Since the American flags and lame "legal in this state" fireworks were replaced by plastic pumpkins and those wretched Candy Corn Oreos it has become painfully obvious that Halloween will soon upon us.
And this year I'm going to be ready.
Normally I wait until the day before Halloween, known as Procrastination Day by no one but myself, to try and piece together something resembling a costume which I use to repel accusations of "spoil sportitude" at our finer local public houses.
Seriously, try going out on Halloween without a costume and see what happens. It will be the only time in your life that a man dressed as Green Arrow will tell you to "take something seriously for once."
This year, I refuse to be the subject of judgment from Green Arrow, or any of the other B-list comic book characters too boring to have their own movie.
What you want is a costume that you can actually move around while wearing, doesn't cost a lot of money and won't leave a permanent mark on your friend's furniture.
I cannot stress that last point enough, or how expensive it is to rent a steam cleaner.
What you DON'T want is a costume that falls under the always infuriating category of "trendy."
As with that, I present Costumes to Avoid 2012 edition!
First: Psy, the guy from the Gangnam Style video.
Yes, 300 some million people have seen the video. No, not one of them will think your sunglasses, suit jacket and shockingly racist Psy impression is funny.
Fiasco Fresco of Jesus: This one is based on an recently displayed and astoundingly botched retouching of a fresco of Jesus, turning a classic icon into what appears to be a smudged fingerprint. Pick this costume only if you really enjoy unprompted religious discussions and, due to the necessity of a full face mask, never having access to your own mouth.
Katniss from "The Hunger Games": OK, seems relatively easy. The costume is pretty much a just a gold jumpsuit, I think one of the arms was grey, and that's it. Just walk around with a picture of Richard Dawson and do your best/worst Schwarzenegger impression and you should be all set.
Yeah, that look is from "The Running Man." No one will convince me "The Hunger Games" is not "The Running Man."
The Avengers: Did you love the movie? Do you have six friends? Did you spend nine months in the gym to look good in spandex? If there answer to any of these questions is "no" then pack away the costume and start doing crunches for next year.
Bacon: I guess people like to wear costumes that look like giant pieces of bacon.
I hate bacon.
Ted: That foul mouthed teddy bear from the Seth MacFarlane movie? So, that's just a regular bear costume and what, cursing? My first thought would be "Disgruntled Disney Employee," not "Recycled Family Guy Jokes I paid $8 to See Bear."
Inflatable Non-Sumo suit: So, I guess this is a thing now. Since the inflatable sumo suit craze died about the time wearing a suit of velcro and jumping on a wall of velcro fell out of vogue the guys who make the sumo suits had a lot of inventory and not a lot of ideas. So they put a tutu on a sumo suit and sell it as a HILARIOUS Halloween costume that comes with its own personal air pump. I don't know exactly constitutes a "tragic Halloween" but I assure you it contains the words "personal air pump."
Honey Boo Boo Child: I hate that I just wrote that. Let's get over the fact that you're dressing as a child and just say that, if you chose to go out in public in what I'm sure is a most tasteful depiction of this ingnue I suggest you hold on to the costume. In a few years after this child's inevitable decline into the reality celeb vortex of "Celebrity Rehab" and "where are they now" specials you can drag it back out, add her prison inmate number, and you're good for another Halloween.
Power Rangers: You see, this is what happens when kids that grew up in the 90s start having kids of their own. Are they really out of ideas for kids shows? Kids shows are gibberish. Here is every kids show, ever: blinking light, screaming characters, maybe a lesson about not touching downed power lines. That's it. Even if kids today are into the Power Rangers that does not give their nostalgia obsessed hipster parents the right to drag out some ill-fitting costume they wore in '97 and parade around town yelling "It's morphin' time!" It is not "morphin' time," it is "mortgage time," so get a job!
I think that's it. Outside of someone dragging out a woefully outdated trendy costume (O.J. Simpson, G.W. Bush) that should cover every kind of lame costume you'll encounter this Halloween. As for me, I think I've got in narrowed down to Zombie Cabbie or one of the Amish guys from "Witness." What day of the week is Halloween this year? Wednesday? OK this year I'll be going as Man at Work again.
Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.