What’s the deal with last-minute homemade Halloween costumes?

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Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

When I searched online for potential Halloween-column topics, I encountered innumerable headlines screaming about fun, easy, last-minute homemade Halloween costumes.

Who are all the people in desperate need of fun, easy, last-minute homemade Halloween costumes?

Did some poor loser overlook all the Hobby Lobby displays and simply forget about the spooky festivities? (“You mean they’re having Halloween again THIS year? I thought it was every 12 years like the .., waddayacallem … presidential elections.”)

I’m sure some people have a last-minute need for a costume because one of their “friends” had a last-minute RSVP cancellation and grudgingly invited them to the party. These folks need to band together nationwide and go as a stadium foam finger, albeit not the one commonly reserved for announcing “We’re number one!”

Some celebrants need costume suggestions because of pure cussed procrastination. (“Hey, I work best under pressure. And everyone loved my Guy Wearing His Cardigan Inside Out get-up last year.”)

Of course the Clevererthanthou family loves to show off their creativity. (“And this year, you lucky people, we’re dressing as our 18-page Christmas newsletter!”)

Some people are, understandably, being frugal. (“I don’t remember exactly which show told how to economize on Halloween costumes, but it was on one of the eight streaming services we subscribe to. Wait, I just remembered we also added the Competitive Tongue-Rolling Channel.”)

Some Americans see spurning the hottest store-bought costumes as Sticking It To the Man. (“I simply used cardboard that I bought from The Man and aluminum foil that I bought from The Man and glitter that I bought from The Man and…”)

It’s not always the grown-ups who create the urgency. Let’s remember the kids who announce half-way to school, “Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to wear a Halloween costume today.” There’s not even time for homemade — just SUV-made. (“What am I? I’m a ballerina performing in Roadkill-Swan Lake. Like my ballet-slippers-slash-breakfast-burrito-wrappers?”)

I don’t fit neatly into any of those categories, but I did have my own experiences with homemade costumes that I wore to church Halloween parties as a young adult. One time I used a second-hand jumpsuit, my father’s old U.S. Army knapsack and a vacuum cleaner hose to play a Ghostbuster. (“Who ya gonna call?” “Whichever young lady doesn’t have a restraining order against me.”)

More memorable was the time I dressed up as Ed Grimley, the character Martin Short played on “SCTV” and “Saturday Night Live.” Ed was the nerdy, hyperkinetic man-child who played the triangle, gushed over Pat Sajak and repeated catch-phrases such as “totally decent” and “makes me completely mental.”

I wore an out-of-style shirt and “high waters” pants, but the “cherry on top” was the hair. In order to achieve a cowlick that towered over my head, I coated my locks with a liberal (and by liberal I mean “let’s guarantee a living wage for all gay salamanders”) dose of Crisco.

Was it worth it? Some party-goers thought it was just another bad hair day and some of the older congregants became weepy because Lawrence Welk never got to jam with the Blues Brothers, but I enjoyed myself.

Alas, Crisco is some powerful stuff. Nearly 40 years of lather, rinse, repeat haven’t quite got me back to normal.

Hey, Martin Short, if you’re ever casting a show called “Only Heads That Slide Off the Pillow in the Building”…

Copyright 2023 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”