Growing up, I remember Mom went all out on Halloween costumes. Dad, not so much. One year, the best she could coax out of him was this little rubber elephant trunk on an elastic strap. It cracked me up, Dad looking exactly like Dad, but with a trunk hanging from his nose down over his chin. And he really milked it. I think he got more smiles and candy than anyone.
In honor of that cheeky nonchalance, and how awesomely cheap it is to echo, I went to my neighborhood Party City for a look at potential one-item costumes.
Because no one recognizes Bruce Wayne by his chin. Go ahead, wear it with your old Texas A&M sweats. $6.99
Actually, they're gloves. Tell people you're a centaur in the Twilight Zone. Then ask for a high-five. $16.99
With six sets of bizarro peepers, challenge yourself to wear them all with the straightest possible face. $6 (on clearance)
GIANT ZOMBIE HANDS
"This is a decoration, not a toy," the packaging says of these plastic yard ornaments. Sure, they're enormous and meant for sticking in the ground, but imagine the game of Edward 40 Hands you could play! $12.99
Apparently, Disney has an animated show called Jake and the Never Land Pirates. If that means we half-assed pirates get this plush shoulder parrot with a Velcro strap, well alright then. $9.99
On the downside, all of the people dressed as zombies are obligated to come at you. On the upside, the packaging translates brain hat to "sombrero de cerebro," and that's just fun to say. $9.99
THE AMAZING MINECRAFT CARDBOARD HEAD
It's the most expensive, and the least obvious (unless you nerd out on Minecraft). But hey, it's a conversation starter! And recyclable. Which is kind of amazing. $24.99
FERAL FUZZY WHITE BEAR
This thing is actually terrifying. The eyes light up, the arms and mouth move while it's spouting "cute and creepy audio." Carry it around like the bloody finger it's carrying around and dare people to touch the on button. Found it on a shelf by itself and couldn't find a price, which totally fits the horror-movie scenario in my head.
Truth be told, I've been binge-watching LOTR this week, so I'm in the mood. But honestly, if you spring for just one prosthetic, this is way more out there than a vampire bite. $4.99
People with real beards, I'd love to know how you feel about: a) being labeled "fearsome," b) that your everyday look may be my Halloween costume, c) that the manufacturer felt compelled to make it clear this is "facial hair." 7.99