Halloween is coming, and that means many, many costuming mistakes will be made by normally sane adults. To help stop this scourge, each Thursday we will be offering tips and analysis of what to avoid, or possibly what to do. Check out past entries here, here and here.
There's one thing -- or should we say two things? -- you can count on every Halloween: some annoying couple dressing up in a his-and-hers theme that they consider pure genius, if for no other reason than it expresses their false belief in their own cuteness and romantic longevity. Our first instinct is to vomit all that candy corn and tequila, followed closely by the urge toward violence, and then, lastly, by silent meditation on the fact that, as statistics are wont to show, one of these people will cheat on the other before next Halloween. However, one way to avoid all this rage might be by suggesting costumes that aren't stupid and trite. And one way to avoid stupid and trite is by being bold, shocking or just plain offensive. Behold!
We believe Texas authorities had their hearts in the right place when they raided the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints' wackadoo camp in El Dorado earlier this year. They just forgot all that technical stuff about needing warrants and probable cause and whatnot. But anyone who's followed the exploits of the Warren Jeffs gang knows that, if there's one thing these folks like, it's a good ol' incestuous child bride. Or two. Or seven. Sure, some might call polygamy harmless and quaint, like small pox, but do yourself a favor and take a look at that uber-creepy picture of Jeffs and that little girl on the eve of their wedding. You'd be hard-pressed to find a scarier costume than that, and that shit's real. The great thing about this idea is that it's not just limited to couples. In fact, it'd work even better with one dude and a handful of women, provided they dress age-appropriate, by which we mean age-inappropriate. The guy can just wear a conservative suit and a creepy grin; the women can wear anything you'd see the Ingalls-gals wear in an episode of Little House. Now go gather under that banner of heaven!
Shining Dog and Friend
Freakier than 1,000 "creative" Saw deaths, the scene in The Shining where Shelley Duvall witnesses a dog-suited man going down on an aristocrat is a tough one to get out of your head. We're not sure about you, but we still can't walk down an empty hotel hallway without getting the creeps, or pet a dog without getting an erection. Anywho, all you need for this one is a dog costume, a silk robe and a friend who can pull off "dapper old man getting blown." If you get separated at a party, the dog half runs the risk of getting mistaken for John Candy in Spaceballs. In case anyone asks, though, you can just locate your counterpart and start air-fellating him. If the curious person you're performing this demonstration for has never actually seen The Shining, don't bother trying to explain. Just accept the fact that you're a gay Mel Brooks character and he or she has shitty taste in movies.
Barack and Michelle Obama
The President and First Lady are arguably the world's most photogenic people, and over the past year they have enchanted America with their good looks and charm. Barack always looks slick in whatever he wears, even if they are baggy mom-jeans at the MLB All-Star game. Michelle is always smoking hot in some tight dress or devastating heels that you just wanna get walked all over with. Why not go as the world's coolest couple for this year's Halloween bash? Not only will you be showing your friends that you still back the Barack despite his plummeting approval ratings, you'll also prove that you're committed to change, or something vaguely similar. White folks are out in the cold, seeing as they would have to don the dreaded black face make-up. But if you are willing to slather on the stuff, you probably didn't vote for him anyway and are late for your shift at the feed store. Git yer ass up off the library computer box an' pick up lil' Cletus from the alternative learnin' center!
"Daddy's Worst Nightmare"
"What are you thinking, Ashley?! I know everyone experiments a little in college, but this is going too far. Have you even considered how your grandparents will feel about this? And I'm almost positive this is actually against the law in Waco. Damn it, Ashley! If you like tall, athletic men, couldn't you have found yourself a nice lacrosse player?" All you need for this gem is sorority girl attire -- or, if you're a black dude, a white girl with sorority girl attire. The beauty of the costume is you can totally go home and miscegenate (not actually a verb but we're hoping to change that) at the end of the night. And sexual "race treason," as it was called in the 1950s and is currently called in 'Bammy, is one of our favorite pastimes. (Side note to the girlfriend: It totally counts as interracial if you're one-eighth feather-Indian; we are talking about only you and are absolutely not cheating with an endless parade of black strippers.)
World Trade Center Towers
If you really wanna set those around you in a white-hot American rage, doll you and the Missus up as the fallen World Trade Center towers before they were felled by hijacked passenger jets on September 11, 2001. You crazy lovebirds will be the proverbial belles of the ball in your twin refrigerator boxes of human tragedy and terrorist aggression. Why not go the extra mile and get all fourth-grade science project on everyone and craft the towers in flames and smoke with some dry ice and flashlights with orange plastic surrounding them? Hells, while you are at it, tape a few jumpers to your sides. We suggest using army men or old Star Wars action figures. Bonus points if you dress a friend up as radio host Alex Jones and have him prance around you wailing about your destruction being the work of the New World Order war machine. Bonus-bonus points if you have your tots dress up as cute lil' jets and teach them a few Jihad catchphrases to scream as they run amok.
Tijuana Stripper & Donkey
There are fewer things we want to believe in more than the existence of this potentially-apocryphal duo. If anything, there is no greater evidence of Intelligent Design than the donkey show, because only a loving, participatory god would give man such a wonder to behold. Nothing says "All's well in the world" better than a sexy senorita downing donkey dong. You wouldn't even need an entire donkey get-up; just go burro by donning the ears and tail. The "stripper" may want to wear a veil, because that's the way we usually picture the scenario. Actual fellatio is not required, but it is encouraged.
Abused Puppy with Sarah McLachlan
We've all been there, watching television on some lonely night when someone stood you up or didn't call back. You hear the opening strains of Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" and you tilt your head up out of the paint-lined brown bag long enough to see an abused puppy with one eye, and you begin misting up. Memories of your first family pet flash through your mind's eye, and before you know it, you're crying into your Thunderbird wine. McLachlan's ASPCA ads have raised tons of money for sure, not only for the animal rights charity but also for the Kleenex people. Why not prey on your fellow man's better nature and buy a run-of-the-(puppy)-mill dog costume and beat it up a little? Maybe add some blood or pop out an eye. Go pick up an old boom box from a thrift store and dub "Angel" onto a tape and repeat the magic all night. We also suggest bringing a jar labeled "ASPCA" to collect booze money -- err, money for the poor puppies. Yeah, that sounds way better.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.