It’s Halloween again and for some reason I’m thinking about all the half-hearted Halloween costumes I’ve tried out over the years.
These days, I’m not much into Halloween. I don’t really dress up or go out any more. I’m old and boring now — but really I never got that into Halloween. The only thing I really love about Halloween is the candy — probably a little too much for my own good.
When I was a kid I dressed up some. I remember a Superman costume and another tiger costume (huge Clemson fan over here) my mom made. As I got older, I just stopped trying. I’d still go out, but most of the time it was something super silly and easy.
Once in college, I literally put on a button down and khakis and went as a “frat boy.”
I like the Halloween costume that’s not really a costume.
On the other hand, I think my reluctance to go all out for Halloween was formed in college, too. I think it was my senior year — 20 years ago yesterday — when I took a Bic razor to my head and went as the professional wrestler Bill Goldberg. I had a goatee — complete with a little gray, even in college — so I shaved my head, had a friend draw his trademark tattoo on my arm and we went out.
This was a bad idea. I looked like a pasty, doughy version of Goldberg and — let’s be clear — the good lord left hair on my head for a reason. I look terrible bald.
My favorite half-hearted costumes came in back-to-back Halloweens a few years later.
In 2003, my friends and I were headed up to a party at the old D.C. House of Style.
The House of Style was just a townhouse in Washington where my friends and I knew some girls who lived there. They threw killer Halloween parties.
One year, I wanted to go as Charlie Brown dressed up for Halloween. I was going to have the sheet with holes in it and a bag full of rocks.
I failed to execute this plan.
The night before we were in a Goodwill store and I saw perhaps the best T-shirt ever. It was a picture of Foghorn Leghorn that said “Chicks dig me.” I abandoned any thought of Charlie Brown and just went with my new T-shirt.
If nothing else, this shirt was a hit. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many people ask me about what I was wearing. Even though it shrank up so much it wouldn’t fit a toddler on the first wash, I wish I still had it.
The following year, I had a pretty good one, too. I dressed up as “Beer for My Horses”-era Toby Keith. Basically, blue jeans, a button-down shirt and a cowboy hat. I even used my then-girlfriend's old blond wig and stapled it to the hat to make a mullet.
I thought I was hilarious.
Since then, I’ve made a few other attempts that costumes that aren’t actually costumes, like a Clemson fan. For that one, I literally threw on my Clemson cap and went out.
These days, I’m more likely handing out candy in my pajamas than I am to be out and about on Halloween. I enjoy looking back, though, and thinking about how much effort I put into looking like I was too cool for Halloween.
Jamey Malcomb is a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle and Pine Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-879-1950 .