It all started with an uproar over a "naughty leopard for toddlers" outfit a few weeks ago. Then the Wal-Mart brain trust introduced the children's "demented doctor" costume, which featured a blood-spattered lab coat, a bat-crap wacky red mask and a huge syringe.
Oddly enough, the parents of small children weren't really feeling these outfits. Wal-Mart pulled them off shelves — just before introducing the "turban beard adult Halloween instant costume," which looked remarkably similar to Osama Bin Laden, which — obviously — went over like a wet fart in church.
Should we be dressing up our 7-year-olds up like slutty felines or serial killers? Should we glorify a man directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans?
I don't know.
I don't find the costumes offensive or even wrong, but I'm not here to pass judgment. I do find it hilarious though, because let's face it, Wal-Mart never really has been a bastion of liberal or even open-minded practices and thought processes. I mean, it's a corporation based out of Bentonville, Ark. I won't even qualify that potshot, either. Just go to Bentonville sometime and find out for yourself. I went once and instantly became illiterate. I'm pretty sure Arkansas gave me scabies too, but I'm not entirely sure. Long story short: Now I just make my Dad come to Richmond whenever he wants to see me.
It makes me giggle that someone, somewhere, along the Wal-Mart chain of command is charged with vetting these Halloween costumes in the first place. Makes you wonder what got left on the cutting-room floor.
Perhaps "the lil' Communist dictator Halloween fun pack" was briefly considered? Stalin, Mao, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot? Turn the little despot in your life into his or her favorite former strong-armed world leader. Crimes against humanity? More like crimes against the adorable meter!
Or hey, Walton family, what about the "Tibetan monk self-immolation costume"? With fake flames and an orange robe, this outfit is perfect for the tiny Zen master in your life. Whether he's protesting his bedtime or his lack of religious freedom, your little guy is going to be looking hot come Halloween!
You get the point. Kids are the precious future. They're the hopes and dreams of a brighter day. We must shield them from the horrors of the world, blah, blah, blah. Now here, Johnny, take your Ritalin and go play "Grand Theft Auto." Oh, you just blasted 45 cops and had sex with a stripper? That's neat. We're having pizza for dinner. Go wash your hands.
Where the hell was I going with this? Oh, right.
Halloween is the only night for slutty cats and killers and wildly inappropriate terrorist outfits and blood-spattered "abortionists" (my outfit from '07-'09). It's the one night of the year where you can basically get away with murder — in the figurative, nonlaw-breaking sense.
So go ahead, throw a jail-cell noose around your neck and be "prison-suicide Ariel Castro." Have your girlfriend wear fake black eyes and write "Chris Brown" on your white T-shirt. Get drunk, roll around in the gutter and call yourself Edgar Allan Poe! Tell people to quoth your white ass, nevermore!
(Ladies, this really should go without saying, but you can never go wrong dressing as absolutely slutty as humanly possible on Halloween night. Slutty cat, slutty zebra, slutty police officer, slutty librarian, slutty bank teller. It all works.)
Sure, being a child at Halloween is super awesome and everything. I mean, candy, right? But being an adult at Halloween? For us, it's about the party. The spectacle. The shameless debauchery. The night to let it all hang out.
So dress your kid as whatever, feed them pixie sticks till 9 p.m., and then when they're done going all Tasmanian Devil and breaking lamps and crashing from the sudden influx of 8,000 grams of sugar — put them to bed. Then come to the bar or the house party or wherever your friends are.
There almost certainly will be a girl in a naughty feline outfit. Definitely a few bloody serial killers. And if it's a really fun party, Osama will be moonwalking all up and down that mother, screaming: "Death to capitalism! America sucks!"
And most of the people at the party will laugh, because they understand what a joke is. Because they don't take everything as a life-or-death, serious, cold-sober matter. Because hopefully your friends aren't uptight assholes.
Listen, the only thing you're going to be pulling off the shelf are liquor bottles.
I love Halloween.