It’s Halloween again and that’s all the excuse some perfectly sensible adults need to dress like completely idiots pretending its all for the kids.
The tradition of dressing up on Halloween has some roots in the mumming and guising of a few hundred years ago but saying so is a pretty poor excuse if you’re an adult planning to wear a costume this year. Children can be forgiven this silliness. We’ve mutated the tradition of going from house to house to receive a soul cake into a dentist’s wet dream with children now induced to achieve blood sugar levels of a hyperglycemic gingerbread man.
Dressing Up For Halloween
• Not just the preserve of children (unfortunately)
• Many costumes available
• Practicality should trump creativity on this occasion
Despite there being many occasions on which children participate in an event at which adults are merely observers, Halloween seems to be the one that adults have had the hardest time leaving in the realms of childhood, and constantly make effort to muscle in on. It’s one thing to answer the door to a group of short costumed weirdos demanding candy with cuteness, it’s another to find them accompanied by an harrassed middle aged lady dressed like an unconvincing witch.
Now I’m full cognizant that costume parties are hardly objectionable, and certainly many a happy hour can be spent at a masked ball or two, but Halloween is neither of those, and whilst it might be fun to give the kids a show on the doorstep, it is only so in the minds of adults. In the minds of children seeing your neighbors dressed up like idiots is wholly unimpressive, distinctly unscary and even the most timid five year old is wondering when we get to the candy because the skeleton mask is fooling no one.
I am also aware that nothing I can say will prevent some of you transgressing the basic tenets of adulthood and that you will, alas, be capering around thinking that fake blood and a hired costume will impress children that are used to 3D 256-bit antialiased and anisotropically filtered graphics rendering ragdoll physics and a thousand hours of animation skills. Good luck with that. (Watch their little eyes, that’s not “wonder” you’re seeing, that’s “pity”) So I suppose we should look at what you fools will be wearing.
Seven Best Halloween Costumes
1. Witch – A staple of Halloween iconography and symbolism the lady in the pointed hat (warts optional) and long black outfit is a good choice on practicality grounds if none other. The length keeps the breeze from your knees, the bodice is usually quite conservative and it gives you a great excuse to carry a handy stick disguised as a broom and be mean. So recognizable is this character that even online gambling sites in the US use it as a motif, and it always goes down well – unless you insist on cackling, which is just plain wrong.
2. Vampire – There fad for vampire based TV shows might have worn off but it would take a lot more than the zeitgeist of popular entertainment’s fickle nature to remove this mainstay of the season. The traditional Transylvanian version these days supplanted by a more modern form that is even more practical in its ordinary nature. Dark suit, stupid plastic teeth that glow in the dark, perhaps some flour on the face for a pale complexion… job done.
3. Ghost – There are many ways in which you can damage your bedsheets and nearly all of them are more fun than cutting two holes in it out of a desperate attempt to create a costume as you realize at the last minute everyone will think you a grump if you don’t join in with their suspiciously immature game of dressing up. Dressing as a spirit is entirely in keeping with tradition, but the kid with his outstretched hand just thinks you look a…
4. Superhero – Always a popular choice, this has in recent years benefited from the molded foam physiques that come as part and parcel of the costume. Stretching the supernatural theme to breaking point the number of Supermen walking around on Halloween rivals that which stalk the halls of any decent Comicon. Practical enough it does usually have the draw back that you have to be seen in public apparently unable to remember your underpants are supposed to be on the inside.
5. Psycho/Maniac – Despite the manifest evidence that psychotic maniacs these days tend to dress like Wall Street bankers rather than escaped asylum residents, it is the latter image taken from popular culture, and some rather dodgy horror movies in particular that is prevailant. Remember the mask is going to get in the way, the fake blades on your fingers will snap off and in most states carrying a sickle/chainsaw/machete in company of children is frowned upon.
6. Hostage/Prisoner – Orange might not be the new black but it is the hue of a popular costume choice at Halloween. Whether you’re a resident of Guantanamo Bay, a soon to be beheaded journalist in the Middle East or just the type incarcerated after robbing an online casino in the US at gunpoint, this omni-useful outfit has the ease and practicality a lot of chaps look for in a costume and has in the main replaced the now somewhat old hat “zombie”.
7. HazMat Suit – Gambling news of our imminent demise is just media hysteria why not create it amongst your neighbors by having your whole family turn out in these all-encompassing costumes? The costumed fool that answers the door will almost certainly have cause for pause if you greet their appearance with the phrase “Oh thank god, you’re not infected…” For best effect be carrying one of your own children who has been primed to dribble strawberry syrup from the mouth on cue.
Obviously whilst these are seven of the most popular there are many other costumes available but do take the advice of a somewhat cynical bah-humbug type of chap in avoiding the temptation to dress as a pumpkin. The spherical impracticality of this costume can not be understated in any way, and you’re never more than a small trip from rolling away. You have been warned.