Friday, June 24, 2016

Ghostbusters Day 2016

Of course, I celebrated Ghostbusters Day on June 8, 2016!

The day's moniker comes from the original 1984 classic movie's opening day in 1984. To celebrate the occasion, Fathom Events held screenings of the 80s movie in theatres worldwide. Being that Duluth had one, I figured it would be a swell time to buddy up with Matt and hit the town!

The day started off per Matt and I's usual Ghostbusters adventures tradition of getting our jumpsuits on in a Walmart parking lot. The first time that we did this was for a kid's birthday party and after we laced up the boots, we had several ladies walk up to us and whistle. Apparently, they got a kick out of us putting on khaki jumpsuits and somehow remained quiet in their vehicles.

This time we weren't so celebrated with our dressings.

To kick off the occasion, we both exchanged gifts with one another; as a collector of nostalgia, I had a large box full of goodies for Matt and he had gathered a variety of Ghostbusters things for me. It was fun to see Matt dig threw his box of an ALF plush, various Ghostbusters items like the Winston POP FUNKO ride, and a plethora of shirts from the Horror Block subscription that my wife had no interest in. As for what he found me, there were a few posters of the Ghostbusters pinball machine and some Ghostbusters themed Campfire Marshmallows. It's really hard to find me things that I do not already have so the posters were a great gift and I need to get those framed well.

Ghostbusters Marshmallows!!!

Once we got on the road, Matt made it pretty clear he wanted some Key Lime Slime Twinkies and some ECTO Cooler. Knowing this from our planning conversations, I had saved one of the two 10 packs of ECTO Cooler I had found previously for this day.

One fun project that we had discussed for the day was to film a "In Search Of..." video for ECTO Cooler. Matt works for a local production studio who helps liaison Hollywood films in Northern Minnesota so I left the filming in his hands for this. I am not much of on screen talent but I am also not the absolute worst either so I am excited to see how the video turns out. We did a video for a birthday party we attended and I wasn't so hot in that one so I tried to improve from my mistakes.

The birthday video can be seen here:

As we sipped ECTO Cooler while cruising down the highway at 70 mph in the ECTO-Edge, we discussed our day's plans and agreed that we needed to do some "treasure seeking" for nostalgia. I didn't realize that Matt was also a big thrift store shopper and that made the day's adventures a bit brighter.

Also, we didn't care that we were in FULL Ghostbusters uniforms and we were going shopping just as "normal" people would.

During our travels, we stopped at the first Walmart that we came upon in Hermantown, Minnesota. Matt was hell bent on getting ECTO Cooler in the wild and he needed those Twinkies. I needed to scour for some new Ghostbusters toys from the upcoming reboot so I was for this stop.

We strolled into the Walmart in full jumpsuit glory and it took about 24 seconds for someone to notice us and start singing the song. It was a pretty special feeling to do this and neither one of us cared. It's almost a certain high that you don't experience every day and you just are on pins and needles to see the reactions of the public.

We made a sharp left past the pharmacy and into the toys section at this store. I immediately saw the end cap of plush Slimers and Stay Pufts. Given that I had bought several of these already for Harper, my daughter, I decided to pass on them today. I gave way to the aisle and hoped not to find the black hole void that most stores had for their Ghostbusters toy display.

But yes... this aisle was barren as well.

We stood there dumbfounded and talking about the cool toys that should be there. I do need the two other squeeze toys of the Rat Ghost (blue) and the Splitting Ghost (yellow) to accompany my Slimer Gelatin toy. This store had the blue Rat Ghost but someone with too much stress had already broken him and only his rubber shell remained.

I let out a sigh but Matt cast his eyes to the top of the shelf and spotted the tongue stretching Slimer toy that I had looked EVERYWHERE for. (I actually admitted defeat and thought he was going to be a Toys R Us exclusive.) He was going home with me!

While in my excitement, I heard a young boy lit up with excitement nearby as he exclaimed, "Mom, look they have a Slimer!" He was referring to the end cap that we had just been at and it was refreshing to hear this come from a younger person.

His mom tried to brush him off with the usual parenting and told him to go look down the aisle to see if they had anything else he wanted "more." He must have been a budding Ghostbusters fan as his mom KNEW there were more toys down that aisle.

