October is almost half over so the time to start getting your Halloween costume together has come. Last week I read this great post on the Awl with some good costume suggestions. My favorite of these has to be the "Obama Rally 'Tree of Life' Asshole." The writer also reminds us that when you wait until the last minute you usually end up with a subpar costume, and he says that one of the marks of a good Halloween costume is that people won't mistake you for something else.
This got me thinking about some of my previous Halloween costumes. Allow me to share...
Last year I dressed up as Super Mario. I remember I couldn't get my hands on a pair of white gloves in time. Also, I was afraid people might think I was supposed to be a train engineer, but I guess I didn't need to worry since I look like Mario all the time anyway. Here's a photo...
I think it was my first Halloween after I settled in Northern Virgina that I went out with Des and her husband and posse. That year I wore a Father Guido Sarducci-style priest outfit (the kind that features a black sombrero). I probably get points off for creativity since I started with a store bought costume but then I tricked it out with some accessories such as a set of rosary beads and a holy water bottle whose incorporation here was undoubtedly sacriligeous. I remember some -- unobservant and probably none too bright -- school-aged kids on the Metro thought I was supposed to be "a jew" but that was clearly not the case because I had a giant cross hanging around my neck. But hey, who's to say I wont branch out and malign other religions on a future Halloween?
My last year in New Orleans, when I shared an apartment on Saint Charles Ave with Amanda, we had a Halloween party. I dressed as Pai Mei, the old kung fu master from Kill Bill. That costume consisted of a worn, off-white robe that i got from Nicole (she even sewed up a hole for me. thanks!) and this white haired granny wig that we had to like undo and restyle to approximate Pai Mei's impressive mein. I remember it got super frizzy and out of control looking fairly quickly. We (Amanda and Nicole were both very instrumental in helping to put this costume together) also took a bit of the hair and made it into bushy eyebrows and a long fu manchu style beard which we fixed to my face with spirit gum or something that I guess we also picked up from the costume shop. It was a pretty cheap, improvised costume but some people did actually recognize me as Pai Mei, which I think is kind of remarkable seeing as how he was a minor character in a movie that I feel a lot of people hadn't even seen. That was a pretty fun party; I think the best part is how after Amanda had partied herself out and gone to bed some people she worked with showed up and proceeded to carve the decorative pumpkins on our balcony. Good times. Sadly I have no photographic evidence that any of this ever happened.
Another memorable Halloween outing took place in my sophmore year of college. That year I tried to throw together a costume at the last minute, and I ended up going as "a shepherd" (although many a drunken reveler felt that I was supposed to be Jesus or possibly Moses). I THINK that costume consisted of a terry cloth robe (another borrowed item if I'm not mistaken), a pillowcase fixed to my head with a piece of string keffiyah style (I am sad to say that after that night I think this pillowcase was laundered and put back to its intended use -- dorm life, you know), and a big stick that Lee had at his parent's house for some reason. This was the infamous Halloween night where we all split up and had our own unfortunate misadventure in the French Quarter: maybe some people almost came to blows, someone else got kicked out of krystal burger for passing out at the counter, someone else fell backwards and hit their head but arose unharmed do to the magical effects of alcohol.... It was a bad night all round. I really thought there was a photo on facebook of us all smiling in our costumes before we headed out -- blissfully unaware of what the night held in store for us -- but I am mistaken. At any rate, here is a photo of us earlier that night. Apparently, the Tulane choir had a concert that night and we wore tuxedos. I am the little guy with the off-putting beard who looks like Fievel Mousekewitz.
This year I am actually getting together with the college crew to celebrate a spooky Halloween weekend in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Let's hope I didn't jinx our night by invoking the ghost of bad Halloweens past! I'm sure I'll have some photos of me in costume to share when I get back.
LINK OF THE DAY: Scientific American's Top 20 photos of the microscopic world.
BONUS LINK: Garden Gnomes with extremist political affiliations.