1999-10-23 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance

Watch out Lizzie Borden, you have competition--last year’s Drs. Demento.

by Susan Hartenstein

Unspeakable acts will be performed--knives ripping through flesh; cold steel lopping off heads; Jack Nicholson overacting. Oh heavens, how much scarier can it get?! Medium Rayah has seen the future, and it ain’t pretty. All this will take place the night of October 31 from 5-8 p.m. in the seemingly innocent setting of Building T-1, Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area.

Allow me to digress for a moment. When last we left the mad, mad Madam, she was still searching for her misplaced twin crystal ball--necessary to receive, as it were, "the whole picture". Thanks, however, to the expertise of her hormone therapist, Limbaugh, and his devoted life partner, Roswell, Rayah’s estrogen-deprived brain cells are once again pumping iron (a mixed metaphor if ever I heard one). Hence, Rayah recalled that she left her missing globe on the Number Two express train while returning from a "previously-owned tarot card sale" in the Bronx. Luckily, the ball’s engraved serial number allowed its return and Rayah is once again envisioning the future in full stereo. Here are the images which have floated into her crystal cranium. Rayah sees a museum of sorts--Dr. Demento’s House of Whacks. Candle-ized murderers and their victims forever inanimately immortalized in paraffin. But wait! They are moving, they are whacking--"machete-ing" their way through the innocent citizenry of Rockaway. Oh, the gore-stained freaks and psychos visitors will encounter in this interactive, "sensurround" museum of nightmares--Jack Nicholson and his Eastwicked witches; Lizzie Borden and her folks; Mrs. Bates and her favorite son, Norman; John Wayne Bobbitt, his Mrs., and their once-missing friend, Anthony; Hannibal Lechter and his dinners. And more. Much more.

What dastardly criminals are responsible for this blood-curdling transformation from simple items in a museum exhibit to attackers threatening the populace? No not Schuyler Chapin. The blaggards are the villains of old--Marina "Raging Flamingo" Callaghan and her bunch of rotten RAA bananas who each year perpetrate some form of brilliant evil on Halloween night. They include Geoff "Stiletto" Rawling, Gus "Don’t call me Jan" Nebozenko and that "Fritz" woman. Last year using her pawns, the Drs. Demento, Callaghan attempted to take over the universe. Has she expanded her sights this year? To further entice visitors to her lair, Callaghan has let it be known that museum entrance is free. Reportedly, visitors to 1998’s Halloween Howl enjoyed themselves so much, they went mad--mad with fun. Mad enough to wish to return this year. Supposedly they even told friends who also wish to come. Oh, the humanity!

How can all these poor, doomed fools be warned? Luckily I, Medium Rayah’s best sisterfriend, have the power of the press--the power to prevent needless carnage. Save yourselves! Don’t allow yourself and your family to be tricked into coming to Building T-1 in Fort Tilden from 5-8 p.m., October 31. All you’ll experience will be thrills, blood, gore, chilling lights, sights and sounds and more fun than you’ve ever known. Who wants that on Halloween?

To further keep the public alert, I have included photographs of a few of the perpetrators of last year’s RAA Halloween Howl. Watch out for these faces! Do not be led by them to your demise. If you see them, run! But be prepared for subterfuge. Marina Callaghan is capable of innumerable disguises and the Drs. Demento have visited a plastic surgeon and sexual identity clinic. You have been warned. Vigilance means life!

So as not to dwell on the portent of evil, allow me to move on to bright, benevolent late October events. Congratulations to the Queens Council on the Arts, which has received the New York State Governor’s Arts Award for 1999. RAA nominated QCA for this award and is very pleased that Executive Director Teri Osborne and QCA have won this honor. Ms. Osborne has been a very strong supporter of our organization. The awards ceremony takes place October 25 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. RAA members will be in attendance.

October 30, from 1-2 p.m., the Rockaway Beach Civic Association is holding a Halloween parade in front of the 100 Precinct police station, for infants to 12-year-olds. Registration begins at 12 noon. The best costumes of the event will be chosen by six incorruptible RAA judges. The parade is supported by Kiwanis, Audrey Pheffer and the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association. Later that afternoon some of those very same judges will decide the Halloween window-painting contest that the Rotary Club is sponsoring on 116 street. Local high school students will be the artists. Each will receive a certificate of participation. First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded.

My final words are these. Callaghan and crew are crafty. They may be so heinous as to attempt to infiltrate any or all of these last three events. Keep your antennae up and your heads down. There could be a guillotine with your name on it.

Medium Rayah has spoken…





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