She stopped in her tracks when she saw us and backed up to him. I could hear her whispering to him and telling him to go "look that way." I saw him bumble and shuffle at the entrance to the aisle and immediately get shy. He was in disbelief. This was the best day of his young life as he saw HIS heroes, in REAL LIFE.

Mind blown.

We walked towards him but he couldn't make out words. He just stood there dumbfounded and happy. It was great. We did our best not to embarrass him and just gave him a simple wave. While walking away from the young boy, an adult male told us that there was a green ghost sliming up the aisles to which I held up the Slimer toy and said, "We already got him!" The man gave us a smile and cheered.

In the span of 20 feet, we had a fan club ranging from 6 years old to 53 years old.

That's the power of Ghostbusters.

When we arrived in Duluth, I knew we had to go to their Cub Foods to see if they got more ECTO Cooler in stock. This is the place where I had my original success getting the nostalgic drink. And we were lucky to find some more!

Matt was amazed and determined that he would also find the Twinkies here. He did not sadly.

ECTO Cooler in the wild at Cub Foods!

After our ECTO Cooler adventure, we made our way to Canal Park to visit one of my favorite antique stores in "Father Time Antiques." This place has always been good to me as a variety mall of different vendors who rummage the wilderness to provide items to their tiny corner consignment shops. In the past, I have walked out of this place with a Jurassic Park series 1 T-Rex, 3 ALF plushes (one of which I gave to Matt), Gremlins books, and other odds and ends of my childhood.

And the best thing was that Matt had never been here prior despite living in Duluth for a while!

We walked, talked, and perused the goods at Father Time for about an hour. Towards the end of it, a young boy in a Ghostbusters shirt came up to us with his mom and asked if he could take his picture with us. We couldn't say no obviously and did our best to make his day. We asked the boy and his mom if they were going to the movie screening tonight but they told us that they weren't. In fact, he wasn't even aware it was Ghostbusters Day! He was just such a fan that he decided to wear that shirt and that made the moment even cooler to us.

We walked about Canal Park for a while longer that day and decided to take some tourist photos of the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth. It was fun to be with this crowd of people in our uniforms because people didn't know if we were in costume or for real. They only knew we were Ghostbusters.

Having a great Ghostbusters Day in Duluth, Minnesota!

Yours truly by the Aerial Lift Bridge.

Matt in front of the Aerial Lift Bridge.

It was almost show time for the movie and we still had to eat. We made a beeline for Taco Bell as I don't get much of that when I am in Duluth with my wife. Matt had suggested it and it was a good one.

Once in Taco Bell, we once again were a hit of the day for a lot of folks. The cashier tried her best to make it a "normal" thing but you could see her smirk. It wasn't until a loud cry came out of the food prep area that we knew we made an impact.

You see... our Taco Bell isn't like JUST any Taco Bell. There is one worker who prides himself on making customers days and it was him that had cried out from the back. (Seriously, take the time to read that article that I linked... he's an awesome dude.)

"HOLY STUFF! YOU GUYS DIDNT TELL ME THERE WERE GHOSTBUSTERS HERE!?" he said as he paced about the back of the food prep area. "This is amazing. Day made. Where's the car?! And the packs?!"

He came out with a tray with our food on it and he said, "All right guys, where are we sitting?" I wasn't used to this and thought he was going to crash with us, which honestly was fine with me. Instead, he brought out our food to the table of his choosing as we let him "Choose the form of the destructor." He was besides himself.

After digging into our tacos among the many stares of the other patrons, our loyal Taco Bell friend returned to us with two Apple Empanadas.

"These are on me. I am just so blown away that people love what I love. You guys made my freggin' week!"

We thanked him for the gift and Matt smiled back at me because well, free food is the best kind of food, right?

We were crunched for time which was unfortunate as I was still planning on looking at a new PC from Best Buy. This wasn't going to happen with our scheduling.

Thank you Lakes 10 for showing Ghostbusters 1984!

It was 6:58 PM and we arrived to the 7 pm showing just in time. I decided to make the grand entrance by strapping on the proton pack and googles. We walked into the theatre and approached the young girl working the ticket counter.

She stood there flabbergasted.

"Ahhh, let me see.... two for X-Men, please..." I said.

"Yeah right," she answered.


Tickets in hand, we entered the theatre and the cheers rained down even in the dark.

