October 31, 2012
After an estimated 1,700 Facebook posts, 2,500 messages and half a million email blasts, the city-wide phenomena known as FotoFocus has finally come to an end. There was no better finale for this three-ring circus than a celebratory Halloween Carnevil at the Old Thompson House in Newport, which (btw) is rumored to be haunted.
Here’s a first hand account from our correspondent, Auric Goldfinger.
This story begins on a cold October night during a foiled trip across the bridge. You see, I’m nothing more than your everyday egomaniacal mastermind who keeps himself busy by plotting various schemes of economic world domination. (No, I’m not a presidential candidate, but I haven’t ruled out running in 2016.)
Anyway, I was leading my team of carefully disguised rodeo clowns from Fort Knox after our big takeover when things took an unexpected turn. As we were about to merge onto the Brent Spence Bridge, Oddjob, my trusty henchman, alerted me that our plan had been uncovered by the British Secret Service, and we had to abort the mission. Rule numero uno of any super villain handbook states that when a diabolical scheme has been foiled, you – first and foremost – plan escape for yourself.
That’s exactly what I did.
Implementing Plan B, I took the wrong exit without anyone noticing and looked for the first hiding place I could find. I stumbled across a deserted mansion on a hillside. Of course, as any good evil mastermind will tell you, things aren’t always as they appear.
I quickly ditched my golden roadster and walked up to the door. To my surprise, there were people conversing outside. As I approached, one of them asked for my “passport.” This caught me a bit off guard because I hadn’t even made it into Ohio, and since when do you need a passport to cross state lines?? As luck would have it, the Wicked Witch of the West flew up from behind and told the lady I was with her. She cackled, “Can’t you tell by his outfit? He’s the Wizard of Oz!”
As insulting as that was to my designer wardrobe, I went along with the sham for the sake of subterfuge. Once we entered through the creaky door, I was startled at the sight of Andy Warhol – back from the grave! With his lovely muse Edie by his side, he gave me an unopened can of Campbell’s Soup and attempted to take my picture. I explained to him I’m not very photogenic (at least not while being chased by British secret agents), but I sure could use a drink. I quickly downed a shot of Goldschlager. After the day I’d had, I figured it was well deserved.
I continued to explore this strange gathering into which I’d stumbled. What a melting pot of peculiar people with an even stranger fashion sense. I couldn’t have picked a better place to hide out.
Down the stairs I went into what looked like an old concert hall. This is where the majority of the crowd gathered. All of a sudden, the Ringleader of this little cult showed herself. “Welcome to CarnEVIL!” she shouted to the masses. The crowd started chanting at the crack of her whip.
I decided my best strategy for getting out of Kentucky unscathed was to befriend this Ringleader. If anyone could help me get back to the safe house in Mariemont, I knew it would be her. After she posed for an endless barrage of photographs – even Warhol looked exhausted – I followed her up the stairs back to the bar.
There, three blind mice surrounded her on both sides. Clearly her luck with bodyguards isn’t as lucky as yours truly. They were quickly distracted when I knocked over the cheese tray. (Silly mice.) The Ringleader, frustrated by her dimwitted henchmen, looked over at me and said, “I’ve been watching you Oz… or should I call you Goldfinger?”
NO! The jig was up. She snapped her fingers and, to my surprise, the bartender brought us two shots of Goldschlager. “You expect me to talk?” I asked. “No Goldfinger, I expect you to drink.” The Ringleader and I downed our liquid libations, and she explained to me that this mansion was a refuge for evildoers. I was more than welcome to stay for the remainder of the evening.
At the crack of her magical whip, a flock of birds entered the room and carried her away. “Time for more photos,” she said with a wink as she vanished into a sea of photographers.
I danced the rest of the night away and was able to make it safely back to Cincinnati undetected. My golden opportunity may have been foiled, but at least the evening wasn’t a complete loss.
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