Two years ago, I was in State College for Halloween. That was the year of my "Every Freakin Girl on Campus" costume, when I walked around Penn State with angel wings, cat ears, and a pitch fork. Not to mention the t-shirt that read, "Every freaking girl on campus."
Last year, I ended up in a motel in Louisiana. You know, the kind of motel where killers get rooms. Which is great, because the limited cable always seems to have a movie where someone gets killed in a motel. But when I heard a loud knock at my door, it was not a murderer. Just a kid in a costume and a woman on a campaign for the worst mother of the year award. No one unwilling to spend $10 extra to stay in a place without cigarette stains in the tub keeps their broken bureau drawer stocked with candy. Spring for a cab and take the kid somewhere he won't get killed. And somewhere people distributing treats are more prevalent than those turning tricks.
This Halloween, I was in Los Angeles, and I intended to stock my apartment with chocolate. Of course I forgot to buy any, which didn't turn out so bad since I didn't get a single trick-or-treater. I live in West Hollywood, an area that is a fusion of out-of-work actors, flamboyantly gay men, and flamboyantly gay out of work actors. I'm not sure if I had no visitors because my neighborhood doesn't have many kids or because parents knew none of us were likely to have candy. Or because everyone was busy trick-or-treating in Shreveport.
It was also the first Halloween night that I performed. I did stand-up at a bar in Universal Studios, where tons of people came in costume and it was coincidentally Halloween. People play dress-up daily in LA, so Halloween is just an excuse to get a little fancier. It's like wearing a tux to work in a nice office. Sure, it's a little out of place. But it doesn't stand out as much when the rest of the world is wearing tuxes to Walmart.
Some of the costumes were good, but most were downright ridiculous. So I'd like to start what could be an annual thing reviewing the costumes of people much more into Halloween than I am.
Sexy Mundane Job Girl:
Take a Home Depot smock or a McDonalds shirt, make a few cuts, and poof you have a great way to tell your parents that they should be expecting a grandkid in a few months. You know, a few days after the wedding.
Guy Dressed as The Crow:
Oh, you're so dark and disturbed that you came dressed as a character from a movie that most people forgot about. You dress as The Crow on November 15th, I'll give you dark and disturbed. On Halloween, you're just a guy who owns black pants.
Girl Who Just Wears a Bra:
You couldn't come up with a way to be Sexy Mundane Job Girl, so you're just Sexy Mundane Girl. Good for you, you have a flat stomach. It must make up for your complete lack of personality.
Guy Who Shows Up With Girl Who Just Wears a Bra:
I have to hand it to you, you have guts. Going to a party or a bar with your girlfriend dressed like that is like driving a Mercedes into Compton, tossing the keys on the hood, and standing around to see what happens. "Go ahead, man, take it. See what I do."
Girl Who Doesn't Dress Up, and Then Wishes She Did To Fit In
So you decided to be bold this year and buck the costume trend, until you saw how much fun your friends were having. And then you buckled and made one up as if you planned it the whole time. "I'm dressed as a, um, uh, um, sad sad girl with no conviction of character." Yes. Yes you are.
Guy Who No One Knows What the Heck He Is:
You throw on a bathrobe and penny loafers and you get upset when no one can figure out your costume. I saw a guy dressed like this and the only guess I had was that he came as a (language edited to allow column to run in family newspapers) head.
Girl Who Buys a Pre-Made Costume:
It's not creative to come as Rainbow Brite if you thought of it at a costume sale. You bought the outfit, so what are the odds that you're the only one? If you think showing up in the same dress to a party is bad, try having it be blue satin and accompanied with a red wig. "No, of course I'm not Rainbow Brite, too. I'm, um, Hooker Annie."
Guy Who Takes Delight in Mocking Others Instead of Dressing Up:
That guy is awesome.
Steve Hofstetter is the author of the Student Body Shots books, which are available at SteveHofstetter.com and bookstores everywhere. He can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.