Nothing is as lame as an overdone Halloween costume. No matter how cool and different you think your version of a pumpkin, scarecrow, ghost, vampire, or [insert any other unoriginal, boring idea here] is, allow me to stop your unambitious, non-creative train of thought and tell you it still won’t work. You will go unnoticed at Halloween parties aside from people stopping you to sarcastically say, “Cool costume. Never thought of that,” or some version of this. You might as well be Debbie Downer for Halloween.
I know right now some of you are asking, “Who the heck does this guy think he is?” Others of you have already come up with, “Maybe Nick should be The Grinch for Halloween.” Just stop. It’s that kind of unoriginal thinking that has you in this predicament to begin with. If I’ve already offended you and/or ruined your costume idea, know that I’m on your side and I’m trying to salvage this potentially spectacular holiday for you.
I lived through three Halloweens in Isla Vista, CA, the college town associated with UCSB and home of the most notorious college Halloween weekend in the country. Isla Vista’s population triples during Halloween weekend as college students flock to the beachside city to parade down Del Playa Drive, shoulder-to-shoulder with house parties.
My freshman year, I was that lame guy who thought he was just so cool in his homemade Smokey the Bear costume. I could barely get into parties and some friends happened to “lose me in the crowd.” The lesson was well learned.
Since then I’ve stepped up my game, vowing to never again feel like the bite-size box of Runts in a pillowcase full of King-Size Snickers.
I learned there’s a list of costumes that are off limits. Most couples costumes top the list. If you and your partner are planning on being Adam and Eve, Beauty and the Beast, etc., save yourself the money on costumes and save the rest of us a gag by staying home and having a date night. And please steer clear of the sexual innuendos (plug and socket, key and lock). We get it. It’s not funny.
This is not to say that couples costumes are completely off limits, just that they require more thought than the solo mission. Have your man be Marilyn Monroe and your girl be Joltin’ Joe Dimaggio.
Also, there are other things that go together besides people. Chip and salsa, a chick and a magnet, a lighter and well, something college students reportedly light quite frequently, have all been among the best I’ve seen in IV.
If the costumes are well done, creativity is less of a factor. My Smokey the Bear costume had potential but flopped because it was nothing but brown clothes and the tiny Smokey hat. The shortcoming was that I ran into other Smokey’s who put me to shame.
One of the following years, me and a friend of mine were Mario and Luigi. Not the most creative costumes in the world, but we had everything except flying turtles and fire-spitting flowers. What we had going for us is what worked against my Smokey costume. We ran into other Mario Brothers and smashed them like Koopa Troopas.
The best costumes are the witty ones. Last year, Joe the Plumber was a huge hit; nothing more than overalls, a bald head, a plunger, and a “Joe” name tag.
The worst thing you can do for people you care about is something they could have done on their own.
I’ve narrowed it down by telling you how to not be lame, but I refuse to carry you completely across the graveyard and give you your costume. C’mon, you’ve got this.
You’ve been parading around in Halloween costumes as long as Casper has been a friendly ghost. If you really need an idea, don’t look at me. Does this look like the Scene section?