Will Grundler: You're WHAT? Worst Halloween costumes

BY WILL GRUNDLER

Published November 2, 2009

So Halloween weekend was pretty dece, right? (“Dece” is a cool word that I learned recently. I think, though I’m not entirely sure, that it’s an abbreviated form of “decent” and was coined — like so many of our modern words — by Shakespeare.) Indeed, I think many of us had an awse time. Admittedly, I didn’t think my Mary Sue Coleman costume (Amazon, $49.99) could be beat, but as the night wore on and I saw Gumby and The Burger King and people kept offering me punch, I began to question my judgment on things.

But this week’s column isn’t, unfortunately, about those happy times, about those few good, clean, dece costumes that I saw, or about how students were pinnacles of morality. I wish it were, I really do. Yet can I let my conscience stand idly by, smoking its last cigarette? Does that metaphor work? The answer to both questions is absolutely not.

Therefore, this week’s column is about the consequences of modern-day Halloween at the ‘U’ — about bad costumes — you know, offensive costumes, costumes that you wouldn’t want your little sister to see because she would get nightmares or ideas. Well, not really, because by bad costumes I mean BAD costumes, like those students who attached cardboard boxes to themselves in order to look like robots when, in reality, they looked like cardboard boxes. Honestly, you just can’t help those types of people. So let’s make fun of them, starting with the delightfully unintelligent person who decided to be a

1. Mustard Container: Honestly, what do you say to a person who thinks a condiment would be a neat idea for a costume? Beats me. But is wearing a yellow frock and a yellow pointy hat really worth the effort just to say “squeeze me”? The poor guy even had “Mustard” written in big black letters on his chest in case people didn’t realize that he was, in fact, mentally unstable. Maybe I didn’t see his friend who was Ketchup or Hot dog or something, but later on, I glimpsed his pal who had the insight and courage to be a

2. Jar of Milk: Now, this guy had enough sense to avoid writing “Milk” on his costume, but come ON! Milk? You’re MILK? Have I got that right? You’re an emulsion of butterfat globules within a water-based fluid? (Always use Wiktionary to strengthen your insults.) Couldn’t you think of anything better than a glass jar of milk? I’m sorry that I’m getting so upset. Maybe the guy wanted this type of reaction. In fact, maybe he’s a Sociology major. Maybe he ardently defended his costume and said, “Oh, YEAH? Why CAN’T I be a jar of milk?” Maybe he got punched in the face by

3. Men in Tights: Noticing a trend? Yes, guys seem to choose dumber costumes than girls. This is an established biological fact. There were plenty of men wearing tights last Saturday night, but I ran into a staggeringly awkward guy wearing tights and a leotard who was apparently mocking Beyonce's hit song “Single Ladies.” Now, I love “Single Ladies,” but that’s not what concerned me. The costume was funny, actually. What concerned me was that after approximately a nanosecond, the costume stopped being funny. The guy didn’t try to SELL it, you know? He just stood there, saying nothing, in his leotard. Needless to say, I motioned to something behind him, waited until he turned around and then bolted. But the most awkward costume goes to

4. MCard Girl: (Rejoice, men!) I’m not acquainted with this student and I don’t hold anything against her as a person, but she had possibly the worst costume ever, a costume so cringe-worthy that my face still ached the following morning. What she had (inexplicably) done was cut a head-sized hole in a piece of cardboard, decorate the cardboard so it looked like an MCard, and then (here’s the odd part) she wore it on her face. I was completely baffled. I thought I had seen all there was to see when it came to people dressing up as arbitrary objects, but I was wrong. She’s a bit hard to describe, but imagine a person who headbutts a painting and then wears it around proudly. I briefly considered writing “MCard” on her forehead in big black letters, but I refrained myself. I mean, I was the president of the University. What could I do?

Will Grundler can be reached at wgru@umich.edu.