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Writing Switch: Boo Are You Wearing?

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
Writing Switch
Two Ghost covered with a white ghost sheet with pumpkins in an autumn garden for Halloween party. Halloween Concept.
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

Everyone is freaking out over their plans for Halloween, aka “the locals’ holiday,” blah blah blah. Yeah, can’t wait to stand asses to elbows for 30 minutes trying to get a beer next to some jerk in a blow-up sumo wrestler costume. Cultural misappropriation, fat shaming and in everyone’s way, all at the same time. GTFO. We don’t know what everyone else is doing, but they’re seriously not going to L’Hermitage Du Benjamin, so figure something else out.

Nothing is scarier than the world we’re already living in, but if you still need a costume idea that’s 2020 appropriate, here are some suggestions.

Kobe Bryant’s helicopter pilot/Danny Green

SB: The Los Angeles Lakers are world champs once again, so let’s celebrate that decade-long drought by taking unnecessary shots at their team/fans/loosely associated contacts/legends.

Also, I want to clarify that I’m not poking fun at a tragic loss, just the guy who seemed largely responsible for the accident. Hypothetical question: If Ara Zobayan showed up at your door tomorrow amid overcast skies, would you get in the helicopter with him? I know I wouldn’t.

The funny thing is, if you asked Lakers fans who they trusted more in a tight spot: Danny Green or Ara? I’m not sure what their answer would be judging by the amount of hatred thrown Green’s way after he missed the (very open) series-clinching shot in game 5.

But in all seriousness, congratulations to the Lakers. They toiled in irrelevance for a decade only to sign the second best basketball player of all time solely because he needed to be in LA in order to film “Space Jam 2” and play* basketball.

Perhaps I’m bitter, perhaps the sight of Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso and J.R. Smith celebrating was more than I can take, perhaps this “crosses the line” but screw it, sports hate is that last acceptable form of hate allowed in 2020.

Michael Jordan is — and always will be — the GOAT. Go Blazers!

*Can you call it “playing” when you give up on your teammates halfway through the season and subsequently trade all but three of them for Anthony Davis**?

**F— him, too.

Son of the Virgin Mary

BW: If I were going to participate in Halloween this year, which I am not, I had in mind the perfect costume to set about weeping and gnashing of teeth: our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

Ten Commandments in one hand, a gentle goat in the other, crucifix around his neck, Jesus appears in a bathrobe atop a white steed like in the Book of Revelation, because nothing in our modern age is creepier than Literally God descending on a … um, horse … coming to “rule the nations with a rod of iron, as a potter strikes a pot with iron and it completely shatters.” SCARY!

In this agnostic stage of my late-20s existential crisis, when I grew up homeschooled in a religious household but became educated enough to think “hmm maybe Methusaleh didn’t live to 950,” I generally believe in God only when I’m positive he’s trying to f— with me.

Bet the unders at 215? Here’s a fall-away, buzzer-beating three-pointer for 216. Pocket 9’s all-in versus AQ? Enjoy being counterfeited on the river. Fourth-and-goal from the 20-yard line? Of course Flip Wilson is throwing a touchdown, beating my Minnesota Vikings but not covering the spread. However I can be most miserable, that is the guaranteed outcome.

“Who’s forcing you to bet?” Sean taunts, when all I want is a witness to celestial meddling and maybe convert someone to the idea that a higher power exists, and that they despise ME in particular. Well, like the great comedian Russell Wilson used to say, “The devil made me do it.”

Speaking of goats and witnesses (of which we are all one), LeBron is not the second best basketball player of all time.

Anyway that’s why I think Jesus/judgment day would be a terrifying costume.

Shitty ‘Schitt’s Creek’ characters

SB: Full disclosure, I was not on the “Schitt’s Creek” bandwagon until COVID forced me to explore other genres of Netflix. It’s a fantastically clever show that is getting deserved accolades.

However, as with anything else that the general population obsesses over, people need to chill. Going as the Rose family seems perfect on paper — until you realize you can’t replicate those wardrobes.

Even rich people think David’s seemingly simple sweaters are expensive. Moira’s love of her babies (wigs) speaks to their price point. Maybe you can pull off an Alexis Rose workout ’fit but I’m not sure people would make the connection.

Basically what I’m saying is every year there is a costume that gets done to death — and the Roses are this year’s costume. Do you want to show up at whatever safety-protocol-breaking party you’re attending and be the fifth best David Rose? I think not.

It’s not exactly a “scary” costume, unless you consider overlapping outfits scary — which David definitely does.

Also, something to think about if you’re planning on doing a couple’s costume with David and Alexis: they’re siblings.

My building’s superintendent

BW: For about a month I watched a squirrel run around outside, stacking pinecones all day. I named him Paul Bunyan, and sometimes he would get in fights with the bird that also lived in the tree and they would squawk at each other. Squirrels eat pinecones kind of like for humans if corncobs were made of sunflower seeds. Did you know that? It was sort of annoying when he’d start knocking them out of the tree at 7:59 a.m. and they’d bounce off my window — but wildlife, right?

The super noticed when people were taking pictures of Paul Bunyan’s stash that we couldn’t have our yard so besmirched, so the little old lady who mows our lawn (I always feel weird about that) hauled the pinecones off.

Now, Chuck seems like a nice enough guy, but he is not someone I would ever want to f— with, and when that poor little squirrel started rebuilding his winter’s worth of food — again — he f—ed with Chuck.

For the next two weeks Chuck rustled around my window setting up cages. “I tried calling the police but they told me it was an essential part of nature,” he’d tell passersby.

Then one Saturday, Chuck was alerted that the trap had been sprung. I hear him run down three flights of steps.

“PAUL BUNYAN!” he screamed in anguish, along with another string of expletives. I never seen that squirrel since, and I’m pretty sure the people in the Airbnb next door let him out, but I’m glad he got the best of good ol’ Chuck in that moment.

And that’s why, for the squirrel, seeing trick-or-treaters dressed as Chuck would be frightening.

The specter of Cancel Culture

SB: Is there anything scarier to comedians than Twitter mobs? While I consider myself more writer than comedian, my co-columnist fancies himself as a modern-day George Carlin and WILL NOT BE CENSORED (unless it involves caulk).

I don’t even know what the physical embodiment of this would look like. Dress up as the Twitter bird and go around putting offensive people in sleeper holds? Carry a big “CANCELED” stamp and stamp unsuspecting victims? I guess you could go as “CANCELED” and spend your Halloween saying very un-PC things and committing sexual assau … er, definitely don’t do that.

Speaking of things to not do, I’m going to not do this anymore before I, too, get canceled.

Paul Bunyan was delicious. sbeckwith@aspentimes.com bwelch@aspentimes.com


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