So you’ve made it to Halloween without actually knuckling down a costume?
Never fear! Idea time is here! There’s no need to join the boring masses in dressing up as Miley Cyrus and gyrating on a foam finger or paying homage to “Duck Dynasty” and getting mistaken for some grungy guy who wandered into the wrong party. Same goes with Honey Boo Boo; one might just mistake you for one of the assorted “real housewives.”
There’s always a body suit covered in boxes of breakfast goods and plastic knives — cereal killer. Or, keeping the suit and covering it with either fuzzy baby chickens or Barbie dolls — chick magnet. But let’s think outside the box a little further.
A no-brainer could be a simple orange jumpsuit. Call yourself a character from Netflix show “Orange Is the New Black,” just not the character Crazy Eyes. Sorry, Julianne Hough, blackface doesn’t cut it in the realm of the politically correct. Of course, if you really want people to think you’re racist, adopt a southern drawl and come bearing fried food. Howdy, Paula Deen!
Back to the jail clothes, they also let you be any number of pseudo-celebrities who saw themselves in legal hot water this year. Add a wig, a bong-turned-vase and some lighter fluid and bam! You’re actress Amanda Bynes.
If you really don’t want to attend whatever festivities are in the works tonight, call in your regrets and blame it all on a government shutdown. You’re Congress. Or BART workers.
If you have to go but want a good excuse to leave, show up in a sailor suit and make a point of bailing out before everybody else. How else will you be Costa Concordia cruise ship Captain Francesco Schettino? Or, don some cleats and a shabby dark beard. Start yelling at the host about how you were never offered an invitation. Let them figure out you are former Giants pitcher Brian Wilson as they escort you to the door.
Fondness for the wild kingdom? Forgo the animal ears and leotard unless you’re a guy. In that case, wear the ensemble with glee and tell fellow revelers you’re dressed as a girl’s favorite Halloween costume. But for either sex, stick a shark mask over your head, grab a chain saw and spin in circles. Sharknado!
A horse head and a DNA testing kit is all you need to be European beef, or rather what has been masquerading as beef.
Or, go head to toe as some sort of bug and carry a Nokia in a nod to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone.
Looking for a cheap option? Nab lots of paint sample cards in hues just shy of black and attach them to dark clothing. Add in a crop for good measure but don’t be surprised if others don’t immediately recognize you as “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It’s not like everybody reads that pulp.
How about a hot dog costume? Send lewd self-portraits signed “Carlos Danger” to fellow trick-or-treaters. Bonus couple points for a long-suffering wife (a “Stand by your man” logo shirt) or sexting partner (use one’s imagination).
Another group costume — you, shirtless and tattooed, being carried all night by several burly men. Voila! Justin Bieber. Great idea for the person playing the pop star too cool to climb the Great Wall of China. Probably less exciting for those playing his hired help.
When all else fails, walk around clutching a sample ballot and candidate roster, bemoaning the outcome of the election and admitting you never participate. With Election Day around the corner, is there anything more scary than the idea of voter apathy?
Michelle Durand’s column “Off the Beat” runs every Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached by email: email@example.com or by phone (650) 344-5200 ext. 102. What do you think of this column? Send a letter to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org