"Whatever you, do, Sophie, DO NOT appear in the sequel. And if you even consider Halloweentown High, I'm taking my pointy hat back."
by Brendan Cavanagh
And how! Yes, it's already the end of the first week of October, and while most of my friends have either decided on or mulled over options for their costumes for the extended Halloween weekend coming up at the end of the month, I alone remain costume-less. I've heard some solid ideas, some cliche, many inventive and funny. Unfortunately, I can't seem to think of anything that I could be. Boy, back in the ollld dayss...
Back in the old days, choosing a costume was easy. From about the ages of four to eleven, with a few exceptions, I had the same three standby ideas: a staggeringly charming little pirate (due, in part, to a single eyepatch), a spot-on- dare I say it again, "charm"ing- interpretation of Harry Potter (before the movies came out) or a Converse-sporting ninja (trained in the martial arts by repeatedly watching the 3 Ninjas trilogy and Surf Ninajs [God bless the 90s]). Though in fifth grade I was Yoda...with my gardening gloves, painted green face and imitation Dagobahian ears (is Yoda's race even known?), I looked less believable than Frank Oz's puppet in the original Star Wars trilogy.
Just for kicks, here's great scene from Surf Ninjas, featuring Rob Schneider as a neurotic redhead surfer who is afraid of surfing and Tone Loc as a grumpy FBI agent.
Eighth grade was fun. I got away with technically "not trick-or-treating" by accompanying my friend's family as his little brothers trick-or-treated in their grandma's neighborhood. My friend and I still, in the true spirit of Halloween, deemed it apropos to dress up for the night, so we went as greasers, having read S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders in my mom's literature class earlier that academic term. I recall doing my own take on C.S. Thomas Howell's take on Ponyboy Curtis from the cinematic adaptation, while my buddy unintentionally more closely resembled Dally. Needless to say, he and I had more candy in our bags at the end of the night than his three-year-old brother in a full-bodied Winnie the Pooh costume.
By sophomore or junior year, people started having Halloween parties. However, in my post-eighth grade, post-Catcher in the Rye, post-Cold Stone blues, I didn't care to dress myself in an obvious manner, choosing instead to assemble various articles of clothing and materials from my house in order to fashion a costume of someone not usually imitated on Halloween. For a couple years I basked in my eccentricity and cleverness. For instance, junior year I wanted to be 70s singer-songwriter Jim Croce, so I wore one of my mom's jean jackets, threw on a pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt, and fashioned myself a mustache from fake hair I removed from a three-faced Cerebus mask made for an eighth-grade art project on Greek myths and legends. The resulting appearance was uncanny, amiright?
C'mon. C'monnn. Jim Croce! Wouldja just look at it!
The following year was a tough one. Unfortunately, it took me until the day of the big Halloween party for me to decide on something just obscure enough to preserve my uniqueness, but recognizable enough that I wouldn't have to tirelessly explain to everyone who I was. Ultimately, I decided on Bill Murrary's groundskeeping character in Caddyshack, Carl Spackler. My mother and I spent the day furiously driving from Kohl's to pick up a gray shit to Birds & Brooks Army Surplus store to buy a pair of once-used, high-waisted olive drab pants. I went home, threw on a pair of snow boots hidden in the Bermuda Triangle section of the closet in my foyer and found the khaki bucket cap I wore one Halloween to put the proverbial cherry on the top of my previous Gilligan costume sundae. Even more unfortunate than my last-minute scrambling to assemble an appropriate costume, I had some sort of weird disease on my face at the time. Yeah, I don't know, probably from scrubbing the communal bar of soap on my face one time in the shower. Whatever happened, I had a little bit of tenderness on my cheeks where I was healing up, but I was a mite shy, so I went in the front yard and spit in some dirt, thus creating mud to rub on my face, completing the Carl Spackler project and adequately deceiving my friends in the dimly-lit basement later that night. Here's a good photo:
Here we have, from left to right, a "pussy," Shaun of the Dead & Carl Spackler.
Man, last year I wasn't prepared for Halloween at all. I figured that an idea would come to me, but it never did, and the long weekend began- two or three nights of parties, for which most people wear two or three different outfits. The day before, probably, I went to the local thrift store with my friends, where we searched for clothes and/or accessories that would aid in the construction of a makeshift costume or two. I came across a woman's leather jacket and felt terrible for buying it as a joke costume when there were rather less-fortunate-looking families and individuals in there buying clothes, I'm assuming, because the prices are cheap. I bought the jacket anyway because it was dirt cheap and dressed up as Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords. I even shaved all of my facial hair except my long sideburns. I did a good job; however, no one recognized who I was. Understandable, I guess.
The next day, trying to come up with an idea for that night's festivities, I was about as fruitful as someone with writer's block struggling to come up with a five-page paper due the next day. Finally, I decided to cut up my new jacket into a leather vest, under which I wore a white t-shirt. I knew it looked stupid, but it was the closest I could get to looking like a member of the Warriors, from the 70s gang film of the same name.
"Warriors! Come out to pla-a-ay!" A tense scene.
In hindsight, I guess I didn't look too bad. And that's me on the right. Though I feel I bear a slight resemblance to John Cena on the left there.
So what should I do this year? I've been growing out my facial hair for a while, and now I have a healthy beard which I should like to shave, but I don't because there might be a good costume I can do this year that involve a beard or a mustache. I mean, there are like four nights of this year's Halloween weekend, so I have to be prepared for any possible outfit. Can you think of anything I should go for? I'm open to all suggestions.