Please Advise! What’s the Scariest Costume I Can Rip from the Headlines?

Dr. Steve offers tips for a topical and frightening Halloween.

By Steve Burgess 30 Oct 2018 | 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,

Any ideas for Halloween costumes torn from today’s headlines?

Puzzled Ghoul

Dear PG,

You know, there’s scary fun and just plain scary. Today’s headlines may be just a little too strong for the Halloween costume trade. You don’t want the kiddies crying uncontrollably, not to mention their parents. Nonetheless, here are some possibilities:


Dr. Steve is fascinated by Squi. We know him — or it — as the faithful buddy of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But who or what is Squi? What does Squi eat? Does Squi have gills? Tentacles with little suckers to catch its prey? Has Squi ever battled Sigourney Weaver? Be creative with this one.

Dodge Caravan

Apparently some people now find Caravans really scary. Maybe it’s the gas mileage?

Kanye West

Note to Megyn Kelly: Not you, please.


The costume part is simple — just make yourself unrecognizable. The tough part is getting your hands on a candy shredder.

Proportional Representation

Apparently you’ll need goose-stepping boots and swastika armbands to get this right.


Just remember to limp as though you’ve been shot in the foot, then cut a big hole in the bottom of your Union Jack-themed candy bag.

Old Man Mutant Dingus Turtle

Kowabunga dude! You’ll have to find some way to hide your chin. And your integrity and any sense of shame.


Remember to explain that the red spots are just painted on or no one will ever open the door.

Global Warming

Maybe a globe-shaped outfit with a big thermometer or something? But this one might backfire since many homeowners will simply pretend you’re not there.


Adorable little scamp, little black mask, furry coat, accepts your candy, somehow manages to get all the rest of your candy, threatens your cat, cleans out the cat dish... wait, that’s no costume.


Simple, effective and versatile. You can always dress it up with your story — you are the ghost of rational discourse, or a shared responsibility for the environment, or affordable housing, or your belief that public policy will be shaped by wisdom, justice and acceptance, or simply your naive youthful dreams of a better future. Fun!

Pot-Smoking Canadian Stoner

Roll yourself a joint. Then go ahead and wear any appropriate, comfortable, warm clothing.


You can dress as the cop, the construction worker, Chrystia Freeland, a big slice of foreign cheese, or the leather dude. Plenty of options.


You know there are going to be Trump costumes. But the truly sophisticated Trump outfit will eschew the cheap signifiers — orange wig, rubber mask, red MAGA hat, stubby fingers, absurdly long tie, etc. The next-level Trump costume is the conceptual version. It will involve going through the entire evening without displaying the slightest intelligence, knowledge, self-awareness, humility, respect for others, or even a shred of human decency, spewing outrageous and hateful lies and stinking up the room like a plugged toilet until the realization finally dawns and people say, “Oh, I get it! Good one!” Of course you may get punched a few times first. But then, you may also find yourself with a solid following and a viable political career.  [Tyee]

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