Friday, October 22, 2010



Throughout this month, several websites have published lists of this year’s most popular celebrity Halloween costumes, along with how-to guides for the little people who want to look like the beautiful people. But what they don’t tell you is that you’ll need the salary of a celebrity to afford all the bells and whistles they suggest.

Well, have no fear, Halloweenies! If there’s one thing I’ve learned during this Great Recession, it’s how to stretch a dollar. By thinking outside the box, you can transform into a Hollywood hotshot using items found in your own homes, borrowed from friends, or easily obtained elsewhere on the cheap!

Here’s my quick ‘n’ simple how-to guide for a few of this year’s most popular celebrity costumes:

Tiger Woods – You’ll need a polo shirt (preferably red), black pants, black shoes, black baseball cap, and one white, left-hand glove. Then bash yourself about the head and face with a sack of nickels. For the complete Tiger look, you’ll need these accessories: Band-Aids, a cell phone full of naughty texts, and a hot blonde who can swing a mean golf club.

Lady Gaga – In addition to the requisite blonde wig, this costume can be created by covering your body with pretty much any item not originally intended as clothing, e.g., stuffed animals, live animals, Christmas ornaments, hood ornaments, baby dolls, baby humans, faux ice crystals, Folger’s crystals, candy wrappers, gangsta rappers, shrink wrap, Saran Wrap, bubble-wrap, or actual BUBBLES – in which case, you should hire an assistant with strong lungs to replenish your costume regularly so you don’t end up showing everyone your tricks and treats! If you really want to be on the cutting edge of Gaga fashion, go for the now-famous meat dress. Just be sure your costume passes USDA inspection.

Snooki from “Jersey Shore” – While preheating tanning bed at 450° F, combine the following in small bowl: Orange juice and firmly packed brown sugar (one cup each), two tablespoons melted butter, one teaspoon dry mustard, and a pinch of allspice. Brush mixture evenly over entire body. Bake for 35 minutes or until skin is color and texture of an unlubricated catcher’s mitt.

Justin Bieber – The garb is simple: A white T-shirt under a black button-down shirt and black jeans so tight that if you break wind, you’ll blow the designer sneakers right off your feet. To achieve the teen popster’s trademark forward comb-over, forget going to some high-priced, high-falutin’ salon; there are less expensive ways to achieve The Bieber! If you have short hair, you can ride backward on a motorcycle at approximately 100 mph or have someone slap you on the back of the head until it appears as if your hair is trying to consume your face. Those with longer locks can tuck their tresses under a “Bruno” wig.

If these costumes require too much effort for you, I suggest you show up at your All Hallow’s Eve celebration in your PJ’s and spend the evening chain-smoking and shotgunning Mountain Dew. If anyone asks, “What are YOU supposed to be?” tell them – duh – you’re a freelance writer for the local paper!

Friday, October 08, 2010



In support of fellow columnist Tony Riazzi’s recent bid to bring the economy back from the dead by making this an all-vampires, all-the-time space, I’m grabbing the baton – or stake, as it were – and running with it.

In his Sept. 17 column, my colleague struck a gold mine with his idea to revive our anemic fiscal health. Just look at the way fans lap up “True Blood,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and of course, the beast that won’t die (for at least another two years, anyway), “Twilight.” With our finances in the red, it couldn’t hurt to pump a little blood into the nation’s pocketbook.

To that (grisly) end, I’ve taken up cryptwriting – er … scriptwriting, that is – and I’m shooting this list of pilots to major TV network VIPs (Vampires in Power):

“America's Most Vanted”
“The Big Fang Theory”
“Captain Fangaroo”
“The Cold and the Beautiful”
“CSI: Transylvania”
“Dawson's Crypt”
“Dora the Impaler”
“Friday Night Bites”
“The Golden Ghouls”
“How I Bit Your Mother”
“iSnarly” (On NECKelodeon, of course!)
“Maul in the Family”
“Name That Tomb”
“Nosferatu-and-a-Half Men”
“Kids Slay the Darndest Things”
“The Killmore Girls”
“Let's Stake a Deal”
“Pee-wee’s Slayhouse”

But this isn’t just art for art’s stake – uh, sake. Helping the economy rise from the ashes is serious – nay, GRAVE – business, so I can’t limit myself to the constraints of the small screen. Movie moguls (Mo-ghouls? Someone stop me!), look for these blockbusters coming soon to a studio near you:

“Bite Club” (What happens there STAYS there!)
“The Bloodsucker Proxy”
“The Count of Monte Crypto”
“Drac to the Future”
“Follow the Bleeder”
“For Deader or Worse”
“Full Metal Casket”
“Gentlemen Prefer Blood” (Featuring the signature tune “Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend”)
“Ghoul, Interrupted”
“The Good, The Vlad and The Ugly”
“Immortal Kombat”
“Lady and the Vamp”
“Little Miss Scared-of-Sunshine”
“A Parasite for Sore Eyes”
“Rebel Without a Cross”
“Undead Poets Society”
“Vampirates of the Caribbean”
“Wake Up and Smell the Coffin”

For the most rabid devourers of fang-oria, there’s the “Scar Wars” franchise, with such heart-stoppers as “The Vampire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Deadguy.”

Why stop with TV and movies? Might as well have all-vampires, all-the-time radio! More hits than you can shake a pointed stick at, all the music that DOES suck (literally!), including Katy Perry’s “Teenage Scream,” Lady Gaga showing us her puh-puh-puh-“Poker Fang,” The Beatles doing their bloody best on “With a Little Help From My Fiends,” Steve Miller Band’s “Abra-Cadaver,” the Frank Sinatra two-fer “The Lady is a Vamp” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” plus all the best from the legendary Leech Boys!

Elton John could practically have his own station, with a VJ (Vamp Jockey, what else?) spinning hits like “Don’t Let the Sun Come Up On Me,” “Lucy in the Sky With Demons,” “Saturday Night’s Alright For Biting,” and “Don’t Go Staking My Heart.”

OK, I got a little carried away, but coming up with all this bleedin’ wordplay is a draining endeavor that makes me a little batty. I sure hope my effort to pick up the mantle (or “cape,” if you will) from Mr. Riazzi hasn’t been in vein and that I haven’t made a complete ash of myself.