If you’re looking for a Halloween costume “disaster” for 2011, forget the has-been celebrity or political figure. A true disaster Halloween costume is brought to you by Mother Nature and your own ingenuity in personifying her mischief.
Red Sludge Gives Way to Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Nuclear Meltdown and Tornadoes
Last year, Hungary’s Red Sludge offered an intriguing straight-from-the-news disaster costume design concept. With but a little creativity, Red Sludge met the challenge of competing with Superman’s alien symbiote Venom.
This year, the pickins’ are more plentiful: Japan dished up a triple-punch tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster. The U.S. put forth a panoply of twisters, enough to wipe out entire towns.
Recipe for a Disaster Halloween Costume
What’s the recipe for transforming disaster into a Halloween costume design concept? For a foundation, apply humor. Toss in a penchant for personification. Pare the disaster experience down to its bare essence, then dress with expressive touches that individualize it.
Mini-fans could be used to great effect on a tornado costume. But if you are going trick-or-treating as the Massachusetts tornado, you don’t want to be confused with the Alabama tornado, do you? Make your costume unique to the locality. Springfield, which took the brunt of the Massachusetts tornado, is home to Dr. Seuss. Why not use a Dr. Seuss character to personalize the tornado theme?
And your design concept needn’t be literal. Think tornado as robber or earthquake as motion device. Dress up as an earthquake-inspired new product, the Earthquake Shake (as in milkshake) with Japanese lettering on the cup. Design a post-tsunami costume that mocks the effects of too much water.
Nuclear disaster can be portrayed in many a radioactive way, using glow-in-the-dark paint, polish and props. What’s that hula hoop around the waist of the Tepco worker? Japan’s too-small nuclear evacuation zone, of course.
2011 Halloween Disaster Ingredients
Japan and the United States are not the only sources for disaster Halloween costume inspiration. China suffered killer hail in April and Brazil a devastating red clay mudslide in January. (If you still have last year’s Red Sludge costume lying around, transform it into this year’s Brazilian Mudslide.)
Weather-related animal catastrophes also defined 2011 from a thousand dead birds raining down on Arkansas in January (with more found in Louisiana, Manitoba, South America, Sweden, Texas and Kentucky) to tides turning beaches throughout the world into massive fish graveyards.
The raw ingredients for a Halloween costume disaster are out there; all you need do is apply your imagination.