Tag Archives: Tom Baker

Is there anything more humiliating than wearing the “Worst Halloween Costume Ever”? No.

I went to the Dark Side at a very young age

Crime fighter? No. Swashbuckling space hero? No. Evil space villain? Yup, that’s me.

The other day, the missus asked me what was my worst Halloween costume ever.

As we were gearing up for this year’s Halloween, I should have been prepared for the question.

I wasn’t, but sadly, I didn’t need to be. The answer leapt immediately to mind.

There is really only one Halloween costume I think of when asked that question.

My attempt to balance out the creepy serial killer Snoopy my sibling went as

Not satisfied with how much candy I reaped from being evil, I opted for the other side of the spectrum – crazy comedian Robin Williams and popular TV character, Mork.

No, it wasn’t one of those cheap plastic-mask-held-on-with-a-rubber-band and plastic apron costumes that were so prevalent in the 70s, though I wore a lot of those growing up (sometimes even for Halloween!).

This was a costume I wore shortly after leaving college, when I was supposedly educated enough to know better.

Ha! Like that will ever happen!

I decided to go as Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

On the surface, this is actually an awesome idea for a costume. I was tall, still relatively lanky at the time, and able to grow a goatee.

early dabblings with wearing makeup

Evil didn’t get me enough candy. Crazy comedian Mork didn’t get me much more. So then I tried undead. But I think I wore too much lipstick.

That goatee is more dear to me than you’d think, since I am utterly unable to grow a proper beard.

I loved that goatee. If it had been legal at the time, I would have married it.

No, the problem I ran into was the shirt.

That damned lime green shirt.

Ya see, being the late 90s, glowing green shirts weren’t really in fashion anymore.

But genius that I was, I hadn’t figured that out yet.

Now I understand why my parents made me wear a chastity belt with this costume.

One year I went as a Boy Scout. Because it saved me a lot of money, rather than buy a costume, I actually joined this paramilitary organization. I learned how to field strip an AK-47 and survive in the wilderness by eating the weaker, less fit members of my troop.

My first thought was, “Easy peasy. I’m a crafty guy, I’ll make my own.”

I went to a craft store and bought a bucket, a white t-shirt, and a packet of the sort of florescent green dye Navy Seals use to mark their location.

How could I not succeed?

This resulted in a light green, almost yellow shirt. I learned from the missus, in recounting this tale, that I should have bought two packets of dye.

Sage advice that came 15 years too late. Oh, if only I had met my wise, beloved missus 15 years sooner, I might have avoided what immediate family and friends refer to as “The Shaggy Halloween Costume Incident”!

Unaware of the two dye packet requirement, I gave up on making my own shirt and started looking for an already manufactured lime green shirt.

It didn’t seem like it would be a huge undertaking when I started. I would just look around and surely I’d find one pretty quickly, right?

Not so much. I looked everywhere.

My old clothes.

By now, I was growing weary of the commercialism of Halloween.

Was I being avant garde or just too poor to afford a costume this particular year? I went as a caricature of myself. The costume was surprisingly uncomfortable.

My dad’s old clothes (hey, he wore shirts in the 60s and 70s, right?).

In thrift shops.

In department stores.

And finally, in mall specialty clothing stores.

It’s this last one where I made my blunder, where I crossed over into worst Halloween costume ever territory.

I literally was going shop to shop, flicking through the clothing racks, pouncing on anything even remotely green.

I mean, I even tried putting on a yellow shirt over a blue one.

Yes, I was that desperate.

It was a long, thankless task. Which made the discovery, the perceived victory, seem all the more sweet.

Maybe this costume will annihilate my traumatic memories of the 'Incident with the Shaggy Costume'?

This year I decided to be the antithesis of all my previous Halloween costumes – winners and losers. This year I am Anti-matter Batman. The only drawback is I can’t touch anything, or I’ll destroy this corner of the Universe. A small price to pay if it erases the trauma of that Shaggy costume.

I found one. A shirt. Not just green, or greenish, but Lime green. With a capital ‘L’.

My size.

On sale.

I proudly went to the cash register and slapped down my hard-earned cash to pay for my hard-won purchase.

My entire body burned with the delicious sensation of accomplishment.

The woman behind the counter looked at me funny, but before she could speak, I told her how relieved I was to find this item.

How I’d been searching and searching for a lime green shirt for Halloween.

How hope had begun to fade, and a sense of looming defeat had driven me to thoughts of an alternate costume.

The funny look should have been a clue. The shrug after I spoke another one. But I was too effervescent to notice, and frankly, as the missus will tell you, I’d make a terrible real life detective. I’m always missing the clues.

It was at the party, hanging out with a large group of mostly strangers, that I sensed something was wrong.

I’d been single for a while at this point in my life, and was more than a little tired of that. I had high hopes that this party would open up some avenues of companionship for me. And I thought a clever costume like mine would help on that front.

It didn’t. The women, when they would look at me, gave me unsettling, dismissive stares.

Very much like that store clerk.

And it wasn’t me they were gawking at. It was the shirt.

My long-sought after, hard-won shirt.

Not even my lovingly sculpted goatee could compete with that glowing, bright green top.

And let me tell you, crappy beard aside, my goatee is a thing of wonder.

I remember the moment realization began to dawn. It occurred to me, finally, to wonder about the fit of the garment.

Because the fit was definitely a bit odd.

It hung loose on the top, and low in the front. This had puzzled me from the get-go, but it was lime green, dammit, and it had taken me days to find.

But standing there, in a sea of women who not only weren’t impressed with me, but clearly questioned my masculinity, I realized what had happened.

I’d bought a woman’s blouse.

I sweated underneath a zipped up jacket for the rest of the party, and I went home alone afterward.

Alone, but definitely a little bit wiser.

I had learned an important life lesson that I carry with me to this day:

Lane Byrant sells women’s clothing.


And now, a word from our sponsor: me!
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So bad it won a Voidy for the next THREE consecutive years (would have been FOUR, but 2012 was a leap year)


Posted by on 31 October 2012 in Angst, Life


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