but we’re seniors now. Two-thirds of our suitemates refused to attend Hallowoads because they were “working” (!??!?). And the costumes that were on display were so unoriginal we can’t even remember them. Take off the bunny ears and grow a pair. You looked hot. Congratulations, fuckers.
Our work this Wednesday was thankless, yet a duty we upheld for you all. Not all heroes wear capes — or Ken Bone sweaters. Some wear polyester.”
— Abigail Bessler and Caroline Wray