Bubble World

Coming in July 2013 from Henry Holt

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I initially wrote this post in 2011, but it’s getting a lot of traffic, so I thought I should make it a bit more timely.

POLITICS: You sure you want to go there? Really? Okay. Just understand that half the people at your costume party will think you are an A-hole — but that’s the price you pay for living in a democracy. So here goes.

DEMOCRATS can dress as Big Bird, Binders, Arnold’s Baby Mama, or a Republican Convention person in one of those embarrassing cheese hats.

REPUBLICANS can dress as . . . as . . . oh, gee, sorry — I’m fresh out of ideas right now. Try back later.

OLYMPICS: Misty May & Kerry Trainor: no need to go half naked. Did you see them layering up this summer in chilly London? Another possibility: a procession uniform from a random country no one has ever heard of. Or that musical couple at the end of that bizarre opening ceremonies act. Or a hospital bed.

ROYALS: Not feeling “in the mood” for Halloween this year? Go as Queen Elizabeth II! You won’t even have to feign enthusiasm. Or what about Prince Harry? You don’t even need a costume, just a sign that says, “What Happens in Vegas . . . oh, shit.” Speaking of clothing-optional, you could channel poor, sweet Kate (who was totally violated, don’t get me wrong) by wearing panty hose and . . . that’s all.

REALITY TV: Saving the best for last. I didn’t initially want to post this idea because I thought I might use it, but my seventeen-year-old daughter said it was too gross. Yup, I’m talking about Honey Boo Boo. Blond hair, tiara, exposed belly, tutu, cowboy boots, and a bottle marked “go-go juice,” and you’re all set.

Still not inspired? Here’s what I came up with last year:

Are you going to a party this year? Are you excited? Have you put your costume together? No??? Are you serious? It is the middle of October, and everyone else going to the party has been working on their costumes since July. What were you thinking, waiting this long?

Never fear! I am here to help you. Just follow my advice and your costume will be, if not the best at the party, at least one that will elicit a few chuckles and make you stand out from the crowd. (If this novel writing thing doesn’t pan out, I’m totally going for a career as a life coach.)

Okay, truth: I don’t have any real advice. But I do have some themes, the first of which is IN THE NEWS. Alternately, RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES. Or, much of the time (but not always), THE TRAINWRECK OF THE HOUR. According to the media, the hot costumes this year are Charlie Sheen and Anthony Weiner. How could anyone possibly dress up as Anthony Weiner? (Oh, God, I just got an image.) One online article suggested a Casey Anthony costume, which is about the least funny thing I’ve ever read. Please do not dress as Casey Anthony. Amy Winehouse is crossing the taste barrier, too, but not as badly.

Current events can spark some of the best costumes. At a party in 2008, we had two John McCain/Sarah Palin pairs (I do live in Orange County) and one stand-alone Sarah Palin (who looked so much like the politician she really had no choice).  Physical resemblance helps — even if it’s broad. During the height of the Gosselin frenzy, a Causasian friend and her Japanese-American husband only needed a wig and a few well-chosen accessories to be the funniest costume of the night. That same year (I think), I saw Octomom on Halloween. No, not someone dressed up as Octomom — the real thing. She was clicking through the Albertson’s deli section in her high heels. And no, she did not have any children with her.

Scan the headlines (Michele Bachmann? Lindsay Lohan? Tea Partiers? Occupy Wall Street protesters? Kate Middleton and Prince William?) and the reality TV listings (Snooki? Top Chef?) — a great costume idea might fall into place. And if it does? For God’s sake, get moving!

More Ideas:

Halloween Costumes: Television Shows

Halloween Costumes: Movies

Halloween Costumes: Rockers and Pop Stars