Retrocrush has a collection of some of the lamest Halloween costumes of all time, you remember the ones where the body is just a plastic garbage bag imprinted with the characters from some TV show and the mask is a sharp-edged piece of cruddy plastic with two impossible-to-see-through holes for eyes and a tiny slit for the mouth (and a cheap ass string that inevitably broke halfway through Trick or Treating). Yet another in a long list of things we wanted as kids that my mother wouldn’t buy us, right up there with “good cereal” (i.e., Captain Crunch or Honeycombs).
This reminds me of the last time I ever Trick or Treated. I was in probably eighth grade, and I hadn’t prepared any costume at all, so at the last minute I decided to go as a ‘bum’ (this was the accepted nomenclature in those days). I cut a big hole in the t-shirt I’d already been wearing and smeared some dirt from a potted plant on my face. That was it. Then I grabbed a pillow case (our standard conveyance for Halloween booty) and headed out. About ten houses in I was confronted by an old lady who told me I was too old. Then she narrowed her eyes.
“What are you even dressed as?” she asked suspiciously.
“A bum,” I answered.
Expressing her profound disappointment with kids today through a weary shake of her head, she closed the door in my face. I walked home, the potting soil masking the shame that burned on my cheeks, my pillow case empty save for a forlorn Fun Size Snickers bar and some SweeTarts packaged like a couple of aspirin in a rest stop vending machine.