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LARSON: Hot news inspires hot ideas for Halloween

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

According to a story on the Internet, the most popular Halloween costumes for adults this year will include witches, gypsies and pirates -- all rented from a party store.

For me, most of the fun was in making a costume myself, and even more fun was dressing up to reflect something in the news. My best effort, I've always thought, was in 1985 when my husband and I went as the newly wed Madonna and Sean Penn. (I guess I had to do that one myself since I don't think they ever made Sean Penn costumes anyway.)

But try as I might, I don't think I could ever come up with anything as clever as Lawrenceville resident Carol Leonard.

In 2009, she and her husband Bruce masqueraded as the Balloon Boy Family.

"Richard and Mayumi Heene allowed a flying saucer-shaped gas balloon to float away, then claimed their 6-year old son Falcon was inside it. He wasn't, and the parents were jailed. Bruce and I arrived wearing Larimer County booking numbers around our necks, and carrying a flying saucer shaped helium balloon, with Falcon dangling from it," Carol said.

In 2010 they were the Bedbug Family, inspired by a bedbug infestation across the country.

"I knew I had to jump on this one. I fashioned a bed out of a large cardboard box, attached a sheet, quilt, and pillow to it, and glued bedbugs (tiny plastic spiders with legs cut off) all over it. The box had shoulder straps which allowed me to walk around with it on, wearing Velcro curlers and a nightgown. Bruce accompanied me as a giant bedbug with blood oozing from his mouth. He dressed in black, and wore insect legs, and antennae. We left bedbugs here and there, amid the platters of hors de oeuvres."

Last year, they won the Most Creative Costume Award for the third year in a row as the Hot Lane Couple.

"I created a freeway dress made of black faux leather, glued onto it yellow and white ribbons to create lanes, attached little cars to those lanes, and made Peachtree Pass signs. I also wore a tiara that spelled out HOT. Under the freeway dress, which was open at the sides, I wore a short little hootchie outfit and heels. So I was the HOT lane babe. Bruce was my State Road and Tollway Authority pimp, dressed in an outfit I cobbled together from Goodwill, a Party City pimp hat and necklace, and my mother-in-law's fur coat. He handed out Peach Passes to everyone at the party, trying to "sell" the HOT lane."

I won't reveal the couple's costumes for this year. I don't want to steal their thunder nor let anyone steal their idea. Not that anyone would need to. With all the unreal reality shows and real life jokers out there, y'all have binders full of ideas from which to choose.

Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at susanlarson79@gmail.com.

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