Recently my wife told me I would enjoy meeting a friend of hers, who she described as “a big Halloween person.” When I asked what made this friend a big Halloween person, she told me this friend made her own superhero Halloween costume from scratch this year. And I, a punctilious dickweed, skipped right past being impressed by her friend’s creativity and immediately and rudely mansplained that, no, making and wearing a superhero Halloween costume does not make you a big Halloween person. It makes you a cosplayer.
I have nothing against cosplayers. They rule! Cosplay roundups make for some of the most interesting SFW horny blogs on the respectable internet, and cosplayers strike me as interesting and creative and crafty folks. Cosplaying is so cool, in fact, that it should get its own holiday. Cosplay Day. They should have Cosplay Day in May, when the weather is usually warm enough for people to go outside in underpants and capes, and when it can be nearly as far from Halloween as the calendar will allow. Then Halloween can be a spooky autumn holiday where people wear spooky costumes, and Cosplay Day can be a happy and horny day all of its own, when people dress like superheroes and princesses and drearily sexed-up hockey mascots.
This is not my way of complaining about kids who dress up like princesses or superheroes on Halloween. I understand the impulse! As it stands, Halloween is the one day of the year where you aren’t just invited but are expected to wear a costume, and many people of all ages therefore seize the opportunity to dress up like things they think are cool or inspiring or beautiful or funny or awkwardly be-cleavaged. That’s fine. But Halloween, at its purest, is a time of scary stories and haunted houses and horror movies and spooky jack o’ lanterns, and it would be cooler than it already is—and it’s already pretty fuckin’ boss, as cultural events go—if everyone agreed to get into that spirit and wear spooky or eerie or creepy or scary costumes at Halloween parties and while trick-or-treating.
Cosplay Day is an elegant solution. We can have it on May 31, and on that day everyone dresses up like anything they want. Spiderman! The Black Panther! Harry Potter! Howard the Alien! Still not Simple Jack! And, hell, the kids can still go door to door and get candy. We’ll have cosplay parties and cosplay parades and, well, more cosplay conventions. It will be a glorious fantasy day where not only will you be free to dress up like Austin Powers, but your Austin Powers will be walking around in a wonderland of fairies and famous athletes and Marvel superheroes. Amazing! And, having gotten that out of your system, you will be released from the pressure to use Halloween—the spooky holiday—as your one chance to shout oh behave in a crappy English accent at people wearing deeply weird Sexy Chinese Takeout negligees. Come October 31, you will put on cheap plastic fangs and dark eye makeup like the rest of us, and be spooky for one damn night.
Tonight a full half of the trick-or-treaters who showed up for candy at my doorstep were dressed as non-spooky movie or comic book or video game characters. They were all children, and they were all having a good time, and it was fine. And yet it was a letdown. Halloween is best when it is spooky. Give the children another costume day, is what I’m saying.