In retrospect, I generally feel like I came up with good Halloween costumes, with the notable exception of one late October night circa sixth grade. That year, I decided that the scariest thing I could be was Jason, the chainsaw-wielding, hockey mask-wearing psychopath from the “Friday the 13th” movies. Unfortunately, my parents wouldn’t let me see R-rated movies, so my costume was based on what I thought Jason would be like. This meant I put on all my hockey equipment – including my Hartford Whalers jersey and a goalie facemask made out of paper – and walked around the neighborhood carrying my candy bag and my dad’s electric chainsaw.Two streets later, I had figured out that the chainsaw was not only really heavy, but pretty lame because it had an electrical cord coming out the back, and the hockey equipment was hot, cumbersome and smelled like rotting meat. In addition, the marker I had used to put all of the details on my mask was washable, and the moisture from my breath made it bleed through the mask and onto my face. Bogged down by my outfit, my quest to fill an entire pillowcase and/or get 50 pounds of candy while actually looking somewhat scary ended in failure.As I got older, I became more self-conscious about dressing up and ringing doorbells while standing next to six-year-olds and their parents. By high school, I was done with going out for Halloween, except for some minor mischief. I retired, never having achieved costume or candy collection nirvana.In college, Halloween is a different beast entirely. Candy has been replaced by beer, trick-or-treating by making out with girls dressed like naughty nurses and toilet papering houses by toilet papering campus buildings. However, the challenge of finding a good costume has remained. The staple outfits remain popular, from the aforementioned nurse to the hobo to the ghost made out of a bed sheet to the bloody doctor – although the mental patient in a straightjacket sidekick is more of a rarity as you can’t hold your drink at a party with your arms all tied up.As a student at UR, I hold myself to a higher standard for costume design than elementary school children. I squandered frantically freshman and sophomore years’ Halloweens before scoring a moderate victory last year, going as “The Pythagorean Theorem,” which was made out of two foam board triangles with “a2+b2=c2” written on them. However, with time running out before my last Halloween – until I get to escort my children around the neighborhood as they try and live out my failed childhood dreams – I still haven’t come up with the ultimate costume idea.And so I prepare yet again to gather small amounts of candy dressed in my standard Blues Brothers costume – a suit and tie with sunglasses – feeling a little down because inside I thought I could do better. As the leaves continue to fall and my stash of sweets dwindles, my unfulfilled desire for All Hallows’ Eve perfection will fade as well. But if inspiration strikes down the road, I reserve the right to become the world’s oldest trick-or-treater. Voigt can be reached at svoigt@campustimes.org.



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