For some people, Halloween is a joyous occasion in which they get to act out a little bit, or a lot, loosing their metaphorical inhibition girdles (like that image?) in a Bakhtinian celebration of inverted social norms, tight and/or revealing clothes, and alcohol.
I hate you fuckers.
For normal people, Halloween is a treacherous, unfamiliar social terrain, to be navigated with the utmost care. Is that a cop, or a stripper, or a person pretending to be a cop, or a person pretending to be a stripper? Will I get pepper sprayed if I tuck a dollar bill into that cop's waistband? Is there a way out of this evening that doesn't end with me crying in a corner, abandoned and alone and OH MY GOD GET IT TOGETHER MAN. Or possibly woman. Or possibly something else - I can't be sure, because I've consumed way too many substances, and the makeup involved in my Sexy Vampire costume has defamiliarized me from my own features. Plus, I'm pretty sure I don't show up in mirrors now. Or is that ghosts? I can never remember.
You get the point.
I've put some thought into it, though, and decided that there's no reason that this so-called holiday has to be terrible. There's no reason that we have to suffer through the indignities of awkward encounters, too-small (or too-large) department-store monstrosities, and Attempting To Dance. Here are five easy do-it-yourself costumes that are guaranteed to keep you from getting maced, or rejected, this Halloween.
Wear a striped shirt, a striped hat, a scarf, and blue jeans.
Stay at home. They'll never find you! Best Waldo ever!
2. Emily Dickinson
Wear a white dress. Part your hair down the middle. If you feel like being very authentic, write a long series of dashes on a pad of paper.
Stay at home. Stand in front of windows and scare the neighborhood children.
3. The Dread Pirate Roberts
No, not that Dread Pirate Roberts. The one before him. The one who retired, and who never appears in the film. You will be talked about, but mostly irrelevant. Hey, what do you know - it's just like every other day of your life!
Paint your face, and maybe your hands, to look like decaying skin. Rip some of your clothes, and put fake blood on them. Bonus points if you have the makeup acumen to create realistic bite wounds. Feel the hunger for BRAAAAAIIIINNNNSSS building within you.
Realize your zombie self doesn't know how to open doors. Stay at home all night bumping into walls.
5. Willy Wonka
You have your choice of portrayals here, but the essence is the same. Wear a top hat, crazy hair, and a funky waistcoat. Fill your every motion and word with delightfully eccentric, uh, eccentricities. Invite a group of strangers to your home. Give them chocolate. Torture them until only one remains. Make your escape. Find yourself beloved by generations of adults who have forgotten the nights you haunted their dreams, and who cheerfully bring their children to you for further trauma.
There are, of course, innumerable other options open to you. You are limited only by your imagination.
And the secret horrors which lurk within your soul.