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"Hallow be thine night"

Bruce Abel

want a trick or treat bag overflowing with goodies? CNN, the Orwellian voice-speak of America, provides some clues as to what is politically correct for this year's Halloween costumes and characters.

First, grey-black beards are out, especially when worn with a striped bathrobe and a large rubber nose. Even one of Snow White's trusted seven will appear menacing.

Robin Hood robes are problematic given that Robin, according to Prince John, terrorized Nottingham Forest. Likewise, being a knight will reduce goodies since the Crusade was a Christian Jehad to save the Holy Land. Which, by the way, was unsuccessful. Louis Riel and Che Guevara outfits are definitely no-nos. Don't use fake blood and dangling body parts, unless you cleverly show that they belong to the enemy after a smart-bomb air raid.

If you are determined to go as an insurgent, you might choose to be an IRA freedom fighter. That's safe because the citizens of NYC openly fund the IRA. Going as a Spanish Basque freedom fighter is secure because the Basques are unknown. Israeli freedom fighters are also OK since another segment of the NYC population finances them. Then, there are the FLQ separatists whom everyone in Canada has forgotten, and the rest of the world never knew about. Basically, you can dress as a terrorist, as long as your group only attacks non-North Americans in any country other than America.

A President Bush mask is good. The same for New York Mayor Giuliani. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, America's crusading mouthpiece, is appealing. It will take courage to wear a NDP leader Alexa McDonough mask, unless you really want to give peace a chance. The same for dressing as Gandhi.

Doctor, firefighter, police officer, emergency rescue and construction worker outfits will get much candy, especially if you wave the Star-Spangled Banner. Please note that as a NYC construction worker, you'll need Mafia clearance. Wearing a white bio-hazard protection suit, however, will panic the neighbourhood. Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross costumes will be instant Canadian success. GI Joe and Josephine will bring home much loot both from Guelph streets and the countries they liberate for the corporate world.

Air line pilots are in, especially those of Air Transit. Pilot trainers are out. Dress as an Air Canada CEO and a bailout of treats is assured. While Custom and Immigration officers are liked, dressing as an airport private security guard who earns minimum wage working for an offshore multinational corporation is risky.

Biblical characters will do well, if you consider an US State Securities report on scams that used the name of God to con Christians out of $1.9 billion. Dressing, however, as an Afghanistan refugee or for that matter, taking a refugee with you will be unproductive. People want to have fun and ignore the world poverty that our society has created.

If you still can't find a suitable costume, put a condom on your head and go as . . . well, I'll leave that to your choice since the world has so many characters from which to choose.

Bruce Abel is a Guelph, Ontario writer and e-journal editor.

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