Choosing the right Halloween costume can be as exasperating as, well, Halloween itself. Is the whole sexy nurse/dinosaur/arch support thing played out? Is your costume too topical (Ebola), too tacky (Robin Williams), or too stupid (Ebola-positive Robin Williams)? Is it too late to dress as Walter White? Aren’t we all getting a little old for this shit? If these questions have you stumped, might we suggest going local? The following costume ideas are not only cheap and easy, but they’re Milwaukee-themed, ensuring that wherever you end up partying this weekend (more on that tomorrow), you’ll be prolonging your adolescence and representing the city you love.
1. Sexy Bob Donovan
Earlier this year, to the delight of absolutely no one, outspoken four-term alderman and lifetime pomade aficionado Bob Donovan announced his candidacy for Milwaukee mayor. The blustery Bob has almost no chance of winning, of course, unless the only people who show up on election day are angry retirees scared of their own shadow and/or graffiti. But that doesn’t mean Donovan is lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. This Halloween, pay tribute to him by donning an old-school suit, slicking your hair back, smoking like a goddamned chimney, and passing out outrage-inducing press releases to anyone who will take them. Bonus Halloween points for hanging out in the men’s restrooms at UWM’s Mitchell Hall and, er, spooking the occupants.
2. Sheriff David Clarke radio ad
Let’s face it: Halloween revelry isn’t for everyone—i.e. people who finally boxed up their Nightmare Before Christmas shit when they turned 25. So what should you do if you don’t want to leave the house this weekend and contend with hordes of fishnet-clad strangers? Good news: you don’t have to, and you can still rock a local-themed costume. In the “Milwaukee” portrayed in the radio ads of cowboy-hat-wearing Sheriff David Clarke, armed criminals are lurking around every corner, ready to murder you and your children at a moment’s notice. The only way to combat them, of course, is to stay afraid, stay inside, and shoot to fucking kill. Do you think that girl dressed as a sexy 911 operator will be there to save you when the shit goes down? Fuck you, you whelping baby, you have a duty to protect yourself.
3. Ghost of Dick Bacon
It’s been 14 years since Milwaukee’s favorite nude sexagenarian sunbather split for that big tanning bed in the sky. But the spirit of the one-time Mr. Nude America lives on every time someone does permanent damage to their skin in the name of beauty, or any time someone snickers at the name “Dick Bacon.” So get out the bronzer, lose the shirt, grab some reflectors, and catch some Halloween rays this weekend. Or, if you’re ashamed of your disgusting body and prefer a more conceptual costume, staple a piece of bacon to your crotch and call it a night.
4. UNDEADwaukee zombie
This outside-the-box costume combines innovative placemaking, a public call for disruptive initiatives, and lots and lots of fake blood to create a space-activated installation that empowers the community and hopefully gets you laid. An iMaginEERing project brought to you by Milwaukee Record (MKEREC), MilwaukeeWaukee (MKEKE), beINbeingbetweenARTtween (BIBBAT), and Bartz’s Party Stores, the UNDEADwaukee zombie costume (“The Costume”) is more than a $48,000 grant-funded social architecture experiment: it’s a way of li…BRAINS! BRAINS! BRAINS!
5. Brother Ron—a.k.a. “Jesus Car Guy”
The continued Facebook and Instagram popularity of Brother Ron—a.k.a. that “Jesusmobile” guy—proves that hateful and/or incomprehensible religious messages are fun, as long as you’re considered a local “character” and you drive an old beater around town 24 hours a day. This Milwaukee-themed Halloween costume is easy: just procure a wearable sandwich board, cover it in “SLUTS BURN IN HELL” or whatever, and smile for the cameras!
6. Rabid East Side Turkey
If you’ve spent any time strolling around Milwaukee’s East Side in the last few years, you’ve undoubtedly run into an ever-growing crew of wild turkeys just kind of hanging out and doing wild turkey things. You know, walking, looking at things, and eating feed that people leave out on their lawns. These good-natured gobblers are harmless (for now…), so why not flip the script and go as an evil, bloodthirsty, rabid East Side Turkey. A crappy turkey costume and some Alka-Seltzer should do the trick.
7. Public funds for new downtown arena
As we all know, the BMO Harris Bradley Center is a crumbling hellhole that absolutely must be replaced, lest Milwaukee lose out on big-time concerts like Pearl Jam, Fleetwood Mac, or The Who. Oh yeah, and the NBA’s whole “we’ll take the Bucks away from you if you don’t build us a new arena” thing. Happily, the team’s new billionaire owners—led by Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry—will probably pony up the cash for a new Bucks home themselves, right? Uh, sure. So why not pay tribute to our new hedge-fund friends and the concept of sticking it to the little guy by dressing in a top hat and tails (include a monocle if you have one), stuffing your pockets with money, and asking people on the street for spare change?
8. Milwaukee Streetcar
At some point in the distant future, Milwaukee will be the proud owner of a downtown streetcar system, and will finally be an attractive city to public-transit-minded Millennials who will all be in their 40s. Until that time, give a Halloween nod to this strangely controversial phantom project by dressing up as the sort of clean and attractive business professional that public transit proponents insist ride public transit, walking around in a small-ish circle, and insisting your circle will get bigger in a few years. Bonus Halloween points if you hang out with a Sexy Bob Donvan and scream at each other all night.