my big fat halloween costume
I like to make a big deal out of Halloween, but I always do so at the last minute. This year I vowed to get an earlier start on my costume, so I started putting it together last weekend. First, I found a huge business suit at Amvets. Then I started constructing a wire infrastructure that fills out the suit over my skinny frame. The top is almost finished. It slips on like a pair of suspenders, and when the shirt and jacket are draped over the framework, and I put on a tie, I look quite a bit like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie—minus the double chin.
The problem is my girlfriend thinks it’s in bad taste. She thinks it would be better if I tweaked the costume and went as some other fat guy from history. Preferably someone who’s dead, so their feelings won’t be hurt. But what’s the fun in that? How is my going to a Halloween party in Buffalo going to hurt Chris Christie’s feelings?
It’s not that I’m insensitive to the problem of obesity. I used to weigh 190 pounds more than I do now, and I used to take a lot of shit for it. I know how cruel people are. But this is just me parodying a public official. For his sake, I hope he can drop some weight. In the meantime, I don’t see how I can parody him without using his weight as part of the costume. If I listen to my girlfriend, I’ll wind up dressing like William Howard Taft, or some other fat, deceased politician. And why would anybody dress like William Howard Taft for Halloween this year?
The Hipster says: Ditch the Chris Christie idea and go as Talking Heads big suit wearing David Byrne from the Stop Making Sense doc. At least that way you’ll be someone cool for Halloween.
The Back Room Guy says: During Christie’s epic speech to declare that he wasn’t running for president, the governor mentioned that he didn’t care if comedians made fun of his weight, “it’s their job” he said. What he did care about was that idiot pundits pretending to be legitimate political analysts were using it against him. As long as you’re doing it in the name of comedy I think you’re fine. Though I do disagree with one point of yours: I think Taft would be an awesome costume too...
The Omniscient One says: Christie is not a presidential candidate and by the time Halloween comes around he’ll probably be forgotten. You’ll spend the entire night listening to people ask “Who are you supposed to be?” Nevertheless, you put a lot of work into your costume and your effort shouldn’t go to waste. I suggest you add a wig and a good oversized bra and go as Adele or Oprah.
The Gay Perspective: I’m startled by your letter, as I was planning to dress up as William Howard Taft for Halloween this year. I guess I’ll go as William McKinley or Grover Cleveland instead. While there is a long-standing tradition of exagerrating a person’s physical characteristics for the purpose of comedy, you must be aware that ridiculing a man for his weight is hurtful. I agree, it is unlikely that Governor Christie will ever be aware of your costume, but you should be prepared that your joke might be hurtful to numerous other people you encounter on Halloween. Can your costume become a ficticious person, like the Penguin from Batman? You could then avoid the issue entirely.
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