So, it’s Halloween. I like to think of costume ideas but I never partake in the festivities. This year I had a bunch of stupid ideas for Halloween costumes. Sam the Butcher from the Brady Bunch, a soccer mom, Hilary Clinton (NOT a zombie version of her — just the macabre politician in the flesh), and Peeta from Hunger Games (I would cower in fear, covered in mud in front of the door of the party, then find ways to get hurt all night long and annoy everyone — just like Peeta!).

Last week I had too much hair and a moustache. I was Kurt Vonnegut! Who would be my date? She had to be Harry Bergeron, with a clown nose and all. Not happening. Then tonight, after taking a shower, I looked at my perfect puffball of 70’s hair and thought, it’s time to get a haircut. I shaved my face down so there is a faint ‘stache and some scruff. A nice rugged look.

I made a fun Halloween-themed mix of all Creedence Clearwater Revival/John Fogerty songs for a drive into Portsmouth, NH to watch the annual Halloween parade. Of course, on the drive, I realized Fogerty was the perfect costume idea for me, if I had not had my hair cut. I could have thrown on a flannel shirt and a handkerchief, and I’d be a dead ringer for Fogerty. From Bad Moon Rising to Heard It Through the Grapevine, I can mimic his trademark singing-style well enough to get a laugh from a group at a party. Hoid it through the grapevine… But alas, I’m just a baby Hemingway lookalike now. A little moleskine in my pocket and a cigarette in my mouth, I might as well be fighting imaginary bulls in the streets of Paris…

I don’t feel like getting trashed and fighting people, so I won’t have a costume at any party. But I sure had fun walking around Portsmouth tonight and people-watching. I caught the tail-end of the parade and heard the liberal-themed marching band rock on. I saw signs about the environment. You have to put up with this if you’re in Portsmouth. The parade has an AGENDA, you see. A few years ago, they wanted to save this rusty old bridge that the state deemed too dangerous to drive over. There was a float in the parade of the bridge with contact information for the SAVE THE BRIDGE FOUNDATION. This year, I saw signs for recycling. Blah, blah, blah. Then I saw a giant cardboard Trojan Horse, filled with tiny kids waving wooden swords. YES! Halloween is saved!

With the Marxist Marching Band still ringing in my ears, I wanted to jump into the crowd and find the best costumes. Who sports the best rags?

I saw a lot of boring zombie facepaint. I saw one zombie in character. He was holding a cell phone or a coffee or something. He was okay. I saw a couple dressed as Peeps. Yes, the marshmallow candy. A girl wearing a dress and too much makeup (???) asked me for a smoke, so I gave her one. Her boyfriend (???) in a dress and even more makeup seemed unhappy with her decision to light up. I was sitting in front of the Social Security building and noticed a girl nearby in old Vans, also not in costume — unless she was Avril Lavigne. I coulda talked to her, but I’m a loser. So, instead, I kept people-watching. I saw some paper-maché Where The Wild Things Are walkers. They might have been the best of all the “original” costumes.

Then I saw a doorguy for a bar. He was Jesus. Brilliant! I saw a couple walk by. The guy was an angel, with wings that shot up in the air as he crossed the street. That’ll stop a damned car. His girl was — duh — the scantily-clad devil. I got up and started walking back into Market Square. I saw a baby dressed as a frog! And then…THEN…I saw my favorite costume of the night.

This dad was carrying a baby dressed up as Lamb Chop. Y’know, the puppet from your childhood TV memories. Winner! Nothing but adorable. This kid stole everyone’s attention. Nothing else mattered when you saw this tiny fluffball.

As R2-D2 rollerbladed past me, and a Transformers-masked trumpet band played for quarters on the sidewalk, I not only revelled in the anarchy that overtakes Portsmouth, NH every Halloween, but I realized that the best Halloween costumes — the most noticeable — are the least original.

The classics win at Halloween, because people notice them.

For every Kurt Vonnegut, there were ten cute girls dressed as cats. For every Peep, there were one million cute babies in fuzzy animal suits.

So, if you want to feel cool and impress your friends, I wish you luck. If you want to appeal to the masses, just dress up like a banana. You’ll be noticed. Maybe at HallowKEENE, I can be a banana in a Rothbard shirt…

I’ll never learn.