This Halloween, Be the Talk of the Party – The New York Times

This Halloween, Be the Talk of the Party – The New York Times

Conceptual costumes are hot. Here’s how to stand out.

It’s almost like this article is straight out of The Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde.


By SAM APPLE on OCT. 29, 2015

EVERYONE knows that a brilliant conceptual costume will make you the star of the Halloween party. But with each passing year, it becomes harder to stand out. If you really want other partygoers to be surprised and delighted when you reveal “what you are,” these overlooked costumes are sure to be a hit.

The Red Carpet Treatment

Spend entire party rubbing stain remover into small strip of red carpeting.

Going Out on a Limb

Arrive at party, then immediately leave and spend rest of evening sitting on a branch in the backyard.

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

Dress as the pope. Lather everyone on dance floor with enormous amounts of Purell.

The Calm Before the Storm

Spend most of party relaxing on couch. As things are winding down, run wildly through room, smashing everything in sight. Announce that, while your costume is now, technically, over, you had previously been “the calm before the storm.”

Spilling the Beans

Arrive at party with a large bowl of refried beans. “Accidentally” drop globs of beans on other guests.

Lap of Luxury

Tape fine cutlery and a bottle of expensive wine to groin. (Bonus idea: Tape hood ornaments from expensive cars to groin.)

Not Playing With a Full Deck

Force partygoers to sit down for a friendly game of gin rummy. Announce at end of game that the deck has only 51 cards.

Play Your Cards Right

Same as above, only you use entire deck.

Nothing to Sneeze At

Cover yourself in hypoallergenic makeup and lotion. Consider taping packages of Allegra and Claritin to your face.

You Only Live Once

Dress as Danny Zuko from “Grease.” Perform “Greased Lightning.”

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Remove shoes. Tape one to ceiling insecurely so that it falls right away. Tape second shoe to ceiling more securely and spend entire party staring at it with hopeful expression.

Wild Goose Chase

Arrive with goose. Release goose.

The Naked Truth

Remove clothing. Invite other partygoers to discuss the meaning of life. (Also works for “You Only Live Once.”)

Now We’re Cooking

Violently threaten other partygoers until you have them baking muffins with you in the kitchen. Shout: “Now We’re Cooking!”

Working on My Bucket List

Spend party at table composing a lengthy list of buckets of all shapes and sizes.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Sit in large frying pan throughout most of party. When moment is right, stand up, sprint across room and dive headfirst into fireplace.

All Over the Map

Spread out map. Roll.

The Full Story

Consume enormous amounts of food throughout the evening. Occasionally pause to read aloud from The Paris Review.

Living the Dream

Run through party with no pants shouting that it’s the day of the final exam and you haven’t studied. (Alternative: Dress as Danny Zuko and perform “Greased Lightning.”)

Sam Apple teaches creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of “American Parent.”

Source: A version of this op-ed appears in print on October 30, 2015, on page A27 of the New York edition with the headline: This Halloween, Be the Talk of the Party.

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