MANNO: Costumes, creatures and creativity

I found myself in a Halloween store over break to kill time before “Argo” – one of those converted FedEx/Kinkos with a generic name like “Halloween City.” I was with a buddy of mine, perusing overpriced vampire-baby decs and rubber masks that prevent proper breathing, when we started talking about Halloween and what kind of holiday it has become.

Unlike regular holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, even New Years – Halloween embraces demonry and otherwise cruel tidings to provide kids with candy. It’s all very confusing, really. I once showed up at Thanksgiving dressed like a zombie, and my uncle wouldn’t let me near the turkey the rest of the night.

That didn’t happen, but I think it should be acceptable. Why has our culture accepted this madness only on Halloween?

Think about it as you go out looking for last-minute costumes this week, and maybe it will inspire an extra kick of creativity. In the spirit of the season, here are some costumes I hope to see this year:

Albert Einstein: Or any other intellectual being. Gives you license to partake in all the debauchery of the night, which will be balanced by your boosted intellect (which, let’s be honest, is the real ‘costume’ here). I’d pick Einstein not only for he iconic hair and mustache, but because there’s nothing like a distracted discussion on relativity.

Marty McFly and Doc Brown: It’s been done, but hey, it’s “Back to the Future.”

Slenderman: I’m out of commission for the night once this guy shows.

Cereal mascots: Toucan Sam, Tony the Tiger, Cap’n Crunch – everyone loves these folks. And in their candy-induced sugar haze, your friends will be dying for some mini-boxes you can hand out. These costumes are iconic and underutilized. Every year I eyeball the Count Chocula costume.

Republican presidential candidates who didn’t get nominated: These ghouls are sure to cause a scare, and most have iconic faces.

Pokey: Because there are too many Gumbys.

Anybody riding anything with legs: This one I’ll explain. This is the one where you, dressed as anything you please, rides some sort of creature. These costumes give your actual legs to the creature you’re riding and the rest of your body to the rider, with a pair of fake legs hanging off to look like you are off the ground. Maybe Mario riding Yoshi, or Steve Erwin riding an ostrich. They are the most confusing spectacle at the initial glance, and worth the creative investment.

Happy searching! (Obligatory “muahaha!”)