AskMe what you should be for Halloween. September 21, 2009 6:34 AM   Subscribe

Not even October yet and we have had four posts asking for Halloween costume ideas.

Just as around Christmas we get a ton of questions asking for gift ideas, the October ask page tends to get a few costume idea questions per day. Do the rest of you mind this? It is the same question over and over, though tweaked slightly for the asker's looks/budget/theme.

I think there should be something on the new question page in particular saying, "Hey, check through the archives." I understand that there are new users whose input might give an asker the inspiration needed for a kickass costume, but by October 30 it gets tired. Thoughts?
posted by frecklefaerie to Etiquette/Policy at 6:34 AM (84 comments total)

I think we're at the point where we need a dancing pumpkin on the Ask A Question page that links to the halloween and costume tags. Thanks for the reminder.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:36 AM on September 21, 2009 [9 favorites]


Thanks, Jessamyn.
posted by frecklefaerie at 6:38 AM on September 21, 2009


Do the rest of you mind this?

Not as much as the poop questions.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:41 AM on September 21, 2009


...seems to come earlier every year, doesn't it?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:42 AM on September 21, 2009


...poop questions.

Keep your questions in the Brown, please.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:48 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm dressing as a Sexy Baltic Lady this year.
posted by JeffK at 6:49 AM on September 21, 2009


Not as much as the poop questions.

Wipe it and move on.
posted by shothotbot at 6:51 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do the rest of you mind this?

I don't. The questions are about costumes, but cite different criteria. They include the "Halloween" and "costume" tags, so users can search out what's been previously asked prior to posting.

You might enjoy the AskMe Answer Generator....
posted by zarq at 7:12 AM on September 21, 2009


Not as much as the poop questions.

Look, I'm all for a bit of scatological humor, but please don't do this. A woman who's got a serious medical issue has forgone proper treatment thus far because she's embarrassed about it being poop-related. You're not helping matters.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:13 AM on September 21, 2009 [17 favorites]


It is the same question over and over, though tweaked slightly for the asker's looks/budget/theme.

That applies to a lot of AskMes.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:21 AM on September 21, 2009


They're irritating, I enjoy being irritated, everyone wins!
posted by Kwine at 7:26 AM on September 21, 2009


Honestly, I didn't click into the "poop" question.

The question was, "Do the rest of you mind this?"

My answer remains the same.

It's easy to scan past questions you're not interested in, and a car, costume, relationship question is easily skipped. You're only out a few seconds scanning time. But some of the sex and medical questions can be quite gross even without clicking inside.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:28 AM on September 21, 2009


i don't mind it

there's plenty of gardening questions during the warmer months that cite particular conditions and criteria - and year round requests for recipes &/or food preparations that do the same - and music requests that want it to sound a little like this but not really like that - and similar requests for certain kinds of books

and then there's the endless relationship questions, which are so very very particular (though they often also seem like passion plays all too familiar)

still, i don't find any of it tiresome and read the ones that interest me (gardening, food, music, books) and pass by the ones that don't (relationships? generally snoozerific for me)

different people have different questions and perspectives, even about very similar things - that's what makes so much of it so damn interesting
posted by jammy at 7:28 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Someone should go as Ask MetaFilter itself.
posted by not_on_display at 7:30 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


...seems to come earlier every year, doesn't it?

No kidding. Those questions are for next year's Halloween.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:31 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


frecklefaerie posted "Not even October yet and we have had four posts asking for Halloween costume ideas. "

Well that makes sense. A costume that requires any sewing or sourcing of materials or props is going to require a few weeks of lead time. If it's both it is almost too late.
posted by Mitheral at 7:39 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not like they're going to take up all the green and people with "important" questions will have to go elsewhere.
posted by padraigin at 8:04 AM on September 21, 2009


No. What's likely to happen, though, is they'll start getting lame answers because people are tired of answering costume questions. So it'll be more helpful for the askers if they're all clued in about how to search and we remind them that they're not the first person in the world to ask about this stuff.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:06 AM on September 21, 2009


You mean something like: Before you ask, please try searching for previous threads about your topic. Pick the most unique keyword you can and you're likely to find earlier questions that are identical or very similar.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:08 AM on September 21, 2009


I wish we could have seasonal AskMe subsites that would go dormant for most of the year, and be reactivated when seasonally appropriate. It would prevent AskMe from being flooded with seasonal questions, and would also provide a handy way to access similar questions from previous years.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:09 AM on September 21, 2009


It is the same question over and over, though tweaked slightly for the asker's looks/budget/theme.

