October 29th, 2021
An Outside-The-Box Halloween Celebration
Happy Halloween! It's all treats and no tricks in this tribute to the goofy costumes we've donned in the past.
Around these parts, Halloween is clearly our favorite holiday. We’ve done roughly 50,000 posts about the holiday, so we didn’t want to inundate you with yet another collection of ghost tattoos. Or pumpkin tattoos. Or candy corn tattoos.
BUT we couldn’t just skip Halloween and not do a post. That would be ludicrous. Gotta get those sweet, holiday-based clicks, right? So what I’ve decided to do is take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of my most memorable Halloween costumes while sharing tattoos that correlate with each costume. Now, I was unable to find tattoos for some of my most ridiculous costumes, like the time I dressed up like one of my friends to troll him. And there aren’t tattoos of 15 year-old me dressed all in black with a sack full of with a couple dozen eggs and TP, which I find sort of shocking. I looked cool as hell and was armed to the fucking teeth for mischief.
If you don’t want to endure a bunch of navel-gazing about my Halloweens past, just look at the pictures. If you want to see deep within the depths of my soul, or something, read on!
When I was a couple of months old my parents just threw one of my dad’s undershirts on me and walked around the neighborhood telling people I was a ghost. I respect the hell out of my parents for this decision for a couple of reasons.
1. They put ZERO effort into the costume.
2. They made me a baby ghost, which means I died as a baby and came back as a ghost. You would think this is the sort of thing that would horrify a parent, but no. They embraced it. I was probably a very annoying baby.
3. They went trick or treating with a baby. A baby with no teeth. A baby who couldn’t eat candy. Thus, they were a couple of people in their mid-thirties going trick or treating. Respect.
This was a couple of years later and is the first costume that I actually remember. It was pretty cool. My mom made it (this is going to be a theme) out of a big cardboard box (this too will be a theme) that she covered in foil, some tubes that we put on my limbs and a bunch of shiny buttons that looked like lights. I was a very friendly robot, not a murderous one.
My memory has been addled by a strict alcohol regimen over the years, but I do believe this was my only store-bought costume of all time. I was Wicket the Ewok from “Return of the Jedi.” I don’t actually remember the costume being that great, or, at least, not the store-bought part of it. The thing I recall being rad about it was that I made my own spear out of a broom handle and a glow stick. It ruled. Yub nub, motherfucker. YUB. NUB.
Yes, these three costumes were done three years in a row. So when I dressed up as the world’s favorite droid, R2-D2, it was essentially a mash up of my two previous costumes (Robot + Star Wars = R2-D2). It was pretty much the same costume as my robot costume, except there weren’t any corners to the box and it was painted white and blue. It was a decent costume, but not an overly memorable one.
This was both my most ingenious and most poorly thought out costume ever. Now, I bet you’re asking yourself, “What kind of weirdo kid loves the United States Postal Service so much he wants to dress up as a mailbox?” I don’t know the answer to that question, unfortunately. I’ve never really had much affinity for the USPS. So why was I a mailbox? Because my parents had to buy a new stove in September, which meant we had an enormous box just sitting there begging for me to turn it into a Halloween costume.
With lots of help from my mom and dad, we covered the box in blue crepe paper and put in some arm and leg holes. This would have been a perfectly functional costume, but then we kicked it up a notch and added a door which opened and closed for people to slip mail (or preferably candy) into. I was a fully functioning mailbox!
Unfortunately, I was a much more accurate portrayal of the USPS than intended. You know how mail gets lost all of the time? It turns out that my “ingenious” candy delivery system had been leaking candy the entire evening, something I wasn’t aware of until I was sitting in a circle with all of my friends preparing for the great candy trade-off, a ritual that is arguably the best part of trick or treating. That night I learned that friendship is a pretty valuable thing as my friends shared their candy with me so that in the end we each had equal hauls.
A Mouse in a Piece of Cheese
This was the year after the mailbox and once again my family had to replace an appliance shortly before Halloween. This time it was a refrigerator, so there was a truly enormous box at my disposal. For reasons that I do not fully understand, I thought that the obvious costume to make would be a wedge of cheese.