Uncle Ivan greets us for the 1984 movie screening.

Shortly after this, Matt's friend Jordan and his fiancée, had joined us in the dark theatre and I started to feel a bit out of place with the pack and googles in a DARK theatre. They were pointless and I wanted to still spec out a PC before Best Buy closed at 9 pm. (The movie would end approximately 9:30)

We sat there in the Fathom Events information screen with a countdown of 30 mintues. We had rushed to the theatre and found ourselves at a start time of 7:30 PM. I am still not sure what that was about...

I stuck around through this waiting period as I watned to see the new 2016 preview that would accompany this feature. Once the countdown ended, we were instructed that this would appear at the end of the credits.

I told Matt that I was going to run to Best Buy to look for PCs and be right back. After all, I owned this movie on 5 different formats and over 9 times. I could miss the first half.

I raced out of the theatre with pack in hand and boarded the ECTO. I got to Best Buy and blew through the doors as it were the Sedgewick Hotel. I gawked and stepped through the PC section with a frantic desire to find something that fit my budget and needs.

And of course, all day I had been cheered for my Ghostbusters uniform and now no one here wanted to help "that guy."

Once someone finally approached me, I felt the need to explain the get up; "It's Ghostbusters day...." as I motioned up and down myself like Vanna White does to a R.

"Hey man, to each there own... I don't ask questions," he replied.

Cool. I get it. All college aged kids go through Best Buy at some point and if you aren't a red solo cup, you ain't shit.

He admitted to me that he wasn't the expert on PCs and that he would get me with someone who was. The rest of my transaction was with a young girl who seemed to get a kick out of my appearance which was nice for this 30 year old dad of one.

I got the PC and high tailed it back to the theatres. I motioned to the girl at the ticket counter that I was already paid but she cut me off and said, "'re good."

The antics at Best Buy had me tied up so late that I came into the movie where Peter is bringing flowers to Dana's apartment. She's gone full Zuul and that's never good.

Add Paul Feig shows off a sneak preview of the new Ghostbusters.
After the movie, the 2016 movie had its featurette shown and while I hold my hopes high for this new adventure after much thought, it might be in a bit of trouble; a half full theatre of paid moviegoers did not laugh, chuckle, or chortle during the feature. It was just quiet.

Not good.

A sweet Galaga/Ms. Pac Man arcade unit in the theatre's lobby.

The movie wrapped up and as we stepped into the lobby, another patron had been waiting for us. He was in his late 40s to mid 50s and had the stench of still living at home with his mom. He had scraggly hair tucked under a trucker cap and was wearing black denim. For some reason, he had an iPad with him at the movies.

In other words, this was the something strange in your neighborhood.

"Do you guys mind sticking around? I told my friend about you guys and she wants to meet you," he said to us while navigating Facebook. "This is her. Ain't she hot?"

He showed us a photo of a woman in her late 20s who was wearing a black bikini during what appeared to be a semi professional modeling photoshoot.

It only added up as he was that creepy guy who must be giving her money. That kind of friendship.

We were dumbfounded and it only was until Jordan's fiancée made a plausible sentence of, "Oh yeah, she's hot."

He then went on to ask us where we got our stuff and I replied with a snarky, "Oh, corporate sent it." He asked where our home offices were so I answered with "Los Angeles" in reference to Ghost Corps' offices. He took it seriously that we were the Hollywood types.

It was at this time that her and Jordan decided to say their "we are getting the hell out of here" speech and part ways with us. After this, Matt and I realized that we had lost our creepy new friend.

Not two to disappoint our fans, we looked around a bit and did some PKE scans for him.

No sign of him.

So we decided to leave.

Halfway to the ECTO, he found us. And she wasn't coming.

Who could blame her?

So he asked us if we could settle for a picture and we were happy to oblige. Matt took out his phone and asked if he would take a photo of us as well:

Ghostbusters Day 2016 was fun day with a great friend. It had all the makings of a success; ECTO Cooler, Slimers, kids getting their days made, free food and ended up with a really odd moment.

Sorry this post got a bit long and for all those that stuck around, thank you. I wanted to make sure that I collected this adventure so it would not be forgotten!

And lastly, this sweet jersey from showed up too! What are the chances that it showed up on GHOSTBUSTERS DAY!?!?

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