You mean like relationshipfilter questions are basically the same question over and over, tweaked slightly for the asker's situation.

Or legalfilter questions are basically the same question over and over, tweaked slightly for the asker's sitaution.

Or...

Yeah, I see what you mean.

Clearly all of the world's knowledge exists in AskMe already -- can we just go ahead and close it to new questions?
posted by toomuchpete at 8:18 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]




Okay so... anyone have ideas for rad Christmas gifts then?
posted by jerseygirl at 8:20 AM on September 21, 2009


Okay so... anyone have ideas for rad Christmas gifts then?

I'm getting all my friends a Halloween costume for next year.
posted by FishBike at 8:24 AM on September 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


A man with a bald head and a wooden leg gets invited to a fancy dress Halloween party. He doesn't know what costume to wear to hide his head and his leg, so he writes to a fancy costume company to explain the problem. A few days later he receives a parcel with a note.

Dear Sir, Please find enclosed a pirate's outfit. The spotted handkerchief will cover your bald head and with your wooden leg you will be just right as a pirate. The man thinks this is terrible because they have just emphasized his wooden leg and so he writes a letter of complaint.

A week passes and he receives another parcel and a note which says: Dear Sir, Sorry about before, please find enclosed a monk's habit. The long robe will cover your wooden leg and with your bald head you will really look the part. Now the man is really annoyed since they have gone from emphasizing his wooden leg to emphasizing his bald head and he writes the company a really rude letter of complaint.

The next day he receives a small parcel and a note which reads: Dear Sir, Please find enclosed a tin of golden syrup treacle. Pour the tin of golden syrup treacle over your bald head, stick your wooden leg up your ass and go as a toffee apple.
posted by netbros at 8:34 AM on September 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


I'm dressing up as a snowflake for Halloween.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:34 AM on September 21, 2009


year round requests for recipes &/or food preparations that do the same

Can we get a moratorium on the seemingly-weekly-if-not-more-frequent "I don't know how to cook. Tell me how to cook." AskMes? I love cooking, and I love hearing about the ingredients and techniques others use as a means to expand my own repertoire, but holy shit. What's wrong with the 100+ answers from the identical question that's probably still open?

Asking for specific recipes or techniques is different.

I realize this isn't going to happen. I guess it's my own version of frecklefaerie's complaint.
posted by owtytrof at 8:36 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I answered this one earlier and didn't find it out of place on AskMe - it asked a specific question and gave a specific set of details to go along with it.

I'm harvesting these threads for my own costume ideas, so double yay.
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:42 AM on September 21, 2009


I think we're at the point where we need a dancing pumpkin on the Ask A Question page that links to the halloween and costume tags.

Can we make sure it does something really neat at 10pm on Oct 31st?

Watch the magic pumpkin! Do do do do do...
posted by Big_B at 8:44 AM on September 21, 2009


In other news, only 94 shopping days until Christmas.
posted by electroboy at 8:51 AM on September 21, 2009


Am I the only one refreshing the askme form waiting to see the dancing pumpkin?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:56 AM on September 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


More tedious than boring AskMes are officious callouts re boring AskMes. Better to be troubled by the gnat than by one who complains of it.

posted by applemeat at 9:13 AM on September 21, 2009


Look, this is a one parter. Just "move on". No need to flag it, even.
posted by josher71 at 9:21 AM on September 21, 2009


The only thing worse than a bad callout is a repetition of the tedious the-only-thing-worse-than-that-post-is-this-callout trope.
posted by grouse at 9:22 AM on September 21, 2009


The only thing worse is the obligatory callout of the the only thing worse than a callout post of the trope callout post... Wait, I got lost.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:32 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


DUDE, ROCKTOBER!
(spins donuts in pumpkin patch)
posted by porn in the woods at 9:33 AM on September 21, 2009


Yes, yes, yes, but where can I get a pea coat, sailor's cap, blue turtleneck and black slacks in LA? I have the beard, the whiskey and the bashibazooks.
posted by klangklangston at 9:45 AM on September 21, 2009


Just as around Christmas we get a ton of questions asking for gift ideas, the October ask page tends to get a few costume idea questions per day. Do the rest of you mind this?

