Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All Hallows' Sleeve

Ladies and gentlemen of the Halloween costume-wearing class of 2010...

Do not dress as Snooki or The Situation.

If I could offer you only one tip for this upcoming holiday, avoiding Jersey Shore garb would be it.

Like St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Flag Day, and Yom Kippur, Halloween is one of those occasions that brings together humanity for the sole purpose of getting wasted and acting stupid. It's the perfect American tradition (with Celtic origins), which is beloved by all. The only thing that can ruin Halloween is wearing a lame costume.

Now, the lamest costume of all is not wearing a costume. If you don't wear a costume, you'll severely limit your chances of getting laid on a night where your chances of getting laid are pretty damn high. To avoid that fate however, you DO NOT have to dress like Ms. Polizzi or Mr. Sorrentino. You do not have to dress like Lady Gaga either.

Instead, you could wear something that won't render you completely unoriginal. You could wear something awesome, but not overdone. You could wear something clever, but not erudite. You could wear something that won't tell the world that you're a boring lemming incapable of putting together a worthwhile disguise for the purpose of impressing drunken members of the opposite sex. You could wear something not lame.

I know girls like to go slutty on Halloween. Hey, I like when girls go slutty on Halloween. Just don't be cliche (Slutty Nurse, Slutty Cop, Kim Kardashian, etc.). Do something more cerebral - Slutty Pelosi, Slutty Muslim, Slutty Susan Boyle. You'll be a thinking man's ho!

Guys seem to enjoy dressing like characters from "funny" movies and TV shows. Anything from any Will Ferrel movie sucks. Same goes for any character played by Ben Stiller, especially Zoolander or Chas Tenenbaum. And sadly, The Big Lebowski is no longer cool.

We're gonna see lots of Kenny Powerses this year. All that says is that you're a douchebag, and you have HBO. If I see anybody dressed as the Dick in a Box guys, I'm gonna put my dick in their box (not even sure what that means).

Also, don't dress as Borat or anything Sacha Baron-Cohen-related (with the exception of an estimation of what he'll look like in the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic). You might as well dress as Napoleon Dynamite.

If you're older than 15, don't be a character from Twilight. At least try True Blood. Really though, this Vampire thing is getting pretty stale. Can't we move on to other monsters, like mummies or evil leprechauns?

Dressing as the main characters on Mad Men is also played out. However, Mad Men's black characters are hip as hell. Be Carla, the recently ousted maid or Hollis, the building's black elevator operator.

A big copout is to throw on some sort of jersey and be a sports figure. Don't wear a sports-themed costume - unless however, you want to do Tim Tebow, with a bench permanently attached to his ass. Or, unless you want to do Lebron James, with Dwyane Wade's mouth attached to his ass. Speaking of things attached to asses, The Human Centipede is a great costume.

Your costume should be shocking, but not too shocking. Instead of dressing as Hitler, dress as Prince Harry as Hitler. Or, try Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, without the beard!

You can also be Rick Sanchez, wearing a KKK hood adorned with the colors of the Cuban flag. Or, you can do Brett Favre, stubble dyed white and dick pics on your phone. Or, go as Miley Cyrus, slipping a nip.

If you're a gay man, don't do Cher or Liza Minelli. Do that Steve Slater guy from Jet Blue. Another option - Chilean Miner (it's timely and it's chock full o' homoerotic possibilities). If you're a lesbian, don't go as anything other than Justin Bieber.

If you're bald, be Larry David. If you're black, be Urkel. If you're Asian, be Kim Jong-Il, not Mr. Chow from The Hangover. A Hangover character is almost as bad as a character from a Will Ferrell movie.

If you're old, don't be Betty White. Be the rotting corpse of that old lady from Titanic that just died at 100.

Do not even think of going as Christine O'Donnell. That's this year's Sarah Palin, which wasn't funny two years ago and really wasn't funny last year. You'd be better off going as Rosie O'Donnell. And on another note, anything tea bag-related is only cool if there are references to its eponymous sex act.

If you can't find a good costume, wear something really generic, but make sure it's unexpected and inexplicable. Me, I'm going to be a taco. Why, you may ask? Exactly!

Whatever you do, just don't dress as Snooki or The Situation. If you do, rest assured that you'll have a short Jew dressed as a taco attached to your ass making fun of you all night. Happy All Hallows' Eve!

