For the lazy person who hates shopping and being looked at by strangers, Halloween is a cruel holiday indeed. Coming up with a clever costume idea is mentally challenging enough, but then you have to figure out where to acquire all of the costume's pieces, and then you have to go all those places where they might sell those pieces, and then you have to put them all on, and then it's usually too cold to wear anything fun outside and everyone's dressed like Little Miss Strumpet or Sexy Ladybugs or Booblestiltzkin. What's the unprepared would-be Halloween partier to do? Half-ass it, that's what.
Half-assed Halloween costumes don't have to be terrible; last year I was able to assemble a pretty horrifying "sexy Abraham Lincoln" costume from items I already had around my house- fishnets, a pair of spandex shorts, a blazer, a dress shirt, a tie, a costume top hat, and a chin strap beard, which I just happened to have laying around my apartment because one of my friends and I had dressed up as stuffy, pipe smoking men for a Scrabble tournament a couple of weeks prior, and the chin strap beard was among the adhesive facial hair that we didn't use that day. Chinstrap beards have no place in organized Scrabble.
A truly half-assed costume can be anything from ornate to simple, from eye-rolling pun to borderline in poor taste. All you really need is what you already have laying around the house.
Since the campaign season's in full swing, you could jump on the political train. Grab your most brightly colored job interview outfit and some pearls, tease your hair up really big, grab your biggest gay bear of a friend, and go as Michele and Marcus Bachmann. Or, if you're friend's on the smaller side, have him don a suit that's too big and you two lovebirds can go as Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. Or, go more issues-based. Wear clothing in a color as close to your skin color as possible. Every time you see a woman, trip her or pull her hair or something. When she protests, claim that she has no right to control you. You're a Republican fetus, after all, and you have more rights than she does!
Amanda Knox has been in the news lately, and dressing as her is a snap. Wear minimal makeup, pull your hair halfway back, dress conservatively but casually, and if anyone asks you how the hell you're Amanda Knox, explain to them, in hesitating English, that you are not in Italy. And that is your costume. The Casey Anthony is just about the same as the Amanda Knox, except put your hair up into a tight ponytail and wear a crew neck tee shirt. This only works if you're not in Florida.
The Recently Dead Celebrity costume is usually a pretty easy one to quickly assemble. Cover an old band uniform with miscellaneous medals, throw on some reflective wire framed sunglasses and a brimless hat and maybe some fake blood, and go as Muammar Gaddafi. A black turtleneck sweater, dark trim fitting pants, plain wire framed glasses, and a decades worth of invisible and unrealized ideas will give you a great Steve Jobs costume. You can also go as a loving zombie homage to Betty Ford, Amy Winehouse, or Jeff Conoway, but expect to get some dirty looks.
If you hate parties and don't want to go, you can always go the jerk route. Try inviting tons of people over to your house and tell them that your party is going to be the best ever. Say you've filled the place with top shelf liquor and a locally semi famous DJ will be spinning, but when they get there, the door's locked! Find another party, suckers, because you just got locked out by a lady who is dressed as The NBA this Halloween. Or, show up at your friend's house, race immediately to the bedroom, and refuse to leave the bed. You're a bedbug.
Go as Someone Who Believes They Are Invisible. Whenever someone speaks to you, act astonished and ask if they're magical. Be Carlos Mencia. Just repeat everything anyone says right back to them and then look around expecting others to laugh. Walk around the party crying, dressed as "drunk girl whose friends all left her." Sit there not talking and acting as though you're not paying attention. Wear a long, black robe. Once you leave the party, say a lot of inane shit. You're Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas!
Or don't go out at all. In lieu of showing up to a party, send a note that says you've employed one of your henchmen to steal the Eiffel Tower and that they're going to have to travel through time to find you. You're Carmen Sandiego!
Even though Halloween is a time for fun and shenanigans, there are some general Halloween don'ts. Group costumes are fun, and a good way to locate your friends when it's time to split. Don't wear blackface or any sort of ethnic makeup, for example, unless your costume is "racist dickbag who will probably end up getting punched." And if it's just too much hassle, just watch your DVD of Hocus Pocus and cry when the cat dies again. That's probably more fun, anyway, and this way, you're less likely to have someone dressed as Slutty Hermione throwing up on you.
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