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Behind the house, we have a deck surrounding a gazebo that encloses our spa. With the spa covered, Rowland placed a dummy in an electric chair in the gazebo, and completely surrounded it with various wires strung in every direction. This included two hanging black lights, and overhead a rapidly flashing strobe light to give the effect of him being shocked. To make it totally dark inside the gazebo for this effect to work, Dave and Rowland covered the whole thing with black tarp on all but the front side. Two large mirrors were placed behind the chair on angles to give more depth to the masses of wires and the lighting.
Beside the gazebo was Madam Zelda, which was our idea of a carnival-style fortune teller's booth. Patrick sprayed painted a refrigerator box black and cut a hole in the side. We put the bottom halfway up inside, arranged a dummy head and hands on a cardboard back, draped in various scarves and veils, and created a crystal ball using a slowly blinking blue light underneath a blue plastic globe, normally intended as a play thing for hamsters. Finally, the interior was spray painted silver. Underneath and out of site we put a cassette deck and had intended to have it play a variety of pre-recorded fortunes, but since no one ever got around to recording them, we ended up going with a cheesy recording of Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart that we got for a quarter. It was spooky enough at low volume for a cool effect.
Finally, on a long table with black table cloth, black paper plates, black napkins and black plastic utensils, we had the food arranged. We put a sign Jami drew taped to the window above charting exactly what each item was and entitled it "Fresh Autopsy Snacks". The food, once again, was an edible dead body, and this year, though trying to be as detailed as last year, Robin and Rowland attempted to make it all more easily accessible and able to be served at room temperature. Here's the list:
- Brain: Bobby's brain-shaped mold with orange and peach Jell-O mixed with evaporated milk to make it opaque and flesh-colored.
- Hair: angel hair pasta in vinaigrette dressing.
- Eyes: deviled eggs with olives for pupils and red food coloring vein lines.
- Nose: inverted pretzel.
- Teeth: Certs.
- Lips: boiled shrimp.
- Tongue: a tongue-shaped dish filled with cocktail sauce.
- Arms: bone-shaped sugar cookies, red licorice veins, and tortilla-strip skin.
- Fingers: chicken fingers with olive finger-tips.
- Ribs: Johnny Reb's pork ribs. The best!
- Lungs: bread pans full of popcorn (white and full of air).
- Heart: heart-shaped dish filled with salsa.
- Liver: brownies cut in the proper shape.
- Appendix: dish of ranch (for dipping fingers).
- Small Intestines: mini-smoked sausage links.
- Large Intestine: big sausage link.
- Kidneys: a three-compartment dish with the outer two full of banana pudding.
- Bladder: the middle compartment, filled with Mountain Dew.
- Testicles: two cheezeballs.
- Penis: a really big pepperoni stick.
- Legs: bone-shaped bread sticks, red licorice veins, and tortilla-strip skin.
- Feet: bananas (amusingly pre-sliced through the peel with a straight pin).
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