The Washington Post

Top ten topical Halloween costumes for 2011


These people are not listening to my costume advice. (Monkey Business Images)

Rick Perry's Offensive Ranch. Dress up as a bottle of Ranch dressing, and put on a toupee. Insult everyone you see, preferably with reference to their race or heritage. Wear a nametag that has recently been painted over.

Debt Ceiling. Mope. Demand a raise. Complain loudly that nobody understands you and everyone hates you. If anyone at the party is dressed as a Tea Partier, offer to fight them.

Netflix. Wear red. Demand double the candy and refuse to offer any more services. Kind of apologize, but only after thousands of people stop giving you any candy at all.

Qwikster. Same as Netflix, but a little more desperate-looking.

Michele Bachmann. Dress like mid-period military Michael Jackson. Whenever anyone takes a picture gaze off to the right, as though you are not quite sure where the camera is.

Barack Obama’s Approval Rating. Arrive high. By the end of the evening, collapse. Ask someone to kill Osama bin Laden again, but closer to the election.

Steve Jobs. Turtleneck, sneakers and halo or horns, depending on whether or not you’ve read the biography.

Neutrino. Go trick-or-treating last year. Alternatively, take candy and leave, then ring doorbell.

Honey Badger. Wear a Wisconsin t-shirt and cover yourself in honey. Or something. Honey Badger don’t care! Ideally, have someone follow you around narrating your evening.

Charlie Sheen. Dress as a warlock. Carry along a vial of a substance you claim is “tigerblood.” Escort an inexpensive-looking woman on each arm. Winning!

Warren Buffett. Confuse people when trick-or-treating by trying to hand them candy instead of taking theirs.

Rick Santorum's Google Problem. If you have to ask, you probably shouldn’t go as this.

Millennial. Be extremely self-aware and carry around a useless degree. Frequently check your iPhone while others talk. Later post about the evening on Tumblr and Facebook, implying that it was a lot more enjoyable than it actually was.

The Zuck. Wear a grey sweatshirt, or something. “You forgot to dress up, didn’t you?” “No! I’m Mark Zuckerberg!” is a conversation the Facebook founder has had every day of his life.

Godfather’s Pizza. Dress as a giant pizza in a tailored suit, with a $9.99 price tag. Carry a cat with you and speak in a low rumble.

Gaddafi. Shoot a couch. Wear it. Alternatively, combine half of your old Gandalf costume with your homeless person/Wall Street Occupant costume.

Arab Spring. Dress as a Slinky, but carry a green flag and establish a vibrant presence on Twitter.

Fun Group Costumes

Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. Dress to the nines, with two friends. Bring apples and oranges.

9/11 Retrospective Essay. You won’t think this is a group costume, but then every other Millennial there will turn out to have had the same idea, separately. Pretend it happened on purpose!

Child Reared By Michele Bachmann. Make certain there are 28 of you. 28. 28. How many? 28.

Republican Debate. This is a good costume if you are a bunch of people nobody likes, planning to go dozens of places where no one wants to see you. Wear a patriotic tie!

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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