Originally posted October 22, 2010...
The time for frivolity has passed. There’s a lot of serious stuff going on in the world right now. Are we over-medicating our children? Are we complicit in the terrible human rights violations taking place across the world? Could one miscast vote for mayor put us in dire straits? I may not have much of a voice here on the world wide web, but if anybody is listening please, take heed. Its time to get serious and, I hope to God, be taken seriously.
Dream: Find the most bitchin’ Halloween costume ever.
Goal: Achievable. Every October 31st there are costume contests in every elementary school and gay bar across North America. Someone has to win. Might as well be me, right?
Plan: Learn from the successes of others, and my own past failures.
Halloween is a fun time for young children and their parents, but it’s a religious holiday for gay people and sluts. I think the pageantry is what attracts the gays. It’s the one day a year where people will, nay they must, look at you. And unlike hipsters who claim dress in that ridiculous way ironically and not for attention (like they just found lime green skinny chords and oversize lens-less glasses at a thrift store and didn’t scrounge for hours at Urban Outfitters and blow two hundred bucks), gay people crave the attention that comes with a ridiculous costume. Attention is like calcium to us; we need it to grow big and strong. And for sluts Halloween is a freakin’ bonanza. Halloween is a delicious candy-coated excuse to look as skanky as they want without feeling terribly ashamed for once.
All that being said, I find it hard to get in the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve. Maybe it’s because I get the attention I seek onstage sometimes or because being a slut is a full time job I seriously lack all pre-requisites for, but it’s mostly a costume thing. I’ve never worn a Halloween costume that’s the combination of original and hilarious that everybody loves.
My favourite costume has to be the Monster one I wore in first or second grade or something. Nothing store-bought for me. My poor mother cut and sewed and produced this awesome, indescribable creation. It was all green and brown with holes all over it and fringe-y bits sticking out. It was the best because at my age, I didn’t know what a monster would actually look like. I didn’t know who any of the comic book villians were, so it wasn’t as if my costume was falling short of something I pictured in my head. As far as I was concerned, I was the best Monster ever, and I earned my candy that night with some terrifying roars and scary faces.
Within a few short years, Halloween focus shifted dramatically from costumes to candy. When I was in the seventh grade (surely too old to be trick or treating), the goal was solely candy accumulation. I remember going to my best friend Ryan’s house before we headed out to find him costume-less. This wouldn’t do. I already felt a little guilty about defrauding neighbours out the candy surely reserved for smaller and cuter children, but to do it without the pretext of a costume just felt wrong. So Ryan found some crayons and drew a few random lines on his face. “Boo, I’m scary,” he said in his flat monotone. “Roar.” That was good enough for me.
Now, of course, Halloween’s emphasis returns to the costume, and the strength of that costume lies in its irony. If I were to go as a Monster today, I’d have to dress as Gargamel from the Smurfs, or a member of the Tea Party movement. My past attempts at funny costumes have been miserable failures. One year I went as Andy Warhol, which involved dying my hair white and carrying a can of soup. Nobody got it. Then I went as my own twin brother, which involved dying my hair black, wearing a jean jacket (which I would never wear–that’s the joke!) and saying things like, “Where’s James? Was he just here?” Nobody got it. Another time I went as Your Dad which involved dying my hair gray and wearing sensible slacks and disapproving of everything. Then people would go, “What are you supposed to be?” and I’d say, “Oh, I’m your Dad.” Nobody got it. Some people get the funny costume absolutely right, though. My coworker Jennifer will be hitting Halloween parties this year as the board game Trouble. She’s sewing the coloured patches onto her clothes and wearing the dome thing you pop as a little hat. Plus, she’ll send a friend in ahead of her so when she walks into the party someone can yell, “Here comes Trouble!” That’s brilliant! I have a few ideas for costumes this year, but no idea how to execute them. For instance:
-I would need to ascend into every party through a hole in the floor, or else be able to crouch really low to the ground and then slowly stand up in this tube-thing. Then I would walk out of the tube thing and hug everybody and cry. That’s my Chilean miner costume.
-I could be a Hoarders. No idea what that entails except maybe standing outside the bar and whenever somebody comes outside with a drink in their hand or a smoke or something I could go, “What are you doing with that? Are you throwing that away? I haven’t had a chance to look at that yet! Will you let me!?!?!” And have a meltdown.
-Justin Bieber’s Dad. I could put my hair in the Bieber swoop and enhance my gut with pillows or something. Walk around with a triple x large Bieber t-shirt and carry a mug that says “Number One Dad.” I somehow think the lesbians will have co-opted Bieber this year, and I don’t want to reign on their parade. It’s like Harry Potter costumes; lesbians can pull that off extremely well, nobody else has a chance.
In truth, I probably won’t be hitting any Halloween parties this year. I work late on the Saturday night and Jon won’t be home on the Sunday, so what’s the point? Actually on the Sunday night, our landlady is having a party in the lobby for all the kids in the few buildings on our street. Tenants are invited to come by to help out, pour juice and hand out pizza and, of course, candy. I think I might do that. Maybe my costume this year will be the weird guy from apartment eight who gives out candy to the children, which is not very impressive. But maybe I’m at the point where it’s better to give our candy and compliments than it is to receive them. That instead of making a slutty gay spectacle of myself, I go back to a simpler time where the best candy goes to the scariest roar from the littlest Monster.