Halloween brings with it a number of
terrible realizations: post-Devil’s Night insurance fraud, my
birthday, costumed, ingrate “children,” and the
stunning, still-unexplained realization that it’s harder to
throw back colored beer than regular beer. Of course, the arrival
of Halloween inevitably brings some Weekend columnist to write an
article about Halloween. This year the editors pegged me to do it,
in a transparent and only slightly pathetic attempt to stretch the
Halloween fun out over two weeks.

Andrew Gaerig

So in an equally transparent attempt to rid myself of the
Daily’s prattling, incessant editorial horde, I present to
you The Obligatory Halloween Column. “Great,” you say,
“Just what I needed, some inky newspaper nerd explaining to
me all of his geeky costume ideas. Bring on the obscure Tolkien
characters!” You might think this a particularly unappealing
proposition, given that my schoolgirl, ’70s track star, and
schoolgirl outfits (respectively) failed to win me the widespread
acclaim and invitations to secret societies that I so publicly
desire.

Point taken. But lo, young readers: This year, 2004, I have a
better idea. This year I will be appearing at any party that will
have me as Andrew M. Gaerig, Weekend Columnist. Imagine the
uproarious laughter and instant popularity: You walk into the
party, this very column pinned to your shirt, everyone in the room
instantly recognizing me (you) for your (my) creativity and fluid
semi-fiction.

(Disclaimer: For those of you who think this costume idea is a
lame, annoying and ultimately pathetic attempt at humor and
self-aggrandizement, well … I really don’t have
anything to say to you. For the rest of you fine, grounded folks,
keep reading. Like Frank Tanana and salted peanuts, I only get
better as the game goes on.)

Of course, if you’re going to go as Andrew M. Gaerig,
Weekend Columnist for Halloween, we need to set up a couple of
guidelines to make sure both that you don’t misrepresent my
cutting-edge style and that you have options in making your
costume. I would just die if you didn’t have options.

To accurately reproduce me for Halloween, you need to
tape/glue/pin this column to the front of whatever else
you’re wearing. Bonus cool points will be given to people who
a) Also paste the reverse of the column on their backs and b) Wear
nothing but this column. Of course, wearing the column as an
accessory is just as good. Need some Drew to spice up your slutty
devil costume? Will a little Weekend Magazine magic put the
finishing touches on your hunky pirate?

Of course, if you’re tired of lame costumes and you think
I’m great (hi Mom!), then you can simply go as me. But to
ensure that we don’t have a bunch of identical Andrew M.
Gaerig, Weekend Columnists walking around like some drunken,
misguided “Where’s Waldo” book, here are some of
the many forms of me you might choose to take:

 

Andrew M. Gaerig, Weekend Columnist/Frat Boy

Just throw on a beat-up Detroit Tigers hat, making sure to tilt
it up on your head so your tufts of partially-groomed hair fall all
sexy-like on your forehead. Sporty!

 

Andrew M. Gaerig, Weekend Columnist/Nerd Chic

Eyeglasses are a must, as are slightly out-of-date fashions like
corduroys, European leather casual shoes and backpacks. Recommended
for those slightly uncoordinated gentlemen above six feet tall.

 

Andrew M. Gaerig, Weekend Columnist/Employable

This look is slightly more difficult to pull off. Start with a
very conservative suit, blue or gray, mock up a receding hairline
and walk around all night muttering things like “Minimizing
supply chain disconnects,” “Internship
experience” or “Increasing stakeholder value.”
Caveat: Not likely to get you laid, even on Halloween.

 

Andrew M. Gaerig, Weekend Columnist/Indie Rock Fashion
Casualty

Even this costume knows that retro, “ironic”
T-shirts are out, so you should counter this alarming development
with a non-ironic T-shirt bearing the name of a band you actually
like. The shirt must be too small, poorly manufactured and must
have been sold to you by the bassist of said band. Wear ill-fitted
corduroy jacket over T-shirt and blather endlessly about the top
five non-Dylan releases of 1966.

 

None of these choices will make you me, of course, but Halloween
is a time of trickery and imagination. For one night a year, you
can step into the outrageous, the mythical, the unbelievable. For
one night, you too can be Andrew M. Gaerig, Weekend Columnist.
Welcome to my world.

 

E-mail Andrew for more costume tips at
“mailto:agaerig@umich.edu”>agaerig@umich.edu.

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