Halloween is upon us and you know what that means! A giant marshmallow. Or whatever the kids dress as these days. I remember the days when I went out as Oscar the Grouch, a henchman, a pumpkin, and a crème puff. These were not store bought costumes but elaborate costumes created by my loving mother. I wore an actual trashcan when I was Oscar, I wore an actual mask when I was a henchman, an actual jumbo pumpkin (1½ tons), and an actual crème puff (3 oz.). Being a master of disguises, I would like to advise young children out there how to dress tomorrow as they go about trick or treating and egging houses.
Safety first. Note all flammable materials. If you are not going out as a flaming sun god, be sure to not wear highly flammable clothing. This would include oily rags. The clothing could touch a candle (which are very numerous this night) and light. If, however, you are going out as a sun god, please leave your trick or treating to a professional stunt person. While your stunt person is out lighting the town, you can stay home and watch the various cartoon Halloween specials.
Another safety issue is the invisible man (or woman). It used to be that this stunt would be done by placing a plastic bag over the child’s head, which we all know is quite dangerous. With new technology another danger has come about, the actual invisible man. With the help of deflectors, which bend light around the body, a person actually becomes invisible. This of course is bad because cars and other pedestrians are more likely to run into the invisible person. Medical procedures on an invisible person also prove quite difficult. In Caribou, Maine, it was reported that a teenager actually sustained more injuries from the ambulance arriving than the car that had hit him minutes before. Apparently, after the car had hit him, he was able to get up. Suffering from a sprained ankle, he started to try to walk around in the street, still invisible, where he was hit by the arriving ambulance.
Now that safety is out of the way, let’s brainstorm some happen’n costumes. My Oscar costume was an award winner at the Fremont Mall Halloween Contest in 1980. Of course that cannot be used again since it would not be original. I just wanted to brag. Remember the four I’s to costume design: Inflammable, Eye catching, not Invisible, and not Immobile. Flammability and invisibility were already covered in the safety section, but eye catching and mobility are new topics, which I cannot cover here in my small space. Just one sentence can cover the highlights, though: Make sure it is eye catching and mobile.
I will now list some cute costumes: pumpkin, squash, kitten, dog, fish, lobster, dinosaur, cereal box (I have seen this one), Ninja turtle, Muppet, Simpson character, or other cartoon character, etc., etc., anything that when the man or woman opens the door they will say, “Oh, how cute! What the heck are you!”
Scary costumes: skeleton, witch, severed head (You can either go as the head or the body. This could also be a costume for a pair, one as the head and one as the body. Though that could be “cute”), Frankenstein, mummy, the Thing, the Blob, a guest on the Springer Show. (I still shudder from my experience of meeting some of these people. I wake up at night terrified about some guy entering my space wearing pink tights and a feathery blue top. [shudder]).
Still haven’t found a costume that jumps out and says, “ME!”? Try a rock star. There are plenty of bands to choose from: Alice Cooper (if you have a big snake, this one is for you), KISS, Ozzie Osborne (he scares me), and Hanson (REALLY SCARY!) (As of right now, I believe I will be one of the members from KISS tomorrow night. Anything can happen.)
Just let your imagination go wild and get lots of treats. Remember, if you are cute, smile; if you are scary, moan; if you are Gene Simmons, stick out your tongue and spit some blood. (Actually that would be a good idea for any costume including the crème puff.)
Well, good-bye and so long. Until next week this is Chad Kluck, saying, “Good-bye and so long.” (After next week, I will be Raul, Lord of the City.)