Why dress up as a sexy zombie when you can wow partygoers with your stunning likeness to District 6 Councilwoman Carol Berz? Spray paint a few cardboard boxes and ask your artist friend—we’ve all got an "artist" friend—to scribble some words like "heretofore" and "Heisenberg"; and BAM, you’re a historical marker for any number of locations around the city. Go even more obscure than that. That crazy lady at the Subway in Miller Plaza? She’d make a great Halloween costume. Think outside the box, people. Put your thinking caps on. Here are five Chattanooga-themed costume ideas you can steal.
Phillip D. Glass
Chattanoogans know Phillip D. Glass for his friendly smile, ever-changing hats and a rather terrifying bulge in his blue work pants. Billed as "Tennessee American Water’s No. 1 employee," Phillip D. Glass is a Chattanooga institution and landmark. Converting this into a Halloween costume is simple: light blue polo, blue pants and cardboard cutout of a hat. Bonus points if you can find an actual Tennessee American Water polo. The key to this costume is how you embrace the physical aspects of Phillip D. Glass. Once costumed, you must sit on the edge of a building and smile. That’s it. More bonus points if you can make that pant bulge comically larger. Hint: cucumber and aluminum foil.
"High Four" is the name of the giant Great Dane sculpture at the south end of the Walnut Street Bridge. Though difficult to pull off as a Halloween costume, I think it can be done with only a little effort. You will need a ton of bronze-colored paint and a latex dog mask. You don’t have to be photorealistic with this one, but you do want to make yourself as dog-like as possible. Instead of covering your body in bronze paint, you could wear the mask and construct one of those dog arms that Robert Smigel uses when he performs as "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog." Just make sure the paw is outstretched and has a nice patina on it. You know what, this is a terrible idea. Don’t do this.
Bad national anthem cop
If you’ve not seen this video, please take a moment and watch it. The video was recorded by Chattanooga’s news station WDEF during a memorial for fallen officers. What follows is the worst version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" ever captured on film. That’s right, THIS version proves that Chattanooga is home to the worst rendition of the most famous song in United States history. For Halloween, you need a cheap police officer’s costume and a few pillows for padding. Then, have a friend announce your presence at whatever bar or party you’re attending. Stand up and belt out the worst national anthem you can muster. Be convicted. Phrases like "BOMBS buuurstin’ in air …" and "the stars were still there" are gold. End with "and the home of the FREE!"
If this kid can recreate a boat from the "Deadliest Catch," somebody in Chattanooga can come up with a similar design for a replica of the Delta Queen. You need to be realistic with your approach, however, by making sure your costume is dirty and appears underappreciated. While in the costume, people should drink heavily and wax on about the "golden days of glory" and "John Hartford." Your character should be one part nostalgic and another part bitter and angry for how Chattanooga has treated you. Throw up in the Tennessee River and play your calliope like Tom Waits on "Closing Time." Have your friends tie you to a chair and sit there all night crying.
"Sexy" sandhill crane hunter
A costume for the ladies! With the Nov. 28 start to sandhill crane hunting season in Tennessee looming, chances are you’ve already thought about destroying a number of these majestic creatures. Kill two birds with one stone (literally) by wearing your "sexy" hunting outfit to parties this Halloween. Jimmy Carter hates the idea, Jane Goodall hates the idea, but that shouldn’t stop you from promoting your desire to slaughter this gorgeous bird. Is there anything sexier than a lady with a gun? That’s right, a lady with a book.
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