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John Lamb, Published October 30 2010

Lamb: Leave the ‘Shore’ behind

You don’t need a crystal ball, or even cable TV, to know that two of the biggest Halloween costumes this year will be “Snooki” and “The Situation” from MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”

(Full disclosure: I am skeptical of VH1 or MTV reality characters as costumes ever since I dressed as Mystery, the flamboyant “star” of “The Pickup Artist,” two years ago. After explaining the costume a dozen times, I started saying I was coked-up, fat, modern Boy George. People liked that.)

“Jersey Shore” costumes are troubling because:

In particular, Billy Bretherton, better known as the host of A&E’s “Billy the Exterminator.”

For the unexposed, Billy runs a pest removal business in Shreveport, La., rasslin’ gators, snakes and lots of hair gel.

He does all this dressed predominantly in studded black leather and a matching, ratty cowboy hat. All of which makes him seem like the most cheerful meth head – or Bret Michaels’ personal dog walker.

You may think this is A&E’s scariest, creepiest show, but you would be so wrong. And I’m not even going to get started on “Steven Seagal: Lawman,” in which the improbable action star gets to play cop with real Jefferson Parish, La., police officers.

By the way, this would be a great costume if you don’t want people to talk to you all night. But if they ask, you can say you haven’t gained weight, you’re just wearing extra bullet-proof vests.

Another suggestion: Mike Wolfe, the lead forager on the History Channel’s show for scroungers, “Pickers.” Wolfe and his partner in grime Frank Fritz drive around the country stopping at any bloated barn or over-stuffed garage too full to close its doors.

The dirty duo tromp through the mess looking for diamonds in the stuff – vintage signs, antique toys, anything they think they can get for a few bucks and sell for 100 times more.

This is a great costume if you are going to someone’s house for a party. When someone asks who you are dressed as, just walk past, find something that looks like a family heirloom and offer them $2. Before they even reply, move on to another object and offer them $3. Tell them you’d hate to leave empty-handed.

Warning: You’ll want to drive your own car as you’ll either get kicked out right away or have a better Halloween haul than most kids.

Unless the party’s host is dressed as someone from A&E’s most disturbing show, “Hoarders.” If that’s the case, even the most persistent picker will likely only walk away with a need to take a shower and an urge to thoroughly clean his or her home.

But not before getting something to eat, because if you take a treat from a hoarder, well, the trick is on you.

Readers can reach Forum columnist John Lamb at (701) 241-5533