My younger brother has had a very authentic looking Ghostbusters costume — complete with a proton pack that looks like it could actually rip a hole in the universe if you cross the streams — hung up in his bedroom since mid-September. The kid has put lots of thought into it, and is proactive and diligent about portraying Peter Venkman in as method a manner possible. I was home for a visit a couple weeks ago, and he was actually walking around the house with a tan mechanic suit on and acting like Bill Murray. You know, Daniel Day-Lewis style.
I am not like that. Many of us are not like that. And we are running out of time. Every year, I seem to find myself a few days before Halloween in a similar situation as I am in nearly every time I go to a video store. In the time leading up to either, I have so many ideas of what I’d like to dress up as, and what movie I’d like to watch, but when I get to crunch time I fail to capitalize. I crack under the pressure. My mind blanks, and I end up settling. I dress up as something stupid, unoriginal, and facile, like a patriotic cross country runner or “Frank the Tank” from Old School. (All you need to pull these off is a pair of red or blue grape smugglers and a blow-up doll, respectively, and both of those items can be found in or near my place at all times.) I walk out of Blockbuster with Secret Window for the 18th time and some other movie I panic-grabbed and paid for before realizing Brendan Fraser was in it.
Well, that’s not going to happen to me this year, because I’ve been keeping a comprehensive list of my sartorial brainstorms. (I’ve solved the movie store problem, too, by joining Netflix and purchasing my own copy of Secret Window.) Here are some I believe are more obscure. Most have potential for organized chaos. I’m not sure why, but that’s just how it happened.
Pretty much any character from the Home Alone movies: The South Bend Shovel Slayer, The Wet Bandits, the freaky but kind-hearted homeless lady who loves pigeons. I like The Wet Bandits idea, but I don’t have any really short friends who are willing to burn a huge “M” onto their palms, so that’s out for me this year. I’m partial to the pigeon lady over the shovel guy, simply because you can’t really take a garbage can and a snow shovel into most bars or some parties. You can, however, sneak a bunch of birdseed in, which you can toss into the air before screaming, KEVIN! RUN!
Zoo animals and Ohio law enforcement officials: People will be nonplussed and probably just think, “Big deal; that dude over there is dressed like Courage the Cowardly Lion and his friend is just the penguin from Happy Feet.” They will nod in approval and understanding moments later, after police with Nerf guns have surrounded the joint, busted through the door, and commenced shooting to kill.
Nudist Priest: A priest with only a collar on. And maybe a sock. Get it? Because it sounds kind of like Judas Priest!
Parah Sailin’: Dressing as Sarah Palin is about as played out as dressing like Lady Gaga. Unless you dress like Sarah Palin and walk around with a deployed parachute behind you all night.
Wilfred the dog and Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez: I anticipate an abundance of Wilfred costumes this year, so it’ll help to add another facet to it. Go out with a partner who will stir up the nostalgia in the hearts of many 20-somethings. You can reenact the scene from Sandlot by having Benny sprint around in his PF Flyers through crowded places while the dude in a dog suit sprints mercilessly after him.
Four Loko: You and three of your friends dress up as some notoriously insane people and do crazy stuff all night, like sticking your head into ovens, drinking Michelob Ultra, or holding a (fake) infant haphazardly from balconies and open windows.
Occupy Sesame Street: Make a bunch of protest signs and dress up like Big Bird or Oscar the Grouch. People may tweet about you.
Baberaham Lincoln: A scantily clad costume with a top hat and beard. I had to put one in here for the “I-don’t-care-what-my-costume-is-as-long-as-it’s-slutty-and-gets-my-Facebook-pics-a-ton-of-likes-from-total-creeps” crowd. You know, the people who really capture the true spirit of the holiday. And it incorporates patriotism, too, I guess.
Coach Eric Taylor, of Friday Night Lights: Maybe since Kyle Chandler (the man who played Coach Taylor on the now defunct television series) won an Emmy this year, more people will know who you are when you’re screaming “CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS, CAN’T LOSE!” in a southern drawl and giving impromptu motivational speeches to the masses about football and/ or the meaning of life.
Davy Jones, lead singer for The Monkees: All you need really is some moppy hair. Drunk old guys keep calling me “Bieber,” I guess because I don’t have a crew cut and goatee and sometimes get called out at bars for asking the cover band if they will play “Mmmbop,” like that’s an unreasonable request or something. So I figure I’ll go as Jones and hope someone will mistake me for Bieber, at which point I can say, “I’m not Justin Bieber. I’m Davy Jones, motherf—ker.” How many people do you know who can say they’ve said that? There’s a chance Davy Jones hasn’t even said that.