Costume Theory

I have never been a huge fan of Halloween. I think this goes back to childhood, when my mother would make me trade all my candy for a new G.I. Joe toy she’d bought a day earlier. Apparently, she was more worried about cavities than the elaborate war fantasies I spent most of my days enacting with action figures and matches. I still care about Halloween, though. And over the years, it seems the holiday has sold out like all the others. Christmas, for example, is supposed to be about goodwill (or something) but now it’s really just about presents. Halloween used to be about scaring the shit out of small children, but now it’s all about spending money on costumes and beer.Unfortunately, the corporate takeover of holidays are like a lot of other things out of our control: rainy days, rush hour traffic, and the complete destruction of Earth’s environment – you just have to go with the flow. So I’ve tried to maintain my enthusiasm as long as possible for dressing up and getting drunk by simply creating some of the best costumes ever.

piratesFor a long time I simply tucked my shirt in, wore a baseball cap, and went as Troy the College Fuck. Several years ago, though, I amped up the action and buddied up with a friend… Space Pirates. You don’t have to spend lots of money on a costume for it to be a success- a used garbage man’s uniform, a sew-on moon badge, and an eye patch should be enough. Optionally, a speech, and in some cases a pirate’s hat, will always make any good get-up better. In this case, since we were both Space Pirates, we would recite the following every chance afforded, alternating lines:

I am Nebulius,
And I am Quasar,
And we’re going galactic,
So Lock up the moon colonists’ daughter!

Wearing the same costume two years in a row is frowned upon by many, but recycling half of a costume is both inspired and frugal. The next year, I wore the same blue uniform but replaced the buccaneer’s trimmings with a baseball glove… I was a Spaceball Player. I also cooked up another speech dealing with my league record 585 homeruns, “there’s not much gravity in spaceball after all”. By the end of the night, though, I was wishing I had someone to play catch with, and I had learned a valuable lesson.

darthgarthIt is always wiser to dress up as a pair with someone else, especially when dealing with an exceptionally clever costume. For one, it makes the jealous jeering much easier to take. So the next year, I teamed with another friend. Dressing up as a cultural icon is fairly mundane, but combining two popular figures from different worlds, or at least different movies, is a sure-fire triumph. When one of those movies is Star Wars, you can’t lose. When the other movie is Wayne’s Wolrd, you’ve got Garth Vader and Garth Maul. I did learn another lesson, which is that Halloween is more enjoyable without a mask that restricts breathing and sight. Still, I was apparently having a very good time before I passed out.

One year later, I paired up again to fulfill a long-standing dream of going to a bar with my pants around my ankles. We went as Pumpkin Fuckers. The entire night is documented in pictures here. The general reaction to the prosthetics and pumpkins strapped to our waist was one we were actually used to- women laughing at us from a distance. The few who were brave enough to laugh at us in close proximity while handling our fake cocks seemed amused though, and they continued to laugh while walking away after we asked them to come home with us and make pumpkin pie.

A year After that, I took the easy way out and went as Bronco Jesus. Since I had long hair at the time and resembled our Holy Christ anyway, I just wore a Denver Broncos cap and drew a cross on a white t-shirt with the letters “WWBJD?” written underneath. What Would Bronco Jesus Do?

lukeThis year, I have to admit, my belief in Halloween was waning more than ever. Even the “costume and beer” version of Halloween was losing it’s charm – I thought about forgetting about the first part of that equation all together. One night, my costume was hoping someone else showed up with a costume I could share. This actually worked – a complete stranger arrived with a painting of two “beach bods” with holes where the heads should have been. I told the woman I would be “using one of those holes” (she luckily didn’t misunderstand me), and she was too polite to say no. Another night, I dressed as Luke from the Gilmore Girls. This is the triple threat of costumes- equal parts gayness (an admission to watching Gilmore Girls), laziness (just a backwards hat and flannel shirt), and lameness (Luke’s a chef on a poorly rated TV show).

As fate would have it, my faith in the holiday was somewhat restored when I went to a haunted house later that evening. Outside, there was a boy in the dirt, absolutely bawling. His mother grabbed his arm and began pulling him in despite his shrieks that he was scared. “You’re going in there if I have to drag you the whole way!” she announced. For many people in line, I imagine this was the scariest thing they had seen the entire night- borderline child abuse! To me, it was one lady making a courageous stand against all that is wrong with Halloween. This was one lady still holding onto the belief this is a holiday that, if you’re under 25 and haven’t wet your pets by midnight, really isn’t much of a holiday at all.