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Doug Clark: Spooky costumes inspired by city’s scariest

Doug Clark
Doug Clark

Halloween arrives tomorrow, according to the tiny window on my Omega.

But even at this late date, I know that many of you hyperactive parents are still fretting about what costume to make your kids wear so that the little tykes will score more candy than their friends when you drive them slowly through all the fat cat neighborhoods in town.

Which is why I’m here to help.

I’ve always been something of a Martha Stewart when it comes to Halloween garb.

That’s mainly because parents didn’t try to micromanage every waking second of their children’s lives back when I was a lad.

When Halloween rolled around, the Moms and Dads of my generation pretty much let us run wild through the neighborhoods, scarfing all the tooth-rotting candy we could eat and wearing whatever we wanted.

“Try not to burn anything down this time, Douglas.”

“OK, Ma.”

Ah, good times.

Some of the spooky outfits I dreamed up were legendary.

Like the time I took the family flour sack into my room and made monster paste by mixing cups of water and flour in a bowl.

Once the appropriate slime level was reached, I smeared the stuff all over my face and hands.

Then I added globs of red food coloring for gory effect while waiting for the goo to crack and dry.

Voila! Psoriasis Man was born.

If that sounds disgusting, you should’ve seen the weevils that hatched from the mess I left.

The point, however, is that you don’t have to settle for the boring made-in-China costumes of today.

You can adorn your sons and daughters in fresh and relevant costumes thanks to a few common items and my twisted imagination.

Let’s start with something really simple.

I know. Paint a white stripe lengthwise down a black T-shirt.

Now put the T-shirt on without wearing any pants.

And what do we have?

The unfinished North/South freeway!

For our next costume we’ll need two cantaloupes, a roll of duct tape and a tight cardigan sweater.

I could go into a lot of explicit directions. But I’m sure you’ll figure it out once I tell you that the “look” we’re after is Spokane Valley legislative candidate Amy Biviano’s 1995 “Playboy” magazine photo shoot.

Sports costumes are always a hit.

So why not turn your child into a proud, flag-waving WSU football player?

The important thing is to get all the Wazzu colors right.

So the gray football helmet and crimson jersey are a must.

But whatever you do, don’t forget the white flag to signify the school’s tradition of gridiron surrender.

Since we’ve already paid homage to the Democrat side of the 4th District race, there’s certainly no reason why we can’t do the same for Biviano’s opponent, Matt “The Road Rage Republican” Shea.

Representing Shea is a little more complicated.

If you’re going for the road rage incident, you’ll need some plastic cap guns and the outline of a pickup truck that you can cut out of cardboard.

Or you’ll need a camera and smirk if you want to capture the Shea who posed for a snapshot while trespassing on Biviano’s home driveway.

Either way, I’d probably add a homemade straightjacket. But that’s just wishful thinking.

Sometimes it’s fun for a brother and sister or two friends to go trick or treating dressed as a famous duo.

You know, like Hansel and Gretel, Raggedy Ann and Andy or Nixon and Agnew.

So dress one child in a fancy suit with shiny shoes, a gold watch and wads of Monopoly bills sticking out from every pocket.

The other kid should be shoeless and shivering with dark circles under his eyes and all of his pockets turned inside out.

Oh, look! It’s Avista Boss and Powerless Ratepayer.

Sometimes the scariest things come right out of real life.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at