The Tale of Dracula and the Candy Corn Witch
October 27, 2009Posted by andrew |
Long about the end of summer I always start thinking about the really cool Halloween costumes that I can make for my kids. And by "really cool" I mean something fun and unusual and sophisticated (somewhat) and creative and reasonably inexpensive. The only problem is trying to convince two small children that my costume ideas are really cool. That's the difficult part. Indeed, it's usually the part that derails all my carefully laid plans.
This year was no different than in years past. At the beginning of the school year my son and I started trying to develop a nifty Halloween costume. One of the things that he had in his current costume inventory was an ancient Egyptian headdress that I get from work. We decided King Tut could be a pretty cool costume—heck, we were halfway there already.
Then, in a stroke of genius (if I do say so myself), we came up with the idea of not just a King Tut, but a mummy Tut with bandages and creepy face makeup and genuine simulated ancient Egyptian amulets and mummy beads that I could get for pretty cheap from the museum store. Boy, this was exciting. It wouldn't be like last year when we had a cool homemade costume planned only to see him end up in a store-bought Darth Vader costume. Also, since I saw a lot of parents dressing up last year, I planned out an impromptu archaeologist costume that I could wear, to accompany him, with a pith helmet and tweed jacket.
Last Thursday I when I came home from work he announced that he had his Halloween costume? "Really?" I thought. "I don't remember working on it yet." That's of course because I hadn't, and he'd fallen in love with a Dracula costume at Target, and a split-second decision was made to go with that.
"Face it," my wife sensibly told me. "You didn't really have time to work on an elaborate costume. Besides, he's got a Halloween-themed birthday party to go to on Saturday." So much for that, then.
My daughter, on the other hand is not as impressionable as my son, and is stubborn and determined in that way that stubborn and determined little three-year-old girls are. When we asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween this year, she responded with dead certainty: "I'm going to be a Candy Corn Witch."
"Interesting," I said. "What's a Candy Corn Witch?" No explanation was offered, other than a reiteration of the initial statement. Eventually we figured out that he best pal at preschool was apparently going as a Candy Corn Witch as well. This still didn't explain exactly what a Candy Corn Witch was, though.
Eventually, the secret was revealed after the aforementioned shopping expedition at Target resulted not only in the acquisition of a Dracula costume but of a Candy Corn Witch costume as well. Essentially, it's a witch outfit that's decorated with candy corn (orange, red, white, remember?) colors. The conical part of the traditional witch hat in fact looks like a giant candy corn. So that's the infamous Candy Corn Witch. Mystery solved. We hope the costume lasts until Halloween, because she's been wearing it around the house every day.
For those of you in need of a last minute costume idea, here are a couple I've never been able to implement:
- Tintin, the Belgian boy reporter comic book hero: Get a white shirt, light blue crewneck sweater, brown trousers, and long white socks. Pin up pant legs to look like plus-fours. Use hair gel to form a cowlick (it helps to have reddish hair). Stuffed Snowy dog toy optional. If you were really cool you'd have real white Wire Fox Terrier to take trick-or-treating with you.
- Knight, circa 1200: Get gray sweats (with a hood, if you can) or long underwear, and draw on chain mail pattern with a black Sharpie pen. Get the right idea by looking at Medieval manuscript illustrations like those in the Morgan/Maciejowski Bible. Sew up a simple surcoat from some colorful cloth from the fabric store. Add a plastic helmet, sword, and shield, and you're good to go.
- King Tut mummy (see above).
Those ideas are free to use. A Halloween gift from me to you. We may still try to go as Tintin next year. Mark my words! All three people in the neighborhood who know who the character is will be thrilled to see the costume, too.