SNOWMASS VILLAGE - It's Halloween again, and instead of posting up on the couch for a marathon of scary movies while waiting for the one, maybe two, trick-or-treaters to knock on the door, I encourage those in town to pull out the clothes bins under the bed, survey the back of the closet and put together a seriously creative knockout for the night's occasion. First things first: We must take note that a winning costume does not hail from Carl's Pharmacy or Halloweenexpress.com.
Rather it comes from a combination of home resources, thrift store novelties and a little help from friends. If you don't have a pair of red socks or a black hat, odds are the thrift store or a friend does, so don't waste your time shopping online for combination outfits that lack originality and rarely make it to the right address.
If you aren't the creative type, I have compiled a list of original and timely costumes one can put together the night before so that the question, "What are you supposed to be?" will be replaced with a high five and an encouraging "hell yes."
From worst to best, here are five boo-licious costumes of 2012 guaranteed to impress friends and keep you in the running for "best costume" at any bar:
5. Romney or Obama: So politics can be exhausting, but with the election right around the corner and a slew of campaign ads being televised every other minute, it's quite easy to poke fun at our country's future leaders by dressing like them.
For Obama, use black eyeliner to mimic the shape of his eyes and eyebrows. For the hair, pick up a bald cap and paint it with black permanent marker. Put on a suit with a black or dark blue tie and pin on a homemade Obama support button or sticker.
For Romney, perform a right comb-over with your hair and spray on some gray hairspray for a salt and pepper look. Use a light concealer around the face, wear a suit with a red tie and pin on a Romney support button. If you want to be extra creative, be half Obama, half Romney.
4. Lance Armstrong: Not to be offensive, but the recent backlash of Armstrong's career losses have unfortunately put him in the running for Halloween's best. Wear a yellow bike shirt with the phrase "Medals were here" drawn on with permanent marker, black bike shorts, shoes, a helmet and a Livestrong bracelet. Instead of a water bottle strewn around the waist, replace it with a an old prescription bottle labeled, "Roids for the Road."
3. Whitney Houston: One of pop culture's greatest shocks of the year, the loss of the beloved Whitney Houston will forever be remembered. As a tribute to her unbeatable performances both on stage and in cinema, mimic her "Queen of the Night" outfit using tin foil to mold a futuristic silver cap, corset, necklace and wrist cuffs, and bedazzle the combination with glued-on beads. Carry a microphone, tease your hair into a big '80s look or curl it into a short bob and wear black, heeled boots. Then, hit the town with a Kevin Costner look-alike to role-play "The Bodyguard."
2. Felix Baumgartner: "The Red Bull Stratos" daredevil taps in as the year's best adrenaline rush. Be the hero who successfully jumped from 23 miles above the Earth and surpassed the speed of sound by crafting a homemade space suit out of a white onesie and gluing on a Red Bull logo. Complete the outfit by carrying a white full-head helmet borrowed from a motorcycling friend out to the bars while talking in an Austrian accent to all your friends.
1. An ancient Mayan: The costume most likely to have all your friends on the edge of their barstool is the Mayan character, whose predictions for the end of the world curiously lurk within all of us. Make a paper-Mache headdress using poster board, cut a loin cloth out of an old T-shirt (or if you're a girl make a long decorative dress out of old fabric), draw some symbolic tattoos on the face and arms and wear a pair of nude sandals. Carry with you a self-made calendar that shows Dec. 21 circled, followed by the terrifying words, "The End."