Sometimes two beautiful things come together to benefit us all. Peanut butter and chocolate. Chik-Fil-A and meal plans. Erin Andrews and a network desperate to appear equal opportunity.
For students, the marriage of college life and Halloween tops them all. Our God-fearing nation’s curious adoption of pagan rituals results in a holiday of debauchery and shame-free gluttony celebrated by a population craving exactly those things.
Children are welcome to enjoy the festivities — more on that later — but it’s pretty clear that Halloween was created with morally lax college students in mind. After all, historians believe the originators of the holiday were either the Romans or the Celtics — not exactly the choirboys of ancient civilizations. In fact, they would have given the choirboy an atomic wedgie before strutting to the boy’s room to light a cigarette and use cuss words.
So when you’re on the dance floor, costumes awkwardly grinding as far as the eye can see, just remember that these parties are really about embracing the true tradition of Halloween. Switch the Four Loko for the finest wine of Dionysus and your dance partner for a 12-year-old cousin and you might as well be Octavius celebrating a successful harvest.
See, we’re learning here. Halloween isn’t just about parties with more bared flesh than an American Apparel ad. This is a scholarly pursuit of knowledge and as such I’ve taken the liberty to provide background literature for the upcoming learning sessions, peer-reviewed by Dr. Pepper and the girl sitting next to me at the Empo.
I’m already angry about the Charlie Sheen costumes. They will be more inescapable and played out than the man himself. Worse, for at least one weekend they will bring back our inexplicable national obsession with interpreting a drug addict’s nonsensical scrawls as deep philosophical statements.
Just don’t do it. When one person is “winning,” we all lose.
Besides that crucial exception, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with Halloween costumes.
The “nearly” is included because some mouthbreather will invariably decide that leaving the house dressed as an S.S. trooper will be a jolly laugh.
Remember that even Halloween has a limit to bad taste and it starts right around zombie Amy Winehouse. People will laugh but no one will feel good about it.
Interest in exploring the boundaries of appropriate public behavior is not necessary to find a brilliant costume. Possibilities are limited
only by imagination and while the inevitable army of Pauly Ds and Taylor Swifts doesn’t exactly inspire a lot hope on that front, there will always be people who let their freak flag fly in epic style.
Reward these enterprising folk with your attention and photographs. The guy in the RoboCop costume is sweating profusely, holding bodily functions until returning home and is about as likely to find love as the real RoboCop — the very least you can do is appreciate his effort.
Even better, take it upon yourself to stick up to half-assed costuming and courageously blaze trails of aesthetic excellence. Do a great Steve Bucsemi impression? Go all out with that terrifying get-up. Always dreamed of walking into a party dressed as Star Wars bit player Nien Nunb? That’s a little strange but knock your fanboy heart out.
Halloween offers the opportunity to masquerade as any person, thing or idea you can imagine. The only mistake you can possibly make is to be boring.
Or go as Charlie Sheen.