Halloween. It’s not too late.
It’s actually right on. I am dressed as Yesterday’s Woman, you see.
I was going to celebrate Halloween last night, like everyone else, but that was before I read Nestruck’s article on politically correct costumes: AVOID THE HALLOWEEN HALL OF SHAME (Globe 31 Oct). His list of no-nos was so long, I got scared.
The idea of Halloween is to change your appearance and look like someone/something else, right? But you can’t change you COLOUR. Don’t even think about it. Minority costumes are out. No brown-faced banditos or white-faced geishas. No black-faced Afro-Canadians unless a tanning studio will do it for you. No Red Indians unless you are permanently embarrassed. And being colour blind is no excuse!
Actually, you can go as an Indian, says aboriginal playwright Yvette Nolan, as long as you are not a GENERIC Indian. She’s happy to see you as Tecumseh, for example. In fact you can go as any minority, as long as you mean to be IRONIC, like Robert Downey who got an Oscar nomination for his blackface in Tropical Thunder.
But don’t speak with an ACCENT. If you have one, too bad. Play it safe and keep your mouth shut in case people think you are faking it and punch you in the nose before you can explain that you are being IRONIC.
A few groups can still be safely dissed: Bankers – no, wait, the minority rule applies to them. Catholics -- maybe not GENERIC Catholics, but surely the Pope. Women -- as long as you are an IRONIC transgender person.
What other transformations are safe? Can you change your IQ? Nope. DON’T DRESS LIKE AN IDIOT, Nestruck advises.
Change your age? Ageist! Shame on you!
Change your car? Expensive unless you go out and steal one. But remember, no brown-faced banditos!
Change your marital status? Only if you are prepared to split your assets.
Change your vital signs? Okay, lower your blood pressure, but everything else is against medical advice.
Change your mental state? Check local drug laws.
OMG it’s complicated!
See that’s why I crossed Halloween off the calendar yesterday and am sitting here as Yesterday’s Woman. No sloshing through puddles or wet leaves. No temptation to pig out on left-over candy. No costume required. Just read a hardcover book and everyone will recognize you: Yesterday’s Woman!