You completely forgot it was Halloween, but unlike the Slapdash, you don't have anywhere to be. This year, you're going to go as "you, but in a sensible sweater," and the only place you're "going" is "to bed early."
Let me say this up front: I love the Overachievers. I have nothing but respect for you guys. I love the way you go half-mad and full-bankrupt just for a single disposable costume; it bespeaks a kind of childlike enthusiasm and earnestness that's worth a thousand sequinned mini-skirts and half-assed pop culture references.
But if you're not the overachiever at your party: Stay away from them. The Overachiever's costume is genius in theory (and a handful of pictures), but in practice it's usually cold, awkward and alienating. They can't hear shit through their custom-welded BioShock Big Daddy diving helmet, their Aliens forklift-loader claws just knocked over the entire bar and, while it's rad that they can transform into a fully functioning car, that just means that they're going to be catastrophically drunk driving around the living room in a few hours and they're wearing way too much plastic armor to be stopped.
"I'm Drunklebee, you can't stop me! Hahaha, your screams only fuel Drunklebee!"
The Overachiever is a walking disaster area waiting to happen, and you're going to be their collateral damage. Just give them a solid "Fuck yeah" and maybe slip them five bucks or something -- they've sacrificed everything in their lives to show you that bitchin' costume. They're probably going to wake up empty tomorrow, and they'll need a beer and a sandwich to get them through the postpartum depression.
The bearded guy is easy to spot: He's the guy with the beard. You have no fucking idea what his costume is supposed to be, but he sure does have a beard. Byron Beard, inventor of the beard? Who knows? Listen: I know it's a shitty costume, but it's not his fault. The beard demands commitment, and any facial hair but the most basic of moustaches severely limits one's costume choice. Please, do not judge us: Our options are slim.
Sure, Bearded Guys will land on the occasional spot of genius -- we have our Richie Tenenbaums; our Fat Jim Morrisons; our Hagrids -- but those references only stay fresh for so long.
Chubby bearded guys everywhere: You are welcome.
This year, at best, we've got Robert Baratheon from Game of Thrones. But most people won't guess it -- they'll assume that we're either just "a knight" or "a crazy homeless guy trying to crash the party." If you see the Bearded Guy at a Halloween party tonight, don't ask him if he's a terrorist or Paul Bunyan; just say "nice costume, man" and leave it at that. He knows you don't actually get it, but he's sad enough to take the gesture for what it was: sweet, sweet pity. If you're dressed up as Smurfette, maybe hit up some of that mystery punch and start thinking about how he looks like your dad a little bit ...
Buy Robert's stunning, transcendental, orgasmic science fiction novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here. Or buy Robert's other (pretty OK) book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.
For more from Brockway, check out Cooking with Terrible Horror Movies: The Perfect Omelet and Choose Your Own Misadventure: Tripping at a Costume Party.