October 27, 2008
If you’re spending a lot of time worrying about whether or not you should wear a Halloween costume to work on Friday, quit it. This is Austin. Of course you should. Yes, there are a few exceptions. You probably shouldn’t wear a Barney costume to your job as a fry cook at McDonald’s. Bad idea. If you’re a fireman, you’ll probably want to avoid any costume you can get at Wal-Mart or Walgreens or any other Wal retailer, even and especially if it promises “Wal-o-ween savings.” Wearing one of those cheap bastards is like walking around with a diesel fuel-soaked dead Christmas tree strapped to your back. The tag might say “flame retardant” in English, but the Chinese symbols really read “flaming flower.” Surgeons, on the other hand, should probably avoid three-fingered cartoon characters like Porky Pig and Mickey Mouse … for obvious reasons, and cops should avoid feathers, fringe, glitter and high heels – unless they’re paying for it after hours. Most people however – the kind who have time to pick up this paper (and not just to wash the windows at McDonald’s) – don’t work in a job where they already wear a costume. They fall outside the standard Village People caricature set. For them, Halloween is a slam dunk. In the words of vampire pop icon Gerard Way: “Shit is easy peasy pumpkin peasy pumpkin pie, motherfucker.” In most offices, a festively themed sweater is enough to score you some holiday street cred, but why halfass it in the name of job security? Victory goes to the bold … or more often the bold and slutty. If you can’t rock it like Liberace, at least show enough skin to make a whore blush. This is a once a year deal, a free pass to get your freak on full tilt. Wear the tube top even if it exposes your chest hair. Go for the mini-miniskirt – just make sure your boys aren’t hanging like church bells. That’s probably a line item somewhere in the employee handbook. If you really go over the top, you’ll show your co-workers and upper management that you’re willing to do what it takes … even if it takes sweat lodging it all day in a stinky, sweltering, rented rubber and fur Chewbacca costume communicating only in Wookiee growls. If you roll that strong, you put everyone in the office on notice that you’re willing to boil the bunny. Respek. Regardless of how you decide to go, the important thing is to lose your sense of dignity. Nothing queers a good Halloween costume more than trying to “tone it down a little.” For a costume to really work, you have to feel utterly ridiculous. If you don’t, then maybe you chose something too close to home. Pets understand this concept. Dachshunds are absolutely humiliated to be dressed in tutus, but deep down they know they look hilarious. Otherwise, why would they wear them so often? If after a full day of Halloween indignity, you feel like laughing at something other than yourself, head over to the Austin Music Hall for Austin Humane Society’s Rags2Wags dog and cat celebrity fashion show. Enjoy cocktails and food from Pascal’s Catering Company; a silent auction for trips, spa packages, jewelry and more; plus live music and dancing with Bruce Robison, all benefiting Austin’s only no-kill animal shelter. Boo! Yeah!