Readers, if you'll remember not too long ago I wrote a post on homemade vs. store bought Halloween costumes, lamenting the fact that my two little ones are now gravitating towards the store bought options rather than the sweet and charming handmade options that I prefer. It got me thinking about my own childhood and the homemade costumes that I sported back then, and one specific memory came flooding back, perhaps from behind some well built mental block, or buried in some dark, unvisited space in my psyche. You see readers, when I was in second grade I wore a homemade costume. I was Charlie Chaplin. Now, some of you readers perhaps are going, "Who?" but I think most of you will at least have a vague idea that he was a silent film actor who was best known for his role in The Tramp (or maybe for marrying an 18 year old when he was 54, either way). His preference for much younger women aside, he was a beloved slapstick actor and is considered an icon with his cane and little mustache. For a second grader in the 80's, especially a girl, I wouldn't have called him an icon. Jem maybe, or Rainbow Brite, but Charlie Chaplin wasn't exactly on my radar. My mother had other ideas though. The memory of how the idea even came up or how she convinced me to go along with it is still hazy, but there I was, walking into school, wearing a small boy's black suit, a curly black wig and mustache, a black derby hat and a bamboo cane. A cane! The puzzled looks from my friends came instantly and at first I was confident explaining who I was, but as the day wore on I was less and less enthused about being a silent film actor from the 20's, especially since the only people who liked my costume were older teachers. By the time our Halloween parade around the school came along my feelings were captured perfectly in a photograph taken by my mom as I slumped past. I was frowning, pulling the derby over my itchy wig, dragging my cane behind me. Looking back on it now I know why she pushed to have me dress up as Charlie Chaplin, it was actually an adorable and pretty hilarious costume for a second grade girl, and I know she had fun putting it together and thought I would enjoy it as well. I have the same feelings now as a parent, wanting to dress my daughter up as Madeline or Eloise, googling for hours looking for the perfect most authentic way to put the costume together, only to have my hopes dashed by an overpriced, overly manufactured pink fairy costume in a plastic envelope. Alas, this post isn't an extended rant against the store bought costumes I don't like, instead it is a post on Epic Halloween Costume Fails. In my mom's defense, I would not at all classify my Charlie Chaplin costume as a fail of any sort. Maybe I would have when I was wearing it back then, but I don't consider it to be a failure now, it simply reminded me of other failures I've been seeing lately.
Usually, the costume fails come from homemade costumes, like this one for Bert and Ernie. The caption for this one was "Bert and Ernie from your Nightmares" and I think that fits pretty well. Even as a grown woman if I encountered these two at a Halloween party I think I'd be somewhat scarred. Something about Bert's ping pong ball eyeballs and somewhat menacing unibrow and make their costumes high on my Epic Fail list, not to mention Ernie's deviled egg-esque eyes. I suspect these guys fell into one of the common issues with homemade costumes, poor execution. The idea might have been okay (I guess, being Bert and Ernie as grown men might be seen as just a tad strange, but let's go with "okay" for the sake of this argument) but their fail came about in the execution stage, and most likely some poor planning. You know what you WANT the costume to look like, but after all of your hard work you try it on and...it isn't quite what you expected. And now you have neither the time nor the resources to come up with a second costume so you go with the fail costume. This has happened to me more than once, sadly.
Now on to this ham costume. I'm not sure if this monstrosity is an ode to Scout's famous ham costume from To Kill a Mockingbird, but either way it looks hot and uncomfortable and would be entirely confusing if she didn't help us all out by spelling "HAM" across her front. This woman (I think it's a woman in that ham) unfortunately commits one of the big sins of Halloween costumes, which is Don't Wear Something You Have to Explain All Night. While Bert and Ernie make you want to run for your mommy, at least we know what they are supposed to be right away. This poor lady definitely spent her entire night speaking out of her little air oval going "I'm a ham. From To Kill a Mockingbird? No? Never saw it? It was a book first? Gregory Peck was in the movie?" while trying to figure out how to get food and drink into her air oval. This woman's other mistake was wearing a costume she can't sit down in. This is going to lead to her being uncomfortable all night, quite possibly being ditched by friends who do not want to stand around for hours. And I'm going to assume having to take off a giant ham costume to go to the bathroom would get pretty old.
Now let's discuss pet costume fails. For the most part you only see pet costumes one of two ways. Either you think they are the funniest, most awesome thing to happen to Pet Smart or you think they're all stupid. I'm somewhere in between these two actually. Sometimes I see pet costumes which I think are bordering on genius, like these Chiquita Banana doggies, other times I see some poor dog who clearly is sad to be wearing what appears to be a lobster? A squid? I'm going with lobster. But this dog is clearly hating life right now. Other times you see a dog costume that just makes you laugh, like this leprechaun costume, which not only works to make people smile on Halloween, but can also be trotted out for St. Patrick's Day, which is definitely a win in my book. What about you readers? Do you have any memories of Epic Costume Fails when you were a child or even more recent adult fails? And where do you stand on the dog costume issue? Are you pro-doggie costume or against subjecting innocent animals to the humiliation of having to be Darth Vader? Share with us Mamatogians!