Milwaukee in disguise: 7 Halloween costumes inspired by local faces and places
The nation’s second-most treasured holiday is just around the corner, and some people are undoubtedly blanking on costume ideas. But before everyone finds themselves giving up and cutting eyeholes into their bed sheets, consider going local with The A.V. Club’s handpicked suggestions, once again inspired by the things that make Milwaukee great.
With Halloween arriving just a week before Election Tuesday, we can expect plenty of political costumes. We could easily make a game of counting Baracks and Mitts on All Hallow’s Eve, and surely there will be some Boy Governors, Hillarys, Slick Willies, First Ladies, a Tricky Dick or two, and a few hoping to get one more year out of their old Sarah Palin costumes. In the event that you feel these costumes have pretty much been done, or you don’t have the arms to pull off a Michelle Obama costume (who does?), allow us to suggest a homage to longtime Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl, who announced that he will not be seeking re-election in 2012. Kohl’s name is often synonymous with cheap flavored milk—a Wisconsin State Fair staple. Pick ’n’ Save stores across the city are selling Kemp’s Root Beer and Strawberry flavored milk. Pick up several cartons of each and a bag of plastic cups, get into a suit and tie, affix a Herb Kohl button, smile, and hand out free milk like a boss.
Last February, Milwaukee lost Frank Pecoraro—remembered by many as the city’s one and only “Pepperoni-Cannoli Guy.” For many years, Pecoraro was an East Side staple and a favored eccentric entrepreneur, peddling pepperonis and cannolis to hungry bar-goers out of a hand-held cooler. We like to think the timing is just right where it would not be in poor taste, but rather something of a memorial to Mr. Pecoraro to pack a cooler full of Italian goodies this Halloween and shout the words we’ve missed hearing: “PEPPERONI! CANNOLI!”
Hipster males: your obligatory moustache could be your ticket to a very affordable Halloween costume if you already have some Brewers garb in your closet. A little styling gel in your ’stache easily makes for a resemblance to the recognizable mascot. It does, admittedly, help to be blonde. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be laying aside the PBR for the night and switching to Miller Lite. Of course, there is the option of pouring your Blue Ribbon beer into emptied plastic Miller Lite bottles for a little home-game authenticity.
Blind NFL referee
Yes, Milwaukee is primarily Brewers country, but last month’s “scab ref” debacle was so godawful that it seems fair game (ha!) to suggest you channel your undying rage against pro football’s WORST. CALL. EVER. into a blind NFL referee costume. Get yourself hired at a local Foot Locker just long enough to score a uniform, decide you don’t like other people’s feet, and quit. All you need after that is a pair of shades and a cane to make your statement. Ladies, three words: sexy blind ref.
Police call box
This labor-intensive construction project of a costume suggestion is to emulate one of many blue police call boxes found on corners throughout Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. Though defunct for decades, these nifty cast-iron devices once allowed police officers to communicate with headquarters in the days before radio hookups in squad cars. Oh, the fun you could have lurking silently and inconspicuously on street corners, just waiting to leap out and “BOO!” innocent passersby. We just hope nobody tries to use you to call in a 187 in progress.
Friday fish fry
Since Halloween 2012 falls on a Wednesday—right in the middle of the work week—we feel we should offer you a SFW option. Our suggestion for a Friday fish fry costume is one that may be easily ditched should the boss disapprove. Find yourself a tacky fish necktie—or any fish necktie, for that matter. Next, clip out a Friday square from an old calendar and either create paper French fries or pick up a small order from McDonald’s and attach them to your tie. Voila. Friday fish fry costume. They’ll be talking about that one around the water cooler for many Halloweens to come.
The Jesus Car
Much to the dismay of our readership, Milwaukee legend “The Jesus Car Guy” was omitted from last year’s collection. His famed vehicle joins our list for Halloween 2012. Because we aren’t sure that the actual driver is as recognizable as his hatin’ wagon, we suggest you give your poor dog or cat a break by sparing them the Velcro moo-cow costume and instead dress up your ride. It doesn’t matter if you drive a Chevy Malibu—if you plaster several hundred messages of sin onto each inch of your car’s surface, folks will get it. Of course, the look just wouldn’t be complete without several disturbing and dirtied dollies, and an American flag riding on the rooftop.