I signed up for this weekend’s column, but I had zero ideas. I ended up copping out and doing a Halloween themed column. Enjoy!
*Kudos if you get the reference in the title.
Halloween is Monday, and most people know the drill: costumes, parties, candy, etc… But for the sake of filling this column, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the haunted holiday.
The first order of business is getting in the mood for Halloween. The best way to do that is a movie marathon. Everyone’s tastes are a little different but you can’t go wrong with classics such as “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street” or “Poltergeist.” If those aren’t your style (or are too scary) “Ernest Scared Stupid” and “A Disney Halloween” are also great options.
Once you’re in the spirit, it’s time for trick-or-treating.
One of the most debated questions among door-to-door candy enthusiasts is what age is too old to trick-or-treat? There are differing opinions on the topic, but I say once you’re old enough to shave or wear a letterman’s jacket, you’re too old to trick-or-treat.
Obviously, it’s best to trick-or-treat in a group. It’s safer, but it also facilitates candy swapping. The more people you have with you, the greater the chances you’ll be able to trade. There’s always one weird kid in the group that will trade his Milky Way, which is at the top of the candy bar hierarchy with Snickers, for a Mounds.
It’s also important to have a plan of attack. You can’t waist valuable time and daylight arguing about which neighborhoods to hit. After all, your teeth aren’t going to rot themselves.
Let’s touch on candy conveyance as well. The old standard is still the best: your pillow case. Have you ever tried trick-or-treating with one of those stupid plastic pumpkins? It’s a disaster.
They fill up after about two blocks and you can’t even get your hand into them. Plus, if you want to continue trick-or-treating, you have to make a pit stop to unload some of your loot. It’s best just to throw your pillow case over your shoulder like a cartoon burglar.
But what if you aren’t trick-or-treating? How should one prepare for trick-or-treaters?
A variety and good supply candy are important. It’s advisable not to be the house that hands out nickels or bundles of popcorn. If you don’t want to be cleaning pumpkin shrapnel and egg off your driveway on Nov. 1, that is.
I know it’s easy, but, if you’re home, don’t put out a bowl with a sign that says, “Please take one.” Most kids will abide, but there are always a few future hooligans that will empty that bowl without a second thought.
Now, a few words about costumes.
Homemade costumes are clearly better than store-bought costumes. That’s just a fact. Homemade costumes allow you to be more creative. Your only limit is literally your imagination, as opposed to going to Target where your limits are three makeshift aisles next to office supplies and $5 DVDs.
Really take advantage of this holiday. It’s one of the few times you can wear a cape or ill-fitting spandex and GAIN friends.
If you can come up with a genuinely original costume, friends, parents and teachers (if you’re younger) will compliment you all day. And if you’re older, you can probably get at least one free drink out of a really creative costume.
Don’t fall into the trap of making a costume too obscure, though. This often happens with movie-character costumes. The costume might be obvious to you and your circle of friends because you have been watching the same movie or TV show together for years, but it might not be obvious to everyone else. Trust me; you will get sick of explaining your costume to every third person at the party.
You should probably avoid costumes with bulky or large props, too. It seems like a great idea until about an hour into the night when you realize Thor’s hammer isn’t getting any lighter and you have to carry it around for the rest of the night.
Earlier this year, I thought about going as Buddy Holly for Halloween and bringing my guitar with me. I quickly realized that it would be ungainly, especially in bars, and there’s no way that thing would come home with all six strings on it. Besides that, it would have meant people shouting requests for Buddy Holly songs all night, and I can only play one.
And I’m sorry to do this, but, if you have a significant other you are required to do a couple’s costume at least once. Fortunately, guys, your friends won’t recognize you under that wig and Raggedy Andy makeup.