Ever since Ronald Reagan and Jesus invented America in 1981, it’s been apparent that we don’t have many mutually shared traditions. When you have a country this big, with this many people, there are going to be things that cause profound disagreement–things like poor people, what the deal with soccer is, and sounding awkward when trying to describe a friend without referring to him as “the black guy.” In a world so rife with struggle and conflict, it seems impossible to ever find common ground. We are a society of island universes.
Even in the face of such adversity, there are certain things almost all Americans hold dear: putting on clothes, regretting stuff, getting diabetes and producing dickbag knockoffs of television shows and movies from twenty years ago, to name a few. Luckily for us, there is one great American holiday that allows us to do all of these things at once:
And, as I pointed out last year, there’s a far more likely chance that instead of planning for a month, you’ll instead be spending 10 minutes at Goodwill looking for a hat shaped like shapes. That means people you don’t even know are already making you feel like a box full of buttholes. It’s not your fault, though. This lack of planning goes all the way back to childhood for so many of us. Dressing up for Halloween, when I was a kid, was both joyless and pragmatic. First, you dig through a cricket-infested box from the crawlspace, and fish out that $2.00 plastic Batman mask from last year. Then you, dump out all of the cricket shit, and use a warm washcloth to wipe off the dried blood around the mouth slit because you couldn’t keep your tongue out of it last year. Next, you put on the plastic Spider-Man smock from two years ago, because your sister tore the Batman one fighting you hockey-style after you stole her Sour Patch Kids and then shoved all the Snickers down your underwear. Then, cover it all with your winter jacket and hood, because it’s going to be cold out. Alright, let’s light this candle!
My point is, all of that stuff actually gets you jacked when you’re six, because that is exactly the age where you don’t understand the crippling pathology of vigilante psychosis. Whether it’s building your own Iron Man suit or shoving ankle socks down the front of your Superman tights, the sense of childlike wonder you remember is going to transform into intense insecurity once you realize that The Hulk didn’t jiggle when he ran. This may seem like a purely male problem, but it isn’t–women occasionally chance into it as well. For example, take the “sexy wench.” Look, Drama Club, quit looking for an excuse to get more wear and tear out of your Renaissance Faire clothes. I know you think the pinnacle of American cinema is Pirates of the Caribbean, but here’s something you might have overlooked about women living in and around pirate cultures in the Caribbean Islands: more than you’d care to know, many were STD-riddled, occasionally raped alcoholics living in insular societies revolving around the whims of homicidal anarchists. So unless you want to knock out your own teeth, drink rum out of a stranger’s armpit and give yourself dysentery, save it for Lute-stock.
And so on. Since it’s obvious that you’re an irresponsible mess who can’t be trusted to wipe front to back, let alone create Halloween brilliance, the only real option here is to let me help you.
If you’re starved for ideas, try one or all of these, and see how long it takes for you to run out of fucks to give:
Doctor Scientist, Ph.D.: Ever since that kid from “The Breakfast Club” invented a smoking-ass hot robot woman, everything we used to know about technology has made us ashamed. It’s time to take science back! Get yourself a lab coat, and get one of those metal circle headband things that physicians still wear in every piece of ClipArt. Maybe carry a rat with you. Depending on your scene, a couple of bottles of prescription pills couldn’t hurt. You should come up with an idea of something you’re inventing: cat powder, sneeze condoms and ghost insurance are all good conversation starters. And don’t shout “It’s ALIVE!” whenever you get an erection. Doctor Scientist only does two things in life: get shit done.
You heard me.
Kris Kross: You’re going to start out feeling like a total shithead with this one, I’m warning you. But you’re not just here to make people jump jump. You’re also here to dress like an autistic chimp and bust rhymes that a sufficiently programmed Speak ‘n’ Spell could make more entertaining. Try to make sure you’re the one who wore the suspender jeans, not the regular jeans. Seriously, what was supposed to be the symbolism with this? At any rate, initial feelings and reactions aside, it’s only going to be a few drinks before people won’t even need an explanation for why your clothes are on backwards to nod with silent approval. And if you can avoid the collar of that rasta-colored baseball jersey cutting into your neck while you’re throwing up tequila on a sexy wench, then you better watch out! For the Mack Daddy! The Miggidy Miggidy… sigh.
Hipster: You may be asking yourself, “how do I make fun of a twenty-year old that doesn’t shower, rides a skateboard, discusses how broken education is from the back of a college classroom and owns six Thundercats t-shirts?” It’s surprisingly easy. Embrace the gestalt. There’s fair amount of irony that comes with being meta-hipster, and you should be prepared for the fact that most people won’t give a shit whether or not you’re actually an asshole, or just faking it. Here’s a hint: if can’t think of any way to make fun of hipsters, then congratulations! You are one. Just go as yourself. (Asshole.)
Twitter: Put down your Edgar Winter LPs, America’s youth, and check out this high-concept/high-reward costume that all the cool cats are wearing this year! First thing’s first: you’re going to need a beak. It’s a tricky peripheral on a day like Halloween, because you’re going to have to pick a shape that is both conducing to pecking and drinking. And trust me, once you start drinking in a bird costume on any day, you’ll be doing a lot of pecking. Try to make sure the costume is blue, and that you don’t use real feathers. Real-life birds can smell treachery, and they don’t take it lightly. Beyond that, just walk around and speak distantly and objectively about every person you talk to, especially if they’re boring. Nothing stops a conversation quicker than “@Applebee’s: almost midnight, and it’s really hard to shit in a bird costume. Oops! Guess it’s not! Haha! Just kidding! I think!”
Dependent Claus: If there’s anything about the North Pole that I can’t stand, it’s icebergs. A close second is Santa Claus. “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Bullshit, Claus. Every year, the true miracle is delivered by Grammar Santa, who leaves thesauruses (thesauri?) and number 2 pencils inside the backpacks of all the world’s children that got at least a B+ in Phonics. It should be pretty easy to find a Santa outfit, and do it without the beard: Dependent Claus doesn’t need to hide his face like the Jesus Santa does. Then, fill a tube sock full of shaving cream. Drunk people are full of blurted half-sentences and uncivil conversation, so every time you hear someone talking like a rube, slap them across the face with your shaving cream sock. A bar full of faces with splotchy white messes will be a walking reminder of their common shame. This move is known as “The Kris Kringel.” There’s only one kind of person who hates Kringling: Communists. Which, now that I think about it, I realize how counter-intuitive that sounds from a sock-wielding pain monster in a red jacket, but Dependent Claus has another sentence fragment for you: an ugly little word called “bigotry.”
Subordinate Claus: Same as Dependent Claus, but in S & M gear instead of the classic Santa outfit.