Habitat for Insanity. A theme which, when initially unveiled to a global crowd of Halloween revelers had the Key West Weekly perplexed.

“What exactly does that mean?”

One conversation with Donna Nelson at the Imagination Station/Fantasy Costumes on Roosevelt Boulevard hit the tip of the iceberg when she said, “this year we’ve ordered a lot of straight jackets!”

Ah ha! Adding a foaming-at-the-mouth Cudjoe-type effect into the already circus-like atmosphere we all play in with glee every day of the year. Now, the designation is official: for 10 days Key West will be transformed into a marketed insane asylum. Here’s how locals are defining “INSANITY!” and they dish about what makes them insane!


Lana Komarova, La’Trattoria and The Bottlecap
“Insane! Oopf!  I think of naked people. I have heard stories about Fantasy Fest. I’m dressing up as a policewoman and will be working at La’Trattoria then walking around with my friends. I go insane when I’m in the car and the cars to not move. Traffic james make me insane!”



Cwboy Bills
Deb Hudson, hostess at Cowboy Bills and Salsa Loca
“I think of crazy movie characters. Insane movie characters. The dead. I’m going to be riding on a float with a couple of my friends who will be getting married on the float! That’s the theme. An insane wedding!”



David Vinson, co-owner of Bella Hair Studio
“I don’t know! What do you do for a costume? Put a hatchet on your head? For insanity my first thought was a hatchet in my head. I do a pretty good skeleton, too!”



Information Booth
Maria Walden, Blue Sky Rentals
“(Laughs) I’ve been thinking about this for a month. Key West is insane. Not a bad insane. The island is full of humanitarians and philanthropists trying to help each other; feed the homeless, house those living with AIDS, save the reef, save the sea turtle; everyone is running around at 90 miles an hour like their heads are chopped off trying to save each other. This is the wonderful component to Key West, and what I take away from this year’s theme! What makes me insane? Oh my gosh. When someone asks me if they’ve missed the sunset and if there’s another one. ‘What time does the sun set?’ They ask me.”




Jerry Sanders, attorney with Vernis and Bowling
“What drives me insane? I have a pretty low tolerance for ignorance. I know I shouldn’t be that way. I try to hide it. Drives me up the wall. When you explain something to people two and three times and you have to go around the mulberry bush again three time, whatever before they grasp the concept if they ever do. That I don’t like. That drives me insane.”



Loukos Kongos, Capricorn Jewelry
“Money makes me insane. The theme is crazy. You have to fit into this craziness in Key West.”



Maintenance Man
Ward Smith, Duval House maintenance man
“My job drives me insane. Naked women. I don’t think of humanity. I think of something fun! You’ve got to have a little bad and a little of good in life to make it interesting. Life can’t be all good then you wouldn’t recognize the difference!”




Marty Cohen, Craig’s List seller
“The garage sale enthusiasts make me insane. I say $10! They say $1!”




Paul Doucette, bartender at 801
“Home. The land of misfit boys. For the parade we’re portraying an insane asylum and I’m dressing up as Dr. *&^$. I was brought up in New England so pretty much nothing drives me insane. I’m happy! Key West is a place where you can truly be yourself and that’s why I moved here!” 



Steven Phillips, pedi-cab driver
“You make yourself insane. No one else can do it better than your self. People in general are insane. For my costume I am going to be very simple. Nothing too heavy. Just a masquerade mask.”



Robert Silver, co-owner Bella Hair Studio
“Insanity! Just look at the window and see what comes by!”



Valere Chelley, co-owner Vinos on Duval
“Late nights at Bagatelle! No, I’m kidding! The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the theme is the Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange. Men are running around crazy wearing top hats and cloth pieces.”



Paul Gildea
Paul Gildea, Consignments on Southard furniture broker
“Insanity has different ramifications. I’m sure right now people are worried about the insanity of the economy. Right now the country is insane because the state of the economy. People feel very insecure. With the current politics of the federal government you almost wonder if we can ever believe them (the feds) again. I’m worried about those people’s sanity and honesty.”




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