One Halloween I considered dressing up as Democrat. The directions on the costume advised: “Directions: For full effect, wear this costume while taking a portion of candy out of every bag in the neighborhood. Then pass the candy out to whomever you feel needs it the most. Whether or not they have gone door-to-door for themselves is irrelevant.”
The more I thought about those directions the more guilty I began to feel. Eventually I decided that going as a Democrat was a bad idea.
And so I thought, “Why not go as a Republican?” Yes. That would be perfect! There were two styles of costumes that I was able to choose from while going as a Republican, and I love having options. Of course before I committed to either one I had to try them on.
After putting on the first Republican outfit I exited the dressing room excited and looked at myself in the mirror. But something wasn’t right. Had I taken the wrong costume off of the rack? I hadn’t, but while the tag did say “Republican,” my reflection looked just like the Democratic costume which I had looked at just moments before. Confused, I sought guidance from the directions.
“Directions: While wearing this costume it is still entirely acceptable to take candy from the other children in the neighborhood. However, take less (even if it’s not much less). Also, rather than turning that candy over to some other group of kids who look like they need candy, seek out a group of children who are teepeeing one of your neighbors’ houses. Teepeeing can be tiring and they’ll likely need the energy. Be a good neighbor. Even if it makes your other neighbor upset. You can’t please everyone. P.S. Your house may get teepeed in return, but it’s not your fault. Your neighbors likely hate you because you have candy.”
I had to chuckle. Disillusioned, I decided to take off the first Republican outfit and try on the second one. This one had to be better. As a libertarian every other day of the year it was more appealing to the eye. When I tried it on it felt better. It fit better. There were no snarky directions on the label. I thought I had found a winner! There was a Warning label however. “WARNING: This Costume intends to portray a Tea Party Conservative. Wear at your own risk.” That seemed odd and maybe even a little silly.
Confidently I stepped out from behind the curtain and again turned to look at myself in the mirror, but before I could even focus on the reflection in front of me I began to notice people shouting.
“What’s wrong with you?” I turned to see a mother holding her young son by the wrist and walking away with a look of disgust on her face.
“Are you stupid?” An old man yelled at me from across the room.
Partly offended I turned to the costume shop employee and asked him, “What did I do wrong?” Seemingly amused, the boy responded. “Don’t worry Mister. It happens to everyone who tries on that costume.”
“Why?” I asked.
“All the candy stores have been threatening to shut down just days before Halloween. When you wear that costume they think you look like the guys who shut it down. It’s not you. It’s who you’re wearing.” I turned to my left just in time to see a piece of candy flying towards my face. Quickly I ducked and ran back to the dressing room to remove the Tea Party suit.
When I was back in my regular clothes I returned to the counter and asked the boy how people seemed to respond to the Libertarian Party costumes. “It’s a toss-up.” He said. “Some people won’t even notice you. Others will compliment you and give you a high five. Sadly, at the end of the day you probably won’t have enough candy to fill your basket.”
“Well, that seems unfair,” I thought.
And so I left without a single costume purchase. But what about Halloween?
Well, I eventually decided that the best thing to do for Halloween was to go as a small “l” libertarian. In all honesty it was the cheapest costume of all. Rather than dressing up in something elaborate with strict instructions on how to treat the people around me, I simply purchased a bag of my favorite candy, went home, and spent the rest of the night minding my own business.
Halloween has never been so relaxing. What will you be this year?