Hey frecklefaerie, I mind. You're not alone!
posted by vincele at 9:47 AM on September 21, 2009


I'm all in favor of Halloween costume AskMes. If it means fewer sexy bees and sexy house painters and oh god the sexy nightmares it can only be good.

Sexy boxers I really like though. Everyone, save your future costume-idea questions and go as a sexy boxer!
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:50 AM on September 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Technically, boxers are not "sexy." The proper adjective is "foxy."
posted by klangklangston at 10:02 AM on September 21, 2009


I mind the gift questions more, but yes, I find them irritatingly repetitive and conversational. Just set up an LJ poll and be done with it.

However, I have decided to view flagging as tilting at windmills. It's always such a pleasant surprise when the critical mass of flags agrees with my assessment of what is inappropriate for ask.me. Then I get to take myself out for fancy coffee and a cookie to celebrate.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:03 AM on September 21, 2009


All the adult-sized costumes in the stores around me are either adult-humored gag costumes like a poop with wings and a halo (Holy Shit) or overly sexualized versions of kids costumes like a Red Riding hood with a skirt short enough for someone's ass to hang out. It's depressing.
posted by FunkyHelix at 10:21 AM on September 21, 2009


...poop questions.

DTMFA.
posted by nineRED at 10:32 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Clearly these ideas need to be merged.

Poop with wings and a halo with a short skirt and fishnets.
posted by idiopath at 10:33 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just an argument in favor of these questions; most of these folks are making their own costumes and need time to gather the necessary items, fabric, etc and begin constructing them. I actually think it's kind of neat that they ask here, myself. Also, not to derail too much further but honestly, Christmas decorations up at Costco in September? Oh, the horror!
posted by Lynsey at 10:58 AM on September 21, 2009


It is the same question over and over, though tweaked slightly for the asker's looks/budget/theme.

So, it's the same question, except for the things that make the questions totally different. It's not like you can open a costume thread and be all "I don't care about your age, your gender, your eyesight, your facial hair, your size, your huddled masses yearning to be free. Everyone who asks about Halloween costumes is asking the same question, so I always give the same answer: YOU WILL GO AS THE KARATE KID DRESSED AS A SHOWER CURTAIN AND YOU WILL LIKE IT"
posted by 23skidoo at 11:02 AM on September 21, 2009


All the adult-sized costumes in the stores around me are either adult-humored gag costumes like a poop with wings and a halo (Holy Shit) or overly sexualized versions of kids costumes like a Red Riding hood with a skirt short enough for someone's ass to hang out. It's depressing.

The kids' costumes aren't any better.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:03 AM on September 21, 2009


Poop with wings and a halo with a short skirt and fishnets

holy fucking shit?
posted by shothotbot at 11:10 AM on September 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


shothotbot: "holy fucking shit?"

Fuckable. You need a friend or a much more elaborate costume to do fucking.
posted by idiopath at 11:15 AM on September 21, 2009


Looks/theme/budget are the question. Halloween costume is just the subject matter. Hope that helps.
posted by palliser at 11:28 AM on September 21, 2009


The kids' costumes aren't any better.

Oh god I did the leotard-with-cat-ears costume for like three Halloweens in a row in elementary school. It never occurred to me that I was being sexy. Why didn't anyone think of me, the children?
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:39 AM on September 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


In grade four, I dressed up as a Dick.

Dick Tracy.

It goes without saying that being the lone Dick Tracy in an elementary school gymnasium full of Freddy Kruegers was no fun at all.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:17 PM on September 21, 2009


My mom made me an R2D2 costume in a terrific geek/dork crossover.
posted by shothotbot at 2:43 PM on September 21, 2009


add another one
posted by Think_Long at 2:56 PM on September 21, 2009


We're preparing the dancing pumpkin page as I type.....
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:17 PM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


The kids' costumes aren't any better.

That looks like what pretty much every kid wears to ballet class, only with ears and a tail. Not sure why that says "sexy" to you, but whatev.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:49 PM on September 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is it a sexy dancing pumpkin?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:06 PM on September 21, 2009


omfg i'm totally going as the Joker
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:26 PM on September 21, 2009


What kind of costume is the dancing pumpking going to wear?
posted by iconomy at 4:29 PM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't mind it, I don't mind the "help me find a present" questions, and I kind of like the "what should I do in NYC" questions. There's a lot of churn here, culture changes, people change, new stuff comes up all the time.
posted by ersatzkat at 5:12 PM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Think_Long: "add another one"

This is the perfect use of AskMe. How the heck else is one to find that specific shirt.
posted by Mitheral at 5:37 PM on September 21, 2009


Do the rest of you mind this?

