Halloween is coming. I spent so much time worrying about a costume for my daughter that I almost forgot about myself. Not only do I dress up to hand out candy, but I have some old friends who always throw a Halloween bash that's one of the best grown-up get-togethers of the year, so Mommy has to have a good costume, too. The problem is, though I have a lot of ideas for a Halloween costume this year, it's tough coming up with one that isn't going to offend people.
The easiest costume idea I had was to just go the party completely naked and tell everyone I was a Pre-October 2004 Mantecan.
My husband told me I should wear flip-flops and go as John Kerry. Not only could I wear it to the party, but I could also wear that costume to hand out candy. Then afterwards, I could throw the remainder of the candy over the White House fence and go before Congress to report that I had seen other trick-or-treaters on my block burn down villages, and even participated in such atrocities myself.
That idea prompted my father to suggest I could dress in a three-piece suit and power tie, then take a tree stump with me and go the party as Cheney and Bush. After the party, I could go house to house, kicking in the doors and ransacking the candy bowls for Snickers of mass destruction.
I was also thinking about renting one of those big samurai suits, then pulling on a t-shirt and a ball cap over it. I could take notes of conversations at the party, then quote misleading snippets back to other people and see how long it takes people to figure out I'm Michael Moore.
I was going to get a red jacket, a sequined white glove, and a fake, plastic nose for my face so I could go as Eminem in his latest video, but BET and Michael Jackson's lawyers both sent me statements warning me not to do it.
Speaking of the Jacksons, the party invitation specifically prohibited anyone from coming to the party as Janet. (Which is a shame, because I could have purchased a great Janet costume at a Halloween clearance store for next to nothing -- everything was half off.)
If I put on a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops, then stood in the shower until I was sopping wet and carried around a gallon of purified water and a flash light, I could say I was a resident of Florida.
Maybe I could put a flashlight under my shirt so it glows, belch frequently and say I was Mount Saint Helens.
I was also thinking about putting on a blond wig, an orange jumpsuit and show up at the party several days early as Martha Stewart, saying "I just want to get this over with, so I can go on with my life".
Of course, why go as one person, when I could dress up as a duo? I could wear a flirty dress, put a matching outfit on a broomstick and go as Mary Kate and Ashley.
Or I could wear a whip and a Fedora, bring a skeleton in a dress, and be Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart. I could always borrow one of my daughter's baby dolls, dress it in little boy's clothes and go to the party as Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, too.
My husband is not allowed to lighten his hair and goatee, borrow his sister's ID and go to the party as "Jacqueline" Peterson, no matter how scary a costume it would make. And he won't let me wear a white sheet and pillow case. No, I wasn't going to go as a ghost, it was supposed to be a Paris Hilton costume, since the heiress was reportedly caught on tape recently referring to two African Americans as the n-word. We also nixed the idea of getting a hemorrhoid cushion and going as Kobe Bryant's accuser. If anyone got upset at it being too tasteless, I could have tucked the cushion into the seat of my pants and said that I was J. Lo, but it's probably better just not to go there at all.
If my grandparents were going to go to the party, I was going to recommend to them that they dress up like the Detroit Lions and come as the oldest team in the AFC.
We were thinking about going as the Chicago Cubs, but my dad warned us we'd probably choke on every piece of candy. He suggested that we dress up in 49'ers uniforms instead, as the two most experienced players left after everyone else had been traded away.
I think we might just go with something traditional like zombies. My zombie can wear a cape and tights, and my husband's zombie can grumble about how he doesn't get any respect.
Ultimately, though, as long as I go with John, it doesn't matter whether I have a good costume or not. After all, if our costumes are a big flop, we can always say that it's because we were actually coming to the party as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Gigli.
Comments and costume ideas to Alex.Queen@gmail.com.
This article first appeared in the October 16, 2004 issue of the Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin.