As You Wish

23 Oct

as you wish header

letter Memories are the currency of childhood. Whether it’s playing in the dirt on a Saturday or some epic, once-in-a-lifetime story they’ll be telling their grandchildren, it’s our job as parents to provide the experiences that those memories are made of. I make no bones about the fact that I try to tip the scales for my kids in the latter direction as much as possible. Hell, I’ve got an entire blog dedicated to it. Recently the planets aligned in just such a way as to turn what promised to be an awesome childhood memory into something truly epic. This is the story:

The last few years we’ve done the cheezy, family-Halloween thing. Last year we were all Harry Potter characters. Many, many months ago during family movie night watching “Princess Bride” we decided that that was going to be the theme this year. We divvied up the roles and the kids gradually got more excited as they pictured themselves dressing up in the rolls they would play. Meanwhile I started planning in my head how to get my entire family dressed up, because you know I wasn’t about to do no store-bought costumes.

The costume-making began in earnest last month when I took Episode IV out to Goodwill to hunt for Inigo Montoya gear. 20 minutes in the shop and she came out with all this gear. You can see she was already getting into character. The kids got more and more excited as each piece of the puzzle got put together and as Halloween approached.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my DorkDaddy. Prepare to die.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my DorkDaddy. Prepare to die.

Slowly but surely, piece by piece, hot-glue burn by hot-glue burn I got all 5 family costumes put together, posting updates on Facebook along the way.  as you wishDuring a long drive I heard on NPR an interview with Cary Elwes, the actor who played the main character in the story, the same character Episode V was dressing up as. Apparently he’d just written a book chronicling the making of the movie and was making the publicity rounds. That prompted me to post this picture of Episode V stating “It’s about 80% done. Still a couple details to get nailed down.”


Later that day I got a message from a friend over Facebook:

“You know Cary Elwes is signing copies of his book in the area this week, right?”

My response was less than elegant. “Uh… now I do.”

It was time to swing into action.

A quick glance at the week’s schedule. Yep… it was doable.


There was a panicked trip to the arts and crafts store, a few more hot-glue burns, an emergency purchase, but I was able to get the finishing touches put together on the big kids’ costumes just in the nick of time. On the day of the event I picked the kids up from school and whisked them away into the minivan for a long drive up to where we were headed. 2.5 hours later we made it up to the location to find people already lining up on the side of the building. One thing minivans are good for: changing into your Halloween costume without having to locate a public bathroom.


Episode IV was a little nervous at the prospect of heading out into public in her full costume, which was understandable since there’s a cheesy moustache involved and she’s 8. I gave her the option of dressing down, but she decided she’d go for it and it was a good thing she did. The evening was all uphill from there. As the three of us crossed the street and they came into view of the people in line, the crowd erupted in applause. We worked our way to the back of the line and everyone along the way complimented them on how amazing they looked. The wait was shortened by people coming up asking to take pictures with my kids in their costumes. They ate it up.

As we walked into the building the manager told them “Wow. Those are the best costumes I have ever seen.”

As we took our seats people turned around to tell my kids “Oh my gosh. You guys look amazing.”

Then the main event. Mr. Elwes came out and told some fun stories about making the movie. He was funny, charming, gracious… and 5 minutes into his schtick he stopped suddenly, looked at Episode IV, pointed to her and in front of 300 people in the room said “You, with the moustache. God bless you.” At one point he asked the audience “How many Men In Black are there here tonight?” Episode V stood up and again the crowd cheered.


When it came time to sign autographs and meet the fans he was particularly gracious when Episodes IV and V came around. He came out from behind the table, again to the cheers of the whole crowd, and gave some extra time to my kids. He played with them. Mugged for photos with them, and was an all-around gentleman.


When it was all done I loaded two exhausted kids into the minivan for a very long, very late drive home. Along the way I got this text message from my wife, and I knew it was all worth it:


-Dork Dad

15 Responses to “As You Wish”

  1. whit October 23, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    Everything about this makes me happy.

  2. Mike October 23, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    Man, I KNEW there was a reason I liked that guy. Cary Elwes, too.

  3. Susan P October 23, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Just pure awesomeness it in all. Best Dad of the Year award to you, good sir. 😉

  4. morrighansmuse October 23, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Memories to treasure for a few lifetimes! You are definitely one of the best dads ever, and your kids are so adorable! Iñigo Montoya and Man in Black! And Cary Elwes, ever so gracious, has not aged a day! I just might go out and buy the book!

  5. TheJackB October 23, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Love this.

  6. October 23, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    So glad this worked out and it was such a hit. Very cool!

  7. The Cutter October 23, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    That’s pretty awesome. I need to think up a good group costume for my family, although good luck convincing my daughter to be anything besides a princess.

    • dorkdad October 23, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      There’s plenty you can work with there. Princess Bride… Princess Leia…

  8. Dada Mike October 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    Score! Good show, Dad.

  9. Karisa October 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    That is awesome! I love the costumes but it’s especially cool that you wore them to meet Cary. He is a really nice guy and used to be a regular customer of mine when I worked at the pet store in Malibu during college. He was really into his doves, if I remember correctly. Whenever he asked me for something, I had to suppress the urge to respond “As you wish” 😉

  10. teachezwell October 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    What a heartwarming story! Talk about memories. That made all those glue gun burns worth it, I’m sure. Thanks for sharing.

  11. larva225 October 24, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    Amazing! Had been watching the pics on FB but hadn’t had a chance to read the post until this morning. Congrats! Epic Dad win!

  12. Diana October 24, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    WOW! You are awesome. I am jealous.

  13. Anonymous October 24, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Such an amazing and wonderful memory for your kids.. Best Dorkdaddy ever. 🙂

  14. kjysten October 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    Sam, I knew there was a reason why I loved you as a kid. You grew up to be an awesome Dad. (BUT…shouldn’t you have gone dresses as Grandpa? And carried the book?) :>

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