You don’t need to be a professional formager or cheese monger to know that it doesn’t just walk around the joint, it has no legs. So in order to have locomotion it either had to be severely mutated (which would be scary and I did not like scary things) or there had to be something inside of it. Thus, I was technically dressed as a mouse with an incredibly unwieldy six-foot piece of cheese attached to my torso.
And just like with the mailbox, I didn’t fully think out the logistics of this costume prior to hitting the streets to trick or treat. As the mouse, I was positioned toward the back of the cheese, thus meaning I was very front heavy. I couldn’t move without scraping the front of the cheese on the ground, thus I needed somebody to hold the tip of the wedge up. Thankfully, my dad was up to the task and everything was a success.
Mark McGwire (Baseball Player)
It was around this time that I started getting pretty lazy with my Halloween costumes. I was still going out trick or treating, but the objectives of the experience had started to shift. Obtaining candy was still the primary motivation, but mischief was now in the mix. I’m pretty confident that you’ve never tried to run while wearing a cardboard box shaped like a mailbox, but it’s not easy. So I needed to be more aerodynamic. Thus I wore my baseball pants from little league and my Oakland A’s cap and jersey. I can’t recall if I scribbled on a reddish goatee or not. Sadly, I couldn’t find any tattoos of the one-time MLB leader in home runs, so here are some generic baseball tattoos!
Again, not too much effort was put into this one. I made some leg pads, threw on a Maple Leafs jersey and took a Jason mask and retconned it back into being a hockey mask. I added the stitches that Gerry Cheevers used to put on his mask back in the day because they looked so frickin’ badass.
Bang bang! When I was a freshman in college I made the road trip out to Athens, Ohio, for Halloween. The home of Ohio University was renowned for their festivities as tens of thousands of college kids flocked to the middle of nowhere for a weekend of pure debauchery. This is one of the first times I remember my costume being more than just a costume, it became full cosplay.
As we wandered the crowded streets of Athens, I ended up throwing down with pretty much every other person who was also dressed as a WWF wrestler. I gave Stone Cold a double-arm DDT. I took a rock bottom from, well, the Rock. I reached into my sweats to pull out Mr. Socko multiple times to everyone’s delight. I adopted Foley’s voice for the entire evening and let me tell you, that isn’t great on the vocal cords. Getting slammed into asphalt isn’t all that much fun either. Neither is taking “pulled” punches from non-professionals. But goddamn was it fun.
I have mixed feelings about this costume. On the one hand, I did a very good job throwing it together. I had a toga. I had a shit load of blood coming out of my eyes. It ruled.
On the other hand, it didn’t matter how good the costume was because it should have been better. It should have been fucking epic.
Now, if you don’t know the story of Oedipus allow me to give you the super abridged version—there was a prophecy that in order to become king he would end up killing his father and sexing his mom. Spoiler alert: he did these things, although he didn’t realize it at the time, so when he was confronted with the truth he gouged out his own eyeballs. Pretty fucking metal.
I was scheduled to attend a house party with all of my friends from home. People who knew me and my family well. My girlfriend at the time agreed to do a couples costume. I was going to dress up as Oedipus and she was going to dress as my mom. To be clear, I do not mean that she was going to dress as Oedipus’ mom… know, she was going as my mom. She had a sweatshirt with an apple on it (classic mom gear), glasses and my mother’s two favorite accessories—cigarettes and a can of Diet Coke. It was going to be so creepy and unnerving… and then she chickened out. So I went as Oedipus and she was something dumb like a witch or a clown or god knows what. I don’t remember because I’m still enraged a decade later. Couples costumes have always been dumb, but this one attempt would have redeemed the entire concept. I’ll likely never get over this.
Halloween in Chicago is known for having unpredictable weather. If you planned a costume where you had to be in an elaborate/heavy costume, hot weather was virtually guaranteed. Thus, the time I decided to wear nothing but boxing shorts, a tiny crown on my head and some tape covering my belly button, the gods rewarded me with snow. A lot of snow. But I regret nothing, King Hippo rules.
I’ve been Satan a couple of times. It’s a super easy costume that can be thrown together on a whim, plus it’s always open to interpretation. One time I wore a black suit, black shirt, red tie and had horns on my head. Another time I was clad entirely tight-fitting red, rocked a creepy pencil thin mustache and carried a pitchfork. As the kids say, Hail Satan!
Happy Halloween! I hope you enjoyed this odd little tribute to one of our favorite holidays.
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