It was my second year of Santacon, my third year of university, and life was getting stranger. I'd just barely not flunked out of my degree, gotten myself into a deep pit of depression from which I was just recovering, lost a good friend to the after effects of cancer, and consequentially decided that life was too short not to hop on a one way flight to Canada and hitch round the world.
That would happen in July, when I graduated. In the meantime, there was Santacon. I still had nightmare memories of cleaning green body paint out of...places, and the tentacles had been fun but awkward. Instead I decided to transition to a more practical "cultist/high priest" theme.
The base was another cheap felt suit, but the majority of the crafting went into the centrepiece - the Santa Staff of Doom.
I'd bought a rather realistic plastic skull on Ebay, because...I'd seen a rather realistic plastic skull on Ebay, and in keeping with the Lovecraftian theme I christened it Randolph Carter after Lovecraft's favourite (but frequently tortured and traumatised) protagonist. With the addition of a jaunty miniature santa hat (which I think came off a teddy bear) firmly attached with staples, Randolph Carter the Christmas Skull would be the crowning feature of an accessory that would be both festive *and* horrifying.
I ordered a martial arts training staff for £10 on Ebay, a surprisingly nice, solid piece of wood, and found that Randolph had a handy mounting hole in his neck area which after some experimentation fitted very snugly over one of my dry erase markers, which I then strapped securely to the top of the staff with parcel tape (hooray for cheap crafting materials on a student budget).
A good winding of tinsel ramped up the festiveness, and three rubber snakes went under the hacksaw to provide appropriately writhing and three dimensional tentacles, strapped on with more tape and covered up with more tinsel.
A sign of terrible import, printed and glued onto a bit of thin chipboard, was attached to the staff with a couple of screws, and Mini Cthulhu who had hung from my belt the previous year was given pride of place under it.
Finally, the whole thing was finished off with a couple of light-up LED badges stuck to card tabs.
The Santa Staff of Doom was complete! Enjoy the ominous yet crap early digital camera video...
I even had a little time to improve the cheap suit by adding a felt Cthulhu face to the hat, made out of last year's dark green felt.
Here's the whole ensemble in a photograph from someone I unfortunately can't now identify - if it's yours, hit me up!
See you soon!