Halloween. That moment of liberty, where the oppression of other people abates, and out shoots a gasp of sartorial freedom observed by women precipitously close to public nudity and by men in full cross dress.

The casual sidewalk parade provided my evening’s entertainment. The fantastical embraced the mundane, sometimes literally– there: a caveman walks with his girlfriend, a peanut M&M. There: a loose nurse necking with Big Bird. In a group: Batman, Robin, and, improbably, Steve from Blue’s Clues (though I suppose this would make a fearsome troup of crimefighters).

This year there were  no Michael Jackons– it’s too soon– and, my god, in a sure mark of a cultural nadir, that Halloween staple, VAMPIRES, are completely absent this year. Did anyone see a single one?  The fabric of our lives is so soaked with fake blood that it’s not even considered “dressing up” to flare up the hair, smear on moody cosmetics, and swing around with elongated canines.

Those uninspired dolts that normally reach for the fangs and cape have all migrated to this year’s Worst Costume of 2009: the Pirate.  God, is there a costume that takes more effort (blouses!  wench skirts!  tricorn hats!) yet remains so bankrupt of originality.  The choice of Pirate represents the minimal level of discernment possible in human beings, the  toe-in-the-pool mentality that establishes Bud Light as a viable beverage option.

To end on a positive note, I did, then, enjoy these costumes:

Favorite home-made costume: Chinese Takeout, with a large takeout box, hair as noodles, with chopsticks,  and even handed out fortune cookies to kids.

Favorite couple: Energizer bunny.  Boy wore a large drum, girl wore a pink bikini with bunny accoutrements and sunglasses.

Favorite use of what your mama gave you : He-Man.  The guy’s he-body made this costume.  Put all those 300 spartans to shame.

Favorite minimalism: Man eaten by a Shark.  Man wore a hat that was basically a small shark eating his head.  The rest was a bloody t-shirt and jeans.

Other notables: T-1000 (store-bought cop costume plus silver splashes on chest), Billy Mays (beard, dark blue shirt, khakis), Jared the Subway spokesman (light blue shirt with khakis, oversize jeans taped to his side).

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