Denise Neil

Maybe you can dress as auto bailout

Your witch costume is wickedly old, and those naughty nurse getups don't exactly accentuate your positives.

What's a grown-up in need of a Halloween costume to do?

You could take a cue from me and just outright refuse to participate in any costume-required Halloween activity.

Or you could take a cue from some of the more creative, pop-culturally aware members of the Halloween community and dress up as the news.

Not as newspaper, although we've got plenty of raw materials around The Eagle if that's the direction you want to go.

I'm talking about those current-event costumes you see each year as you make the Halloween party rounds.

These getups are usually conceptual in nature. They tend to require explanation, and for maximum effect, they require the party to include a number of guests who have actually been following along with local and national events.

The current-events costume of 2008, for example, was probably the Sarah Palin, as Halloween parties were packed with women in business suits wearing glasses and up-dos.

Popular current-events costumes for 2009 should be pretty easy to predict. I expect to see more than one zombie-faced, single-glove-wearing corpse of Michael Jackson. (Tacky? Probably. But you know it's going to happen.)

And one of my friends has already excitedly described to me the "Octomom" costume she's assembled, complete with dolls sewn on her sleeves and spilling out of her Baby Bjorn. Her husband, naturally, will dress as her fertility doctor.

I also expect to encounter at least one backward-mulleted Kate Gosselin, and I hope I spot a Don Draper or two.

I've also heard that piggie-nosed swine flu getups are a contagious idea this year.

Some colleagues and I spent a few giggle-filled minutes this week trying to come up with current-events costumes with a local flavor.

Someone still suffering trauma from this summer's hailstorm could construct an outfit perfectly dotted with baseball-shaped holes. Or, slip into a construction cone and go to the party as Kellogg (or Central, or 1-135, or Washington, or Waterman, or West Street, or...).

And couples with access to rubbish and a box of safety pins could dress as the infamous Wichita dumpster couple, whose tryst in a local trash receptacle earned Wichita unwanted national attention. (My deskmate suggests the addition of a sign reading "If the dumpster is rockin', don't bother knockin'.)

Could it get any creepier?