October 17, 2013

Debt Ceiling: Do not dress as this. Only six people will appreciate what you are doing, all of whom live Inside the Beltway, and the rest of the country will not get why any of this is funny. In this respect it resembles the actual debt ceiling debate.

Miley Cyrus’s Tongue: Wear all pink. Show up somewhere that no one wants to see you. Ruin all the pictures.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Same costume as Miley Cyrus’s tongue, but include a weird and slightly demeaning slogan that has not been properly focus-group-tested. Carry a bucket of Breast Cancer Aware chicken for added emphasis.

Congress: Throw this costume together at the last minute. Carry dark sunglasses. If anyone asks about them, say, “Well, I see this country through a lens of (don glasses) “DEEP POLARIZATION.” Try to run away before they can get you. Explain, over your shoulder, that “we are constantly running, these days!”

Breaking Bad Spoiler: This used to be the SCARIEST COSTUME POSSIBLE, but now it’s lost a lot of its cachet. Still, you can try. Move in shadows, whispering, “I know what happens to the ricin cigarette.”

Wendy Davis: Wear colorful sneakers and talk a long time, to general acclaim.

Ted Cruz: Wear comfortable sneakers and talk a long time, but ruin the party for everyone.

Devil’s Advocate: Carry a briefcase with horns and a tail in it and “DEVIL” written prominently somewhere. Whenever anyone starts to make an argument in good faith, cut him off.

Person Who Still Cares About The Syrian Crisis: I don’t really know what this costume entails because, like most of us, I have the attention span of a cocaine-addled gnat. I assume it includes a Powerpoint with a lot of arrows?

The NSA: Just sit there reading e-mails on the host’s computer until someone asks you to stop. Don’t stop. This isn’t really a costume, but it’s still terrifying!

Drone: Send a remote-controlled device to the party on your behalf without really checking to see if this is cool.

Anthony Weiner/Carlos Danger: This is a great couples costume! One of you goes as Anthony Weiner (he won’t mind!), the other one just wears grey boxer shorts on his head and takes a lot of selfies.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s old signature: Draw a big squiggle on a piece of cardboard. The three people who get this will love you, and to everyone else you can pretend to be half of a couples costume, where your partner is a drunk pen.

Wife Standing By Her Politician: Wear a nice suit and look steely. Don’t blink. Try to get in pictures next to all the people making the worst decisions.

Google Glass: If you have it, wear it! Say you’re here as “The Edsel of Wearable Technology.”

House of Cards: Wear a suit and keep breaking the fourth wall. For added kicks, have a friend dress up as the Fourth Wall, a piece of cardboard with a big hole in it.

Sheryl Sandberg: This is a good last-minute costume. Show up in normal clothes. Lean (in).

Sexy Sheryl Sandberg: Lean over.

Accidental Racist: Wear a Skynyrd shirt and gold chains, and have limited ability to engage in an actual discussion about race.

Great Gatsby and a Green Light: This makes a great couples costume, especially if you don’t want him to take his eyes off you all evening.

Dennis Rodman: You hold all of America’s diplomatic power in your hands! Isn’t this terrifying? Show up drunk with power.

Gravity: Run around the party throwing people to the floor. When someone asks what you’re doing, shout, “I’M GRAVITY, FOOL! GRAVITY WAITS FOR NO MAN!”

Paula Deen: Cover your whole body in butter and shout racial slurs! (This is less a costume than something you can do in the privacy of your own home if no one invites you to a party.)

50 Shades of Grey: Do what this guy did.

Manti Teo’s Girlfriend: Come as you are.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.