October 31, 2002

Gotta Have It

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Today may already be Halloween, but there’s still time left to put together a spook-tacular costume. Whether you scare the ish out of your friends or just make small children pity your incompetence, don’t forget that the only thing worse than a bad costume is no costume at all. Since we’re working with a deadline here, most of these costumes are do-it-yourself and require more imagination than money. Don’t be afraid to expand and improvise upon the themes set forth below. Just remember that pretending to be a shaky Michael J. Fox doesn’t mean you’re funny, it means you’re going to hell where you belong.

The Leaky Pen

People may hate you when you ruin their pants, but at least they’ll have to tip their hat to your original concept. Here’s what you do: wrap plastic wrap or trash bags around your body, find a funnel or similar pointy device to make your ballpoint hat, and cover yourself with some type of ink. You can use real ink or you could make your own out of a variety of liquids, including but not limited to: motor oil, maple syrup, honey, and corn syrup. You may have to add some food coloring to get the tint you are after, but after some trial and error you will be able to piss people off by the dozens.

The Blind Barber Patron

This one requires a little bit of dedication mixed with a whole lot of desperation. All you need is a pair of scissors. That’s it — no mirror, nothing. Turn out the lights and go to town. This works best if your hair is over an inch long and if you are a girl. I recommend waiting to make your “costume” until it is absolutely necessary. This will increase the surprise factor considerably and prevent people from thinking you have emotional problems. A variation on this costume would be the “Out of Date Hairstyle.” Some ideas for your consideration: lines shaved in the sides, numbers, letters, or symbols shaved into the back of your head, and any type of rat tail you can muster.

Poor Hygiene

Some of you will be able to pull this off without much work at all. For those of us who shower at least weekly, only a few minor steps need to be taken. First, spill food (preferably items that gets crusty) on some old clothes. Then, put some petroleum jelly in your hair and on your face so it looks like you’ve been up for three days straight. Next, put some peanut butter in your ears to simulate months of wax buildup. Then, put a little baby powder in your hair and on your shoulders to serve as dandruff. Finally, for instant halitosis, eat some cottage cheese and wash it down with orange juice. Gross, but tremendously effective.

For Folks in a Hurry:

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Get two ping-pong balls and put them in your cheeks. Then, get some kind of ice pack (even frozen vegetables will work). Done. And if you want to make it “spooky,” just put some ketchup around your mouth.


Buy a few packs of Alka-Seltzer, cut a hole in your pants or shirt, and wipe on some blood (ketchup) to simulate an animal bite. Periodically, chomp on some of the tablets and run around like a three-legged dog in heat.

Sleazy Photographer

Buy a disposable camera or two and just walk around shouting to people that they have “it” and/or “the look.” Then, tell them that all you need to do is go back to your studio and take a few test shots. A star is born.

My Costume

As for me, it’s between Nick Nolte and Gary Busey. As soon as I can decide which one is more insane, I’ll let you know.

Archived article by Adam Matthews