Halloween is only a couple of weeks away. Hard to believe, right? With temperatures still hovering in the 80s, coffee shops might as well serve their pumpkin spice lattés in hollowed-out coconuts. Festively arranged seasonal gourds look out of place when the outdoor pool at the YMCA is still open.
For some, the past 22 months or so have felt like an endless haunted house of confusion and outrage. Behind every door awaits a new "Oh, what now?" Some are merely head-scratchers, like the unexplained and unnecessary deregulations gifted to niche interest groups. Others, true oh-my-God-how-is-this-happening nightmare fuel, like the enduring detention of immigrant children, deteriorating relationships with allies — Canada? Really? — and the shameful display of victim-shaming and mockery that recently took place a few miles south of us at a Southaven campaign rally.
As for the aforementioned unseasonal heat, according to UN scientists we have until 2030 to stem the rapidly escalating damage wrought by climate change. How about that Paris Agreement?
- Tony Posnanski via Twitter
- Beer-Lovin’ Brett
Yeah, spooky times have indeed arrived. I can't blame you if you haven't started thinking about your Halloween costume yet. So here are a few ideas to help you stand out among all the Sexy Handmaids and save you from the line to buy the Halloween store's last raggedy wig on October 30th.
This first one is easy and timely — then again, who knows what will happen between now and the end of the month to bury those contentious Senate hearings in our collective consciousness? You might not be the only Beer-Lovin' Brett at your Halloween shindig, but you'll be comfortable and you're guaranteed to have a good time even if you don't remember it. Snag a black robe (pants optional for the Justice of the Party, woo!) and behave like the overprivileged jerk in an '80s college movie. A beer helmet is not required, but drinking beer and talking about how much you like beer are. Sneer and rant about left-wing conspiracies and cry about your high school bros in the same sentence. You'll get a lifetime appointment to a roaring good time.
Next, this unconventional couple costume might look like a dinosaur and a unicorn, but tuned-in Tennesseans know who you really are: former governor/Senate hopeful Phil Bredesen and a Moderate Republican! The Moderate Republican doesn't have to be a unicorn, of course. It can be any made-up or extinct creature or a visual manifestation of wishful thinking. Let that imagination run wild! And let your dino — "Democrat In Name Only" — date chase you around all night. Bonus points if he arrives with another group of friends and ditches them to buy a round for the guy in the Brett Kavanaugh costume. What are they going to do? Hang out with Marsha — the woman whose positions are so toxic, even human vanilla scoop Taylor Swift had no choice but to speak out? He's their ride home so they have no choice. What an exciting time for our state.
If you're as exhausted by politics as I am, you'll enjoy these next two. This is Memphis, after all, where "Everything sucks, let's basketball" is a cherished coping mechanism. After a disappointing year in Hoop City, we needed a little hope. FedExForum was packed to the rafters for Memphis Madness, with thousands of fans eager to catch a glimpse of two people. Not Penny Hardaway and coveted recruit James Wiseman, silly. According to a few sports-talk dudes, the true men of the hour were Justin Timberlake and Drake, two Real Memphians who totally rep the city all the time and not just when it's convenient. If you plan on staying in this Halloween, have a friend start a rumor that you're attending a party as Drake or JT. Don't actually commit yourself. If anybody asks, say nothing. Don't show up. See how ridiculous that sounds, Tiger fans?
Finally, sticking with the theme of ridiculous Tiger fans, one of my favorite sports phenomena. Inspired by the timeless catchphrase of chatty fans, I call this last costume "I'll Hang Up and Listen." If you have any University of Memphis or Memphis State gear, all you need is a cell phone and an arsenal of terrible sports opinions. Yell things like "I been follerin' the Tigers since Moe Iba and I never seen defense this bad! Go Tigers" and "Penny needs to play [insert walk-on here] more; that kid's got a cannon! Go Tigers" into the phone. The less coherent, the better. If you can't think of anything clever, call for someone's job and name-drop a coach or obscure player from 40 years ago. Sure, this isn't unique to Memphis, but I like to keep it local.
I hope these ideas help you create a memorable Halloween look. If not, you can always bring back Sexy Mitch McConnell. Happy Halloween!
Jen Clarke is an unabashed Memphian and a digital marketing specialist.