Please Advise! This Halloween, Be a Scary World Event

Put down that inadvisable clown costume and get 2016 political, says spin doc Steve.

By Steve Burgess 25 Oct 2016 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor’s note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a Ph.D in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

It’s Halloween costume time. I wanted to be a clown, but apparently that whole thing is a non-starter this year. I thought being scary was the whole point of Halloween? Anyway, I am looking for ideas. Can you take a break from the political thing and help me out?


Sad Scary Clown

Dear Sad,

There’s no need to separate the fun of Halloween from the exciting yet horrifying world of current events. There are plenty of costume ideas torn from today’s headlines. Some suggestions:

Sexy Zombie

A 2016 favourite. They’re on every TV channel, they’re at the movies. You’ll probably be able to pay for the costume with all the extra work you get. Plus there’s lots of ways you can spin it — for example, you could make it into the rotting corpse of Julian Assange’s heroic reputation.

Sexy Fired Vancouver School Board

This one will require some finesse. Ideally it should be a group effort. You’ll need veils of charges and counter-charges including workplace bullying and partisan provincial government interference, and be sure to make it all a bloody mess. But sexy.

Free Trade

Chilling! This one seems to scare the pants off everybody lately. Trick-or-treat at the home of almost any politician and they will slam the door in your face.

Sexy Shirtless Justin Trudeau

Try this one out on your friends first. If they guess “Sumo wrestler! Generic Dad Bod!” you may have to go with something else — perhaps Shirtless Justin Trudeau Circa 2036?

Naked Guy Cooking Eggs

Police arrested a man last week who entered an unlocked apartment in Vancouver, stripped naked, and began cooking eggs. Just a one-off incident? Wrong, as Donald Trump would say. Police report another guy was arrested for doing the same thing in July 2013. That makes it a theme. Note: This costume may be a little too cold for trick-or-treating. And scuzz yourself up a bit so people won’t think you are Sexy Justin Trudeau Cooking Breakfast.

Sexy Brexit

Union Jack outfits always looks hot. But to pull this one off, you will probably have to lose a lot of weight. Or more precisely, a lot of pounds.

American Refugee

Accessorize with an NPR bumper sticker, a small bag of groceries from Trader Joe’s, and a look of stunned disbelief.

Stubborn Walloon

Not many people know what a Walloon actually looks like. But you just need to keep shaking your head and refusing to sign anything. Bonus: if you pull this off you could make International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland weep.

Sexy Bike Lane

You’ll have to judge your audience with this one. If there’s an SUV parked out front, tell them you’re a Scary Bike Lane.

Ghost of a Chance

Wear a sheet and carry a miniature Stanley Cup, and boom, you are the odds of any Canadian NHL franchise winning it all this season.

Alternately the same outfit could be re-jigged to represent the windfall British Columbia will derive from future liquefied natural gas projects.

The Great Vancouver Storm of October 2016

All you need is a small portable fan. Takes two triple A batteries. Add a few gently waving ferns. Extra points for dressing as a red-faced meteorologist.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

This costume idea offers several options. You could dress as Batman. Or as Superman. Or you could just wear a look of disgust as you set fire to the $20 you’ll never see again.

A Christmas Tree

And it’s only October! Careful — this one always gets people unhinged.

Headless Horror

A false set of shoulders with a little window for the eyes creates this classic costume popularized by the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Bonus: with the right accessories you can be any one of dozens of Game of Thrones characters. Or the Vancouver School Board.

Trump Tower Vancouver

Actually I don’t recommend you dress up like Trump Tower Vancouver. Unless you really need the eggs.  [Tyee]

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