TEN best

by Brian Clarey




The proximity between the dates of Halloween and Election Day are troubling if you put out a general-interest alternative weekly, but if you’re going to a costume party with politically-minded folks — or, better yet, candidates themselves — it would b e a great time to dress up like Mary Rakestraw (blonde perm wig), Derwin Montgomery (crisp suit and tie) or Joel Landau (socks with sandals).


Be original and go as your favorite local political issue this year! Come dressed as a member of the Winston- Salem Dash, the baseball team slated to begin its season in the city’s new downtown stadium… until construction slowed and the stopped until another $15 million or so was pumped into it. Or put on a garbage bag and slap some trash all over yourself and go as Greensboro’s White Street Landfill, which has become a political football in this year’s city council race.


Vampires, as you probably know, are hot this year — you can thank Twilight and “True Blood,” with their coteries of the sexy undead, for that. Zombies are making a big comeback this year as well. I’m more of a vampire guy, me, because I like to stay up late and I look good in black. But having dressed as a zombie once before and spent an evening lurking around a fake graveyard, I can tell you there is something immensely entertaining about shuffling around and groaning.


Seeing as the bar has been considerably lowered on qualifications for the Nobel Peace Prize after President Obama was awarded one for his first couple weeks in office, it seems that now maybe more of us are eligible for consideration than we previously thought. Whatever your costume, jazz it up with a couple dozen fake Nobel Prizes, which you can hand out to everyone at the party.


This one’s easy: Get yourself a USA hoodie, preferably with an American flag emblazoned somewhere on it; a faded pair of dad jeans; a placard containing at least one misspelling or grammatical error; a semi-automatic weapon; and a bullhorn. Don’t forget your sense of righteous indignation!


Some colleagues and I were recently discussing developments in the Halloween costume industry, namely the evolution that has taken place in adult women’s costumes. Time was, we reckoned, that just a few women would dress… provocatively. These days entire lines of skin-baring costumes are available for women, from slutty pirate to slutty maid to slutty construction worker. To a one we applauded these innovations.


A three-buttoned suit paired with a white dress shirt, power tie and suspenders tells them you’re in banking. Wads of cash coming out of your pockets shows everybody you’ve made a killing. A big, stinky cigar lets ’em know you’re a douche. Lather, rinse, repeat.


Okay, so it’s likely you don’t know the atomic structure of the H1N1 virus or its vaccine, and even if you did, you wouldn’t know how to transpose that idea onto a costume. I say you dress like a pig and walk around sneezing on everybody. They’ll get the picture.


So many to choose from! We now have a pay czar with clawback power, an AIDS czar, three separate czars for the auto industry, a TARP czar, a border czar, a climate czar, a cyber-security czar, a domestic violence czar, a faithbased czar and a Great Lakes czar. There are czars for health and green jobs, information technology, manufacturing, science, regulations, urban affairs and performance. We also have a weapons czar, a weapons of mass destruction czar and a war czar. Or you can make up your own! How about a chocolate czar or a fountain pen czar or a czar who oversees how much dipping sauce you get with your chicken nuggets?


This has been a tough year for the job market, the economic indices and working families in general. But it’s been a great year for dead celebrities! Choose between Patrick Swayze, Ed McMahon,

Walter Cronkite, Ted Kennedy, Captain Lou Albano, DJ AM, Les Paul, Steve McNair, Billy Mays, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, Bea Arthur, Marylin Chambers, Ricardo Montalban, Eartha Kitt, that guy from “M*A*S*H” and recent addition Soupy Sales. Or you can go with the dead King of Pop Michael Jackson — though be warned that every party in the nation will be littered with Michael Jackson corpses come Halloween night.