By Quindelynne Hasler
For as long as I can remember, visions of a werewolf in a pinstriped suit have visited my nightmares. I have always had odd dreams. Fantastic dreams. Terrifying dreams. A werewolf wearing a pinstripe, red-and-white, three-piece suit was strange, but not entirely impossible for me to invent with my own whimsy.
Recurring dreams are not at all uncommon for me to experience. I remember vivid dreams of animated car seats driving the car claiming multiple nights. I recall many , many dreams wherein I would just miss the school bus and watch in despair as it rolled away. Or the sweet, wonderful dream of discovering how to fly. All of these and others occurred frequently, and they all usually played out relatively similarly. Not only that, but I could quite easily determine what sparked these dreams. Except for the car-seat one though. The meaning of that one eludes and frightens me still….
Anyway, the one single recurring character that I could never pin an origin or meaning to was the werewolf in the pinstriped suit. What could be the significance of such a bizarre entity? Why was he wearing a suit? He was never outrightly vicious. In fact, he was generally quite benign but his presence was always keenly unnerving. Whatever circumstance this weird wolfman found himself in amid my slumber was never a fitting one.
I wondered if I had imagined the character entirely. I have always had a wildly active imagination and it seemed like a possibility, but I was hesitant to give myself that much credit. Perhaps I had seen him somewhere once and he had adhered himself to my subconscious irreversibly. All of my questions concerning this peculiar personality came to resolution, however, quite recently.
I had agreed to go with my friend to his old high school to watch a performance of the musical “Big Fish.” I will admit, quality time with my friend was not the only motive for doing this; I also intended to write a report about the experience for a class. What I did not intend to do was solve a mystery that had baffled me from my youth.
About halfway through the first act, a character was introduced named Miss Calloway. She wore a pinstriped suit. Slowly, my brain began to rise to the stimuli. Something was eerily familiar about this girl…
A few scenes after her introduction, it was revealed that she was, in fact, a werewolf. My heart flipped and I turned to my friend next to me in the auditorium and whispered, “Is this story a movie?” he said he thought it was and suddenly, long-forgotten pieces of the puzzle came rushing back into view.
The film version of the story was directed by Tim Burton and came out in 2003. I would have been four years old at the time. My mother is a Tim Burton fan. There was a remarkably high chance that my mother watched this film upon its release and subjected me to it inadvertently or otherwise. In the movie, Miss Calloway the werewolf is actually a Mr. Calloway and is played by Danny DeVito. When the play ended, I googled film stills of the werewolf in “Big Fish” and discovered, with great satisfaction and horror, images of the very same character that had haunted my dreams since childhood.
I don’t know whether to feel relief for having solved such a great conundrum or immense embarrassment for allowing Danny DeVito to torture my subconscious for fifteen years. Either way, the knowledge that the werewolf in the pinstriped suit is really just Louie De Palma in a ton of prosthetic makeup makes the entire thing far less nightmarish.