Hands down, by all accounts, the most popular Halloween costumes this year appear to be Miley Cyrus in her VMA underwear outfit or a Minion, those goofy characters with the round goggles from the “Despicable Me” movies.
Each year we seem to latch onto whatever is most popular in pop culture when it comes to choosing a Halloween costume. I don’t have any problems with the minions, those funny little yellow guys shaped like a dose of Valium in overalls. But putting on the Miley Cyrus costume and going out in public would take some real guts encapsulated in a pretty good body for most women.
Halloween costumes tend to reflect what’s on our collective psyche. While most children still opt for the more traditional characters like cowboys, superheros, witches or the old standby, a white sheet with eye holes cut out, adults tend to look for the more trendy and current disguises and are more than willing to plunk down big bucks for them. It’s estimated that Americans will spend about $8 billion on candy and costumes this Halloween.
The trick, of course, is choosing something people will immediately recognize and appreciate and sometimes that means choosing something more local than national.
For instance, after someone posted a sign on the highway on the western edge of Oxford after Ole Miss defeated arch-rival LSU recently that read, “354 depressing miles to Baton Rouge,” why not capitalize on the victory and go as the thing Ole Miss fans regularly associate with LSU fans. A corndog. Just don’t forget to put some mustard “tears” under the eyes.
Or, after Gov. Phil Bryant’s about-face on health care in the state, refusing to expand Medicare but taking a major insurer to court to force them to provide coverage, wear a mask on the back of your head and carry a two-sided sign that says, “I’m for health care,” on one side and, “I’m against health care,” on the other.
If you prefer to stick with more national trends, of course there’s no escaping “Duck Dynasty” these days. Problem with that for many Mississippians is how do you tell if they’re in costume or not?
On a more national and international level, you might choose to glue some of those fake plastic ears and eyeballs all over you and carry a sign that reads, “German Chancellor Angela Merkel orders pizza on Wednesdays.” Bam, you’re the NSA.
Or you could poke a hole in the top of a shoe, splatter a little fake blood around the opening, wear an elephant lapel pin and go as the GOP, which effectively shot itself in the foot over the government shutdown. For added effect you could paint yourself orange.
Or, the spirit of bipartisanship, print out one of those 404 error messages you get on the computer when you can’t reach a website, paste it on your chest and go as healthcare.gov
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.