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, inspired by the things that make Milwaukee great.
The Bronze Fonz
Who says your Milwaukee-inspired costume has to be based on the animate? The commemoration of a fictional Happy Days character infuriated Mike Brenner to no end before its 2008 Milwaukee Riverwalk installation, and now you can anger your fellow citizens this Halloween by dressing as the Bronze Fonz. How to do it? Ruin a leather jacket by slathering yourself with a watered-down metallic paint solution, and be sure to perfect your “AAAAAAY!” (We strongly recommend any pompadour hair styling be locked into place before “bronzing.”)
Though glamorized by Packers-game-interrupting Miller adverts, beer deliverers have long been the unsung heroes of the Brew City. Those who deliver beer heft around eight tons of kegs, cases, and sixers each day in order to make our weekend nights special. Uniform provider Aramark might be able to help you pay homage to the folks who make your cold ones possible.
Bonus: As Halloween doubles as national Get-Away-With-Dressing-Like-A-Floozy day, ladies might consider lying to rest that tired “sexy referee” look and instead spice up a beer delivery uniform with some cleavage, thigh-highs, and heels. Yes, we know that a real beer delivery guy...er, person, wouldn’t last one hour in stilettos, but hey, neither would a referee.
Memphis has its Elvis sightings, and Milwaukee has glimpses of the elusive Milverine. If you happen to look at all like the guy who looks like Wolverine, this is likely your one chance to cash in on your resemblance to the shirtless local enigma. With the Milverine phenomenon already stale, this costume probably won’t impress anyone come Halloween 2012.
Janitor sculpture from the Milwaukee Art Museum
For lovers of the obscure, a living replication of Duane Hanson’s 1973 lifelike and aptly titled “Janitor” sculpture is bound to impress the few who do recognize your costume. Be warned: You’ll need to practice leaning motionless against a wall, all the while appearing to bear the weight of the world on your shoulders. For a little extra fun, rock out to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” just to see if anyone gets the joke.
Torn clothing, hardened spitballs, and a “Kick Me” sign are the obvious components of a Milwaukee Public Schools teacher costume, but don’t forget to pin a “Solidarity Fist” or an MTEA button to your tattered lapel to complete the look. Taking scissors to a paystub or health insurance card makes for a strong political statement, and the MPS teacher costume is made even more convincing by arriving to your holiday celebration in a 2003 Toyota Camry.
Bonus: With a few minor tweaks—including a crappier car—the costume could easily be recycled as a substitute teacher costume for next year’s festivities.
Floor of the Oriental Theatre
A dark sweat suit covered with bits of popcorn, Sour Patch Kids, Good & Plenty pieces, a stray drinking straw, and a sneaker-treaded ticket stub is all you need to achieve a floor-of-a-movie-theater costume. To represent Milwaukee’s own Oriental Theatre, you’ll have to take it up a notch and adhere an old Milwaukee Film Festival flyer, as well as a slice of toast—a nod to the Oriental’s monthly Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings. Be wise and shy away from applying Milk Duds.
Line for the portable toilets at Summerfest
Our obligatory group costume suggestion calls for a long, snaking line of band T-shirt-clad, plastic Miller Lite bottle-toting folks with sunburns to stand behind the lucky soul selected to wear the toilet costume. Just how does one construct a Porta-John costume? Hey, we’re writers, not carpenters. We can suggest, however, that if you’re having a hard time putting this costume together, you should consider altering the look to become the line at the bubbler—or “drinking fountain,” for the enjoyment of any out-of-state Halloween revelers.