How To Do A Pandemic Halloween Without Really Trying

Sorry, folks, Halloween’s closed! The spooky moose carcass out front should’ve told you. Sure, the kids will trick-or-treat via Zoom or some such nonsense, and there will be small neighborhood gatherings outdoors in our yards this weekend—but nothing rowdy or fun like in The Before (aka “last year”). Whatever. I’m not passing up a rare opportunity for quasi-normalcy, and neither should you. Let’s get weird!

Unfortunately, however, the 4,000 temporary Halloween stores that usually pop up in old Ameritech or Rax Roast Beef buildings have not, in fact, popped up this year. America has seemingly lost its taste for overpriced “Sexy Ventilator Patient” costumes. So we need to make our own get-ups, which presents another problem: we are exhausted and on the brink of a collective mental breakdown. Still, we need to be creative… and tap into the paralyzing apprehension and dread of Election Day sweeping over the nation like a cold front before a storm.  

Undecided voter – put on your flashiest, look-at-me clothes! Maybe a tuxedo, if you have one. Maybe it’s the neon racing outfit from “Tron.” It doesn’t matter, just whatever draws the most attention. Also, put on a giant, gaudy crown—it can be homemade, as long as it’s eye-grabbing and obnoxious. Write something on it like “PLEASE TALK TO ME, I AM VERY LONELY,” in shiny sequins. Next, fashion a make-shift fence out of construction paper to stick between your legs.

Then, casually walk around the gathering butting into everyone’s conversations explaining that on one hand, you do not like the shirts Joe Biden—but on the other, you are also not very fond of the fact that American democracy is quickly sinking into the East Siberian Sea, so you’re “just not sure” who to vote for yet. When people ignore your musings, kick them in the Achilles tendon and demand that they ask you follow-up questions. Will people like you? No. But will everyone admire your maverick spirit? Also no.

Donald Trump – You do not need to wear a suit. Or a tie. Or a Marge Schott wig. You do not need to dress up like Donald Trump at all, because that is too aggressive, and you are not in the business of shocking the systems of passers-by and children . You are not a monster. Instead, you can simply wrap yourself in a giant Victoria Spartz yard sign! Everyone will know exactly what you mean by this. Everyone will know who you are. It is just more acceptable this way, as both costumes and yard signs go. More dignified. Less of a public indictment of your soul.

Quarantine parent – Remember those early, entirely cloudy days of intricately themed meals at home, “Tiger King” episodes, and caring about things? Or, what about May, when we finally gave up all hope of normalcy and also our kids’ educations? It was all relatively the same, more or less, especially in a sartorial sense. So recreate the hottest, only-est look from that abysmal time-loop by throwing on a random hodgepodge of your coziest, ugliest shit. The more disheveled and sad, the better!

You’re going to need to dump a gallon of stress-grease all over your head, then glue some “Uno” cards and homemade pasta noodles to your face. Next, stomp around the gathering carrying a laptop and a handle of cheap Tiger Sack whiskey while randomly screaming at people to “JUST GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY OR SOMETHING, GET OUT OF MY HOUSE.” You will really have to commit to the crazed-parenting aspect of this, or else people will just think you’re some kind of garden-variety hobo. You have to sell it.  

Bernie Bro – This will be difficult if you cannot secure a massive beard, a Millennium Falcon t-shirt, and growlers of a home-brewed IPA made from hand-picked Willamette hops and pretentiousness. If you can secure those, you’re all set! Put on grey trail shoes, an unbuttoned Lululemon flannel and a pair of John Lennon glasses—now you’re ready to harass everyone and make them feel stupid for not seeing the world as you see it. Be sure to aggressively corner someone and explain to them, in belittling terms, why it’s imperative that everyone gets free college, free bartending school, and up to 15 free post-graduate doctorates. Go the extra mile and host a Tottenham Hotspur-centric podcast right there next to the fire pit!  

Covid denier – First of all, don’t wear a mask. That’s a given. It’s difficult to achieve the full effect if you’re wearing a mask while reading statistics from the “FWD:FWD:FWD:FWD: Subject: BREAKING: FAKE DOCTOR FAUCI CAUGHT MOLESTING BALD EAGLE BABIES & MAKING UP FAKE CORONAVIRUS DATA IN THE DUPONT CIRCLE CHIPOLTLE” email that your racist Great Aunt Ronda from Pensacola sent you. Second, print off Great Aunt Ronda’s email and bring it. Third, wear a QAnon muscle shirt, or maybe a Barstool Sports, or a Michigan Militia one. Lastly, threaten to physically head-butt everyone at the gathering wearing a mask. Congrats! You’re the life of the party! A real freedom-loving wildcard!

Anxiety-ridden voter on election night – All you need is your bathrobe and some imagination! Cover your robe with Frosted Flakes crumbs and empty Xanax bottles, then sit looking off into the distance, rocking back & forth sickeningly, yelling “LIES!” to any person stating any observation, opinion, or fact. Trust no one. Believe nothing. You are the perfect picture of angst, uncertainty, and possibly delirium—which you’ve been for quite some time now anyway, so the robe is crucial to pulling this off.

Happy quasi-Halloween, everybody! Go vote.