Ask a Fifth-Year: Costume conundrums

Jacob Horn


Halloween is just around the corner. What should I do to celebrate this hallowed event?

-Quizzical Costumer.

Well, Quizzical, the answer is simple: Make a costume, wear it and make an ass out of yourself.

Crafting your costume is half the fun. Nothing says tacky like a store-bought costume. Scour local thrift stores and Goodwill for raw materials. Even if you have no idea what you want to be, assemble these materials in the hopes that inspiration will strike you.

You’re either going to look like an idiot in a store-bought costume in a sea of homemade ones or an idiot in a haphazardly crafted pile of donated clothes.

But when crafting your costume, you need to balance the uniqueness of your costume with the ability to have it identified by the general public. No one wants to walk into a costume party and have the same costume as anyone else. Strive for obscurity.

My sophomore year, I traversed the entire campus to craft my Halloween costume. I swiped my classmate’s sweater vest and button-down shirt when he wasn’t in his room. My roommate “lent” me his hat for that night. I took advantage of my RLA’s open door policy and stole a pillow for added tummy definition.

With these items at my disposal, I was finally ready to unveil my masterpiece: Wilfred Brimley, diabetic spokesman for Liberty Mutual Insurance. Almost no one understood who I was. Most everyone thought I was simply an overweight cowboy.

So last year I thought I would strive to be more identifiable. I set my sights on emulating the iconic Bob Dylan. The set up was basically the same for this costume, what with the vest and button down shirt. I simply had to abandon the pillow and hat for a harmonica and sheets of paper with lyrics to “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”

I thought I was being rather straightforward, but others didn’t see it that way. I got more requests to play Billy Joel’s Piano Man than any Bob Dylan songs.

This year is going to be different. I’m still sticking with the homemade feel, but with a character that I hope more people know. I’m going to be wearing green sweatpants, a green sweatshirt and a metal trash can that I cut the bottom out of. Big, bushy brown eyebrows will be the finishing touch to my Oscar the Grouch costume.

I revealed my costume idea to a friend as well as my fear of showing up to a party in the same costume as someone else, but I think I’d enjoy a room full of trash-can wearing college students, clanking amongst each other.

Once you’ve assembled your costume, present it to the world. Go to a costume party, stop by the VR or simply run up and down the aisles of Mudd until someone sheepishly tells you to shut up.

If there’s any other topic you’d like to have me dance around and not directly answer, send it my way at