I originally wrote this piece for MediaShower.com, for use on the late, great comedy site ZuG.com. Text and images published here with permission.
It’s the last week of October. Fright Night is just around the next shadowy blood-spattered corner, and if you’re anything like me, you’re totally unprepared. You’ve got no costume. The calendar ran you over like a stampede of Frankensteins and bent you over, werewolf-style. All the good costumes are taken, and time’s ticking down like a dismembered heart under the floorboards. What’s a desperate Halloween party guy or ghoul to do?
Not to worry. Whether you’re trolling for candy or passing out goodies this Halloween, there’s still time to costume up for the holiday. Better yet, you can do it on the cheap, without hocking your favorite coffin for cash. Just have a gander at my Halloweening tips below — and my actual Amazon product reviews — for everything you need to put the “Boo!” back in “Booyah!” this Halloween season.
My Amazon Review:
I decided one dead-simple costume would be to dress up as a rugby player. I’ve got the rugby shirts — oh believe me, I’ve got the rugby shirts — so I figured I’d strap on a pair of athletic shorts and some knee-high socks and be done with it. But when I did it felt — and looked — as though something was missing.
That’s when I remembered what they say about serious rugby players: they tape back their ears. So I bought some of this surgical tape to pin the old antennae back. That’s when I found out there was more to the story. Apparently, the true rugby jocks tape down anything that might get pulled, tweaked, yanked, tugged or clawed at.
“Anything?”, I thought. Yes. ANY. THING.
And now no one can pull my nose hair on the field. Outstanding.
So I bought a couple more rolls and went to work. The tape adhered well, stuck true, and the only problem came later when I tried to take all that tape off. I’d taped down all manner of other delicate fleshy bits, and some of them didn’t give up the tape so easily.
By the time I’d unstuck myself, I’d sprained a finger, pulled off an eyebrow and accidentally given myself some sort of reverse Brazilian wax Mohawk, right down the middle of the runway. So my chief complaint with the tape is that it wasn’t liberally coated with Bactine when I applied it. Otherwise, good stuff.
My Amazon Review:
As I brainstormed costume ideas, I thought: what’s the most minimal outfit possible? Clearly, it’s the flasher. The entire set of instructions for constructing a flasher costume go like this: Buy trenchcoat. Remove clothes. Wear trenchcoat.
That’s it. One piece, no fuss, and you pray for warm weather through the first of November. The trick is to find a cheap coat to use, and this one fits the bill perfectly. For forty bucks, I got a coat made from some macabre patchwork mess of hides. Maybe they’re all from cows, sure. Maybe they’re all made from skin. And maybe not — how should I know? For all I can tell, three dozen naugas lost their skins to this thing. Or maybe it’s one big guinea pig graveyard.
Am I wearing clothes under this thing? Only my coatdresser — and old Mrs. Franklin in 4D — know for sure.
Don’t know; don’t care. All I know is, when I wear this costume to parties, all the ladies gather round to have a look.
Or to laugh at the nasty green rash this thing is giving me. Does this mean I’m allergic to chinchilla carcasses? I need a ruling over here.
My Amazon Review:
“Drunken Mardi Gras tourist chick” is one of the easiest costumes to pull off. Throw on a few of these beads, choke down some cocktails, and the illusion, as they say, is complete. Simple.
And there’s always the option of giving away a string or two of beads to a charming young lady friend, to see if she knows the proper “thank you for the Mardi Gras beads!” response. (Which is not “thank you for the Mardi Gras beads!”)
Under the rugby, you shall find … ONLY MORE RUGBY!
Sadly, my only Halloween parties this year were a family gathering and a soiree at my grandma’s Old Folks’ Home. So the bead bartering was rather tame and uneventful — except for old Mrs. Patterson barking at me to “show off what God gave ya, sonny!”
An extra dose of Ovaltine, and Mrs. P. was sound asleep, which is probably for the best. She’s a sweet old bird, but let’s just say there aren’t enough Hurricanes in the world. Not enough. In the WORLD.
My Amazon Review:
I could’ve spent a fortune dressing up like a doctor — lab coat, stethoscope, golf clubs, malpractice lawyer. But what really defines a physician? What one accessory screams out “hey, doc!” like no other, for pennies on the dollar?
THE EXAM GLOVES. You walk around with a pair of these puppies on, and it doesn’t matter what else you’re wearing — people just ASSUME “doctor.”
Or “mad scientist,” I suppose. Or these days, “TSA screener.” So I went the extra mile, to make sure my implied costume was unmistakable:
Why does no one ever want one of my hand-crafted unwrapped nougat chunks? I made them myself!
I only wear ONE glove. And there’s nobody — but nobody — on the planet who wears just one rubber glove, save for a very … particular sort of doctor. It’s a brilliant costume. It cost next to nothing. And no one fights me for potato chips at the snack table at Halloween parties. This may well be the PERFECT costume. Moon River, baby. Moon. River.
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