In 2011, Americans spent over 5.8 billion dollars on Halloween-related items. Five. BILLION. Assuming three quarters of the money was spent on candy and costumes, Halloween’s raison d’etre, that still leaves an enormous chunk of change frittered away on decor and gewgaws (and here I add my personal opinion that to purchase a costume is itself a waste).
It’s no surprise retailers latch onto Halloween as another excuse to push useless junk, or that the candy industry (ALLEGEDLY) tampered with time itself just to boost sales. Still, seeing the actual, physical detritus for sale is a depressing glimpse at naked capitalism, junk for junk’s sake churned out by the millions and sold at lower and lower prices until three days after the holiday, their true value is revealed in the dumpster behind the store.
It’s not all gloom and doom (though that would actually be semi-appropriate for a holiday based on appeasing and tricking the spirits of angry dead relatives into not killing you) – the absolute crap up for grabs is, in its own sad way, a Halloween treat. Below are some choice selections from Target’s vast warehouse of holiday goods:
Please explain to me what part of this wig is ‘urban’; perhaps that young Grandpa Munster’s out for a night on the town?
Of all the creeping Britishisms worming their way into American culture, ‘ginger’ is most irksome for its inherent insult and the fact ginger is not actually that color, ever.
The truly great catalog models stay deadly serious in character even wearing a mustache wider than their face.
Or a mop on their head.
He looks like a hissing cat. Also, dressing up as another holiday on Halloween should be a punishable offense.
It’s Peggy Bundy. Just call it ‘Peggy Bundy’.
This is a costume?
YOUR CHILD DOES NOT LIKE KISS.
Look at fake prepubescent Paul Stanley’s drawn-on chest hair! LOOK AT IT.
AAAAAH! WHY WOULD YOU NOT JUST PAINT YOUR FACE? Do you truly need the frozen visage of Paul Stanley staring out at the world like a somehow more horrifying Michael Myers?
Black Metal Carnivale!
I found it. I have found the lamest Halloween costume.
First, for the crime of dressing up as another holiday on Halloween. Second, for doing so with a total third-tier holiday. Third, ‘history hero’ is not the first phrase that comes to mind to describe Columbus. Fourth, it’s not a costume, it’s a ‘disguise kit’, implying some sort of Carmen Sandiego shenanigans going on, but with whole continents instead of national landmarks. Fifth, what child actually wants to dress up as a really crappy governor and semi-competent seafarer?