Speaking only for myself, no. Don't mind it.
posted by iconomy at 6:58 PM on September 21, 2009


I love Halloween and making costumes, so I love those questions!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:00 PM on September 21, 2009


I've been waiting 4 hours for the great dancing pumpkin and it still hasn't come.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:15 PM on September 21, 2009


Welcome to Halloween, Linus.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:18 PM on September 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Think_Long: "add another one"

This is the perfect use of AskMe. How the heck else is one to find that specific shirt.


I wasn't making a judgment, just adding to the noise. it's what I do
posted by Think_Long at 7:28 PM on September 21, 2009


I was at the supermarket gazing longingly at food I couldn't afford today when I walked briskly past a big orange and black electronic witch-pumpkin-goblin-whatever mutant gizmo thing that reached out at me as I walked past and spat: "HAPPY HOLIDAYS!"

Seasons are not really a cause of celebration here so much as a way to mark out our enslavement to the merchandise gods.
posted by koeselitz at 6:27 AM on September 22, 2009


Oh man. This year I am SO going as Kanye west and EVERYONE is going to be my Taylor Swift.

Host: "Welcome to the party!"

Me-Kanye: "Yo host, I'm really happy for you. Imma let you finish. But the party down the street is the best party of all time...of all time!!!"

Then I'm just gonna rip on everyone's costume with the same line. Over and over and over.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:10 AM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


the October after Star Wars came out my Dad announced there was a secret project going on in the garage and no one was allowed in - the doors were locked and the windows papered over - he spent almost every night after dinner in there for a couple weeks - my sister and i were mystified and highly intrigued

a few days before Halloween and it's after dinner and my sister and i are babbling about costumes and trick or treating and holy crap we need to make our costumes soon and what should we go as, etc... and my Dad tells us to close our eyes & he leads us to the garage where two elaborately constructed cardboard costumes of C3PO and R2D2 stood waiting - shiny metallic paint, jointed & flexible, blinking red light for R2, the works

which is how we went on to win our elementary school costume pageant and got buckets of candy when we went treatin' - having a nerd Dad was great
posted by jammy at 7:18 AM on September 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


My son has just started to make his own ghillie suit. He plans on pwning at paintball, but also to scare people on halloween.
posted by not_on_display at 12:47 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can anybody help me figure out how to convey "I'm a slutty ____" in costume? Like, literally.

Because apparently every female costume that isn't meant to be basically a mascot suit of some kind (for warmth or comfort... or both?) is more or less just that.*

Writing "I'M A SLUTTY BLANK" on an all-white jumpsuit just seems a bit too literal to me. Also, I'm afraid people STILL won't get it.

*Disclaimer: I dress kinda slutty year-round, so Halloween is really not special to me in this regard.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:15 PM on September 22, 2009


Are you upset because you're afraid that someone is going to steal your costume idea before you've even had time to sit down and think carefully about it?
posted by anniecat at 4:30 PM on September 22, 2009


Unicorn on the cob: "how to convey "I'm a slutty ____" in costume? Like, literally"

Conceptual costuming, I like it. It would probably need to involve fishnets, for starters. And a short skirt. But how to convey that it is a slutty representation of the idea of a costume being a slutty representation of something? It's not like you can do fishnets that are themselves wearing fishnets (I don't think...). Fascinating idea that I may come back to, but personally I am stumped.
posted by idiopath at 5:02 PM on September 22, 2009


Maybe you need to be like ... something that is actually hard to tart up. Like a Slutty Ghost. Have fishnets and sort of tuck your sheet into them so they look all icky, and put smeary lipstick around the mouthhole in your sheet. If it all goes badly, you could reposition the sheet and say you were "[insert stereotype] wedding night!"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:28 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just because the oversluttification of female Halloween costumes has you all Andy Roonied up doesn't mean that the idea can be expressed well via costume. The best you could do is come up with a megacostume that incorporates as many archesluttal costumes (slutty nurse + schoolgirl + cat + cop + nun) at once and tell people you're a generic female Halloween costume.

But really, isn't "slutