Horned Ball 8: Protrusions, Pagans and Pierogies at Kostume Kult’s Arkk

Photography by Thomas Egan

Check out all of Thomas Egan’s Horned Ball 8 photos here!

“Take no scorn to wear the horn, the horn, the lusty horn!”

-William Shakespeare, As You Like It. Act iv. Sc. 2

O ye nasty beasts, grab your knobs, polish your points, gather your racks, and sharpen your spikes! Tune your trombones lads! The fleshy flood of Spring is upon us, and the Arkk is becoming buoyant.

Turns out, every springtime the twitterpated sparkle ponies of New York sprout a cranial protrusion. Sure, they’re harder to kill that way, but easier to

mate with. Eight years back, an Ares named “Costume” threw a ball for his birthday, and now, when the warmer weather returns each year, and the frisky city critters crawl out of hibernation, the Kult and friends strap on their bony processes and herald the mating season. This arousing festival of fertility has pricked our ears in times Paleolithikk, and placed us on the Road to Valhalla alongside many a lascivious TechnoViking. But in this Year of Our Lord the Dragon 2012, how to theme our bacchanal since poor Quetzalcoatl came prematurely at Horned Ball 5? Remember the rainbow? God’s reminder of the everlasting covenant that never again shall the waters become a flood to destroy all life? Yea. Campaign promise. O ye naughty, naughty Fauna…  Stringing a mere rainbow of rope-lights at your party can’t save you. He’s gonna have to do that thing with Noah… again!

Get on two by two! (Fuck it, – “three by three, and all combinations thereof,” the Ball’s invite conceded, “Cross-breeding is encouraged as we endeavor to make the future a more interesting place… Your DNA is requested”). Something familiar, thick and soggy in the air led you by the crotch—maybe you were following the pheromones?—to Greenpoint. Or was it the scent of fresh pierogis and applesauce that did it?  (Adi, I’m looking at you). And the Polish National Home was indeed a more interesting place, thanks to the sweat of Lori Lollygoa and the blood of Boris “Burning Elf” (not to mention the tears of David Katz and Karie Henderson, or the tireless paws of many, no doubt). With two opposing focal points in the main hall (the Arkk on stage and the DJ booth by the entrance, facing the stage instead of on it), I wondered if many Disorienters didn’t find themselves asking why they hadn’t thought of that spatial switcheroo in old Warsaw before. Oh. There was nearly a second-long delay for the music to bounce back and reach the DJ’s ears. Oops. Still, horns off to Lollygoa for thwarting the syndrome of let’s-all-face-the-same-way-tonight!

Despite the handicap, the jockeys spun by the grace of Adonai, doubtless shielded from error by their protective deities, leashed in like hounds, on either side of the booth: two ten-foot-tall lamassu (you know, that sexy bearded Assyrian-winged-man-bull? Yea, that one).

Lead set designer, Boris, and the KK build team outdid themselves on this one. Well, no, they always bring the artistic ruckus. With the pair of lamassu, the giant ark with its long ramp, trap doors, and windows, the rainbow covenant, and biblical references abounding; the environment was enough to send any sinner into sheer panic. And there was no shortage of sinner stowaways on the vessel this time around. Finally, peering out of the clouds of Heaven above, looking down disapprovingly on us all, the guest of honor, God… from Monty Python. (You know, the animated photo of cricket star W. G. Grace shooting lasers from his eyes? Boris recreated it flawlessly, complete with flapping lower jaw, red laser eyes, and lightening effects).

Even Boris’ infamous giant Toad came dressed for the ball (as a horny toad, of course) with a monstrous pair of a twelve-point buck’s antlers threatening penetration to the eye sockets of revelers within the secondary dance space.

O the Gong Show! The requisite wrong show! Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, …save sex. We loved the lass in golden ears of maize who learned to her chagrin she was not, in fact, at the Corn Ball. “Thanks for coming, leave your headshot at the door!” roared the merciless charmer MC Christopher Hardwick from under his two big, bedazzled shofars. To our horror, a loin-clothed couple aroused us with their sculpted bodies and nipple-tusks. Thank Yaweh for the “gonging” of acts by judges Dallas Wonderland, Pearl Thomas, and God’s good-ole glowing couple: Josh & Cody (dressed in a couple fig leaves as Eden’s very own Adam & Steve). When a delicious pheasant of a Fetility Goddess strutted her egg dance, hers weren’t the only antlers upstanding. By popular grunts and howls, the stealers of the show were the performers of Springtime Mating Ritual of the Giant Land Snail. These gorgeous gastropods took their time, but it paid off. Who doesn’t love a display of hermaphroditic fertilization? I’ll do your eggs if you do mine. Having awarded them a notarized certificate from Mayor Bloomberg granting them VIP entry to KK’s Halloween Parade float, Master Hardwick herded the barnyard theatrics fearlessly through to his final order: “Now DANCE, mother fuckers!” (Just like Noah of yore said to his animals, you’ll recall). And with that, the required salacious display gave way to the ecstatic frenzy of the Bacchantes and the Satyrs.

From here we were free to roam with the rhinos, butt heads with the rams, elope with jackalopes, and partake of the evening’s offerings: the Live Critter Shuffle Board, the Mutant Petting Zoo, the Polish Cuisine, and the Cross-Breeding Shadow Puppet Theatre (think: making the beast with two backs in silhouette).

Not much else to be seen, really. Ah, yes…  I suppose I ought to mention there were horns:

blinking horns,

viking horns,

sparkly horns,

fluffy white horns,

nose horns,

neck horns,

tit horns,

cock horns,

curled horns,

long horns,

longer horns,

nubby horns,

hairy horns,

shiny horns,

reptilian horns,

tree horns,

bike horns,

disco horns,




Very precious unicorns.

Precious indeed, till you meet one in a dark alley in Brooklyn… Fuckers are deadly.

O, ye filthy little furballs! With the electronic waves receding, the wrath from above subsiding, the dawn’s light fast approaching, you emerged to see a world wiped clean. You scurried off to after-parties, with your commandment from Heaven in no uncertain terms:

“And God blessed the Kostume Kult, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

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