Danny Henley: Why I don’t need to buy a costume

Danny Henley

Compared with a lot of people, my Halloween spirit is quite small.

It’s not so small that my family turns out all the lights and pretends we’re not at home on Halloween. I’ll be there to pass out treats to all the little ghosts and goblins (and to some bigger ones, too) who venture up my front steps.

I just don’t invest in all the lights and decorations that some households do for Halloween. I can honestly say I’ve never lived in a community where people get as giddy over Halloween as some residents of Hannibal, Mo., do. I honestly believe I saw my first string of orange lights and batch of fake cobwebs right after Labor Day.

A lot of adults also expend a great amount of thought, time, energy, and in some cases, dollars to come up with just the right costume to wear on Halloween.

I guess I can understand such effort, especially if those adults work at places that allow their employees to wear costumes on Halloween.

It’s been years since my workplace has allowed costume-wearing on Oct. 31. I can see where for a reporter like myself wearing a costume might not be the most appropriate thing to do. After all, if your house were on fire, what violent urges would you have if you turned around and saw Bozo the Clown taking pictures?

Out of curiosity, I did a little research for this column. I wanted to learn more about Halloween garbs. I wasn’t prepared for all the different categories of costumes that are for sale.

Costumes are available for babies in sizes ranging from newborns all the way up to toddlers. Not surprisingly, there’s an assortment of Halloween guises on the market for girls, boys and teens. There are outfits for women who are content with passing out goodies and for those females who want to show off their “goodies” on Halloween. There are also costumes a plenty for the man of the house, ranging from super hero to vicious villain.

There are costumes out there for couples along with themed outfits for a group of people. There are costumes that are intended to be funny and even getups designed for those with fuller figures.

And as you might suspect, there are outfits for the dog or cat of the house. After surveying those options I quickly concluded that any dog I’ve ever owned would have either tried to run away or bite me if I’d tried to dress it in a tuxedo or as SpongeBob.

As I reviewed the various categories of costumes, it was hard not to ignore the cost. If you choose to dress up in the “comical cow” outfit, which by the way comes complete with udders, it’s going to “milk” you for $30. Would paying $44 for a costume make you pucker? That’s what it would cost to put you in a “kissing booth” outfit. And a “barrel of monkeys” costume will set you back $50 (bananas not included).

One of this year’s most popular costumes for guys is the disco man. For $39.95 you receive a white double knit polyester jacket, pants and vest with an attached black shirt collar.

Looking at the outfit took me back to my youth and a time when wearing such clothes was high fashion, not a Halloween joke.

Feeling a touch nostalgic, I went to my bedroom closet. There buried deep in its bowels was a light blue leisure suit and a bright red ruffled shirt. To top off the ensemble were the thick-heeled shoes which added a couple of inches to my height that I’d worn on special occasions in high school.

Without spending a nickel I suddenly had what some would consider a classic Halloween costume. Will I wear it? Not a chance. Some wardrobe ghosts are best left to haunt the back of the closet, even on Halloween.

Hannibal Courier-Post