The effect of this idea of cuteness was not unlike stencilling "teeny weiner" on your stomach with an appropriate arrow and making the boy go shirtless into his first grade classroom.
Which is to say mortification set in within ten to fifteen minutes.
The outfit chosen for me was a pair of Lederhosen. For non-teutonics, these are shorts made of hard leather with intergral suspenders. They are not to be confused with Leiderhosen which are the ones the zipper got stuck on when you were making out with Shirley in middle school. Nor are they to be confused with Liederhosen which of course were featured in the hit film "The Sound of Penis."
I of course could not have been born Scottish for I would have sooner worn a kilt with no britches than clothing last featured in a beerhall putsch. You can scarcely wonder how so much crap came out of Germany as half the male population has their balls squashed into pants that should have stayed on the cow they came off of. Aren't they the least bit distracted? This of course makes me wonder what part of the animal's skin is used to make Lederhosen. The stiffness and unpliability make me think head, just behind the horns or the part that gets bashed in by hammer in "Miss Cow's Visit to the Abbatoir." However, the thickness and tear resistance (lord knows I slept with chainsaws trying to get these things to rip so I wouldn't have to wear them) leads me to believe that they came from the skin right around the beast's sphincter.
While most of the other little kids were running around with snot-encrusted sleeves, their brother's hand me down knickers and keds, I was being marched around like a fascist escapee from "Its a Small World"
Worst part of it all was, I first previewed these damn gestaponts at the World's Fair. Like I had wandered out of the Lebensraum Pavillion.
The first day of the fair was meticulously planned. The old man had business visitors in from, where else, the old country. Once they had cleared customs and everybody was fairly certain that another war criminal hadn't gotten out unchecked, we drove them to their hotel where they "freshened up." For German businessmen this means changing out of the mercilessly starched white shirt, tie and suit into the mercilessly starched white shirt, tie, and other suit. Oh, and put a fresh coat of polish on those shoes. The sun's reflection off them only blinded the passing bird and didn't immolate him as required.
Then we were to drive to the local Indian reservation. These were the sixties and they were still Indians and native nothing. White folks were trying to figure out what they were still doing here. I have no idea what the visiting businessherren expected. Perhaps teepees, some sort of campfire and ponies lulling about. What they got was pretty ratty shacks, a couple of 55 gallon drumfires and some junk cars lulling about. So they did what every dumbass tourist does, they took pictures out of the car window.
Being six, the concept of shame didn't extend out beyond being dressed like a Hitler youth. Had it, I would have comandeered the car from the old man and shown them how a '67 Olds can lay rubber. As it stands, I think I just sort of wondered what this ride had to do with the World's Fair. I guess somewhere in Queens, years ago, some bunch of idiots drove through Bensonhurst before going to the World of Tomorrow exhibit.
I don't really remember many of the other exhibits from that first day. I do remember being dropped off at the on site daycare so the adults could go see interesting things. Back then, it wasn't called a daycare. Sort of a kiddie corral. Urchin repository. Buy yourself a few hours of peace and quiet. Whatever, once I got over the horror of believing that I was being left there never to be picked up again I found things to be not too bad. There were craft projects ad infinitum and all anybody asked was that you keep yourself busy and occupied. Hell, I was an only child. Keeping busy and occupied was what I did, usually with no more impliments than a finger and a few assorted boogers. Here I had vats of glue and all kinds of things to get stuck to each other. Being abandoned sure could be worse.
Of course, it could be better too. Remember that I still had these fucking lederhosen on and I thought, after the glue adventure, that I'd treat myself to a romp in the sandbox.
Boy was that a life's lesson when sandy grit got to be the only intermediary from me to chafing pants. I think I taught myself erosion that day with my nuts playing the part of the ever-changing seashore. To think we might have stopped the Axis simply by insisting they dress the part and take long walks. The birthrate would have plummeted.
So parents, celebrate your ethnicity. Quietly and in a non-vestmented way. Halloween is for dressing up and even then, let us pick the costume. When we're sweating a few gallons per hour behind some latex Black Lagoon Creature mask, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves.