Halloweens that fall on a weekday are weird. It’s dark and cold, and there aren’t as many parties to go to — unless you’ve got that hookup, in which case, good for you! If not, maybe you’re trick or treating with your kid and want to be in on the fun, or you work at an office that encourages dressing up, like I do. But what if, because it is a random Tuesday, you forgot to plan a costume?
Luckily for you, I happen to be a whiz at last-minute costuming, a skill learned watching my mother every time my twin sister and I “forgot” that we needed something special to wear for a project or event the very next day. Didn’t we tell you, Mommy? (No, we had not.) She probably should have just thrown us some duct tape and a box of Hefty bags and let God sort it out, but her generosity made me the perfect person to guide you through your closet and cabinets to turn stuff you already have into the best Baltimore-themed get-ups possible.
Grab some boxes, markers, paints, and whatever old wigs you’ve got lying around and let’s do this. (Y’all do have wigs lying around, right?)
The Utz potato chip girl
Did you know that the sweet little mascot for the iconic Hanover, Pennsylvania, brand beloved in Baltimore has a name? I did not until a few seconds ago, but apparently it’s Salie! Though her moniker might not be familiar, her look is. Here’s what you need: A red bow and shirt, exaggerated red cheek blush circles, and a big bag of Utz chips. Voilà: A fun, easy costume that comes with a snack!
Mondy the Sea Monster and/or Captain Chesapeake
This is a couple’s costume for my Gen X crowd, who spent their after-school hours watching WBFF Channel 45′s bay-trotting shipwrecked sailor introduce shows like “The Monkees” and “Speed Racer.” For the Captain, get a white sweatshirt and write “CAPT CHESAPEAKE 45″ on it, don a nautical hat, and maybe cut a ship’s wheel out of a cardboard box. For the Cap’s weird sea creature sidekick, paint your face green, cover the rest of the box you used for the ship’s wheel with a green trash bag, and stick your head through it. If the youngsters don’t know who you are, you can always say you’re Shrek.
An Old Bay canister
If it’s not clear by now, cardboard boxes are a must for your last-minute Halloween crafts. They’re versatile, and if you live in Baltimore City — where they only collect your recycling every other week — you probably have a bunch of them. For the unrivaled spice blend (I will fight you on this), you just paint a box yellow, write “Old Bay” on it, and try your hand at drawing the little pictures of crab, shrimp and chicken. Wear a red hat for the colorful lid. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, maybe steam some crustaceans and hand them out instead of candy.
Mr. Trash Wheel
Show the block you’re sustainably clever when you trick-or-treat dressed as everyone’s favorite nautical refuse collector. It’s all about the googly eyes. I’d wear all white and stick the eyes to your forehead. (Side note: They’d probably also make a great costume for Beaker from the Muppets.)
A ‘Baltimore: The Greatest City In America’ bench
We’re all about current events here at The Baltimore Banner, being a news organization and all. And what’s more current than the very last story I wrote, about Baltimorean Jeremy Henry’s defense of the city on national radio in which he shouted out those famous benches?
Here’s where another innovation I stole from my mom comes in: the good old sandwich board. Go back to our dear friend, the cardboard box, and cut it into two. Draw wooden planks on it, write the aspirational words across one, attach the pieces with duct tape or string and sling them over your shoulder. Congrats! You’re a walking advertisement for how good our city could be!
A Fudgery employee
In honor of all the kids who made dessert magic with just sugar, a giant paddle, a marble slab and a silly song about fudge, you can grab a plain polo, a cap, a long apron you can write “The Fudgery” on, and walk around holding a plate of fudge and a spatula. If you want to pay tribute to R&B singer Sisqo, the most famous former Fudgery employee, wear a short blond wig and sing, “Let me see that fuuuuuudge, fudge fudge, fudge fuuuudge.” Thong optional.
A Chesapeake dolphin
In this time of terrible news for the planet, we got a small shot of hope recently with some dolphin sightings in the bay. For this costume, paint your face blue, make a bottle nose and fins out of cardboard and wear a Ravens jersey. You might even make a map marked with “to Atlantic Ocean” on it. And then clap your fins and bark … wait. I’m being told that’s what seals do. Never mind. Do some dolphin stuff.
A sad Orioles fan
Speaking of current events, this is probably the easiest one of all; most of us are this already. Our Birds got super close to victory this year, so those final losses felt like a punch in the overpriced box of stadium popcorn. All you’ll need for this idea is any Orioles gear, drawn-on tears, and a sign that says “2024 or bust.” You might not need to draw on those tears, though. Because whyyy?
And that’s it! Creativity is your friend. What’s not your friend? Blackface, red face or any other sort of skin color that is not your own and based on actual people. No hate on Halloween, right?
Now get those boxes and trash bags and go crazy. I wanna see pictures.