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Saw You On Intervention

I love Intervention! Yes, the A&E program that takes pathetic people at the lowest points in their lives and blatantly exploits them in order to achieve basic cable ratings glory is one of my true joys.

Why do I adore this show so much? In a nutshell, no matter how much I abuse liquor or Valium or Ambien or Nitrous Oxide or Pruno (prison wine), Intervention makes me feel like I'm just not that bad. And no matter how much I fuck up in my work life or my personal life or my ability to function as a human being, Intervention makes me feel pretty damn normal.

Plus, there's that whole schadenfreude thing. Quite simply, I gain pleasure from seeing the misfortune of others. Yes, it's wrong and sadistic. But hey, I'll take pleasure wherever I can get it.

I've been entertained for years by such wonderful characters as Cristy, the alcoholic/meth head/stripper/conspiracy theorist; Chad, the cyclist that turned to crack after getting kicked off the Olympic cycling team for calling Lance Armstong "a doughboy"; and, perhaps my favorite, Allison, the computer duster huffer who's also apparently a big fan of Katrina and The Waves.

To me, they're celebrities. They're like Bukowski without the pen. They're like Amy Winehouse without the voice. They're like Robert Downey Jr. without the Iron Man suit. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I turned on Intervention and saw someone I actually know.

This episode was about Jason, who grew up in a seemingly perfect upper-middle class family in Littleton, Colorado. The Columbine High School shooters named him as one of the bullies they retaliated against. Overcome with guilt and grief for his dead classmates, he got hooked on heroin. Now, Jason lives on the streets of Denver and his family is in pieces.

How, you may ask, do I know this junkie with a heart of gold? Well, my friends, Jason was a panhandler at my local Walgreens. Since I was banned from both Safeway and King Soopers for my instructional piece entitled Stealing from Grocery Stores, I'd go to Walgreens nearly everyday to purchase Gatorade and Easy Mac and Magnums and Snuggies for Dogs.

Every time I'd leave my beloved drugstore, Jason would walk up with some tall tale cleverly designed to get me to give him money so he could buy drugs. He ran out of gas or his wallet got stolen or he's collecting for Greenpeace or he's hungry. Now I don't give money to bums, especially ones I see everyday. I believe they should go to a shelter or their parents' house or anywhere that doesn't involve me. Or, they should get a job or at least give handjobs in the park.

So, Jason and I came to an understanding. He would ask me for money with a lie and I would decline with a lie. I left my wallet at home or I just spent my last dollar on Nicorette Mini Lozenges or I invested with Bernie Madoff or I'm addicted to heroin. Then, both of us would go on our way.

I really knew nothing about Jason other than the fact that he was a pretty hard-working beggar. So, when I saw him on Intervention, it was great. I learned that he shot up at least six times a day, that he passed up a scholarship to CSU, and most importantly, that he was gonna get some help. I like seeing people fucked up, but I also like knowing they'll get better. There's nothing like a hobo story with a happy ending.

About a year after the Intervention episode aired, I went to Walgreens to purchase some Sanka and Axe Bodyspray. When I walked out, guess whose "car broke down on the way to Fort Collins"? Yes, it was my old friend Jason who "just needed a couple of bucks to get home". So much for the happy ending.

Outside of our little "I want money/I don't want to give you money" dance, Jason and I had never really spoken. This time however, I broke the wall and said, "I saw you on Intervention!"

At first he tried to deny it, but when I pulled up his picture from Intervention's website (which I had conveniently bookmarked on my iPhone), he knew he was caught. He was kind of pissed.

Obviously, when you're jonesing for opiates, the last thing you want to do is make small talk, but it seemed like this had happened before. It was as if being on Intervention had ruined his life (not the drugs). His ability to panhandle and pass himself off as a non-junkie was blown by his appearance on reality television. I actually felt bad for him.

Jason sacrificed himself for my entertainment. Without men and women like him, there would be no Intervention. He exposed his life so I would have something to watch on Mondays at 8/7C. He opened his heart to me and he shared his love through the wonders of television. That deserved at least some sort of reward, right? I could have given him all the cash in my wallet. I could have given him my jacket to keep him warm. I could have given him my car.

Nah, I just decided to tell him the truth - I don't give money to bums, famous or not. Then we both went on our way. I'm sure I'll see him the next time I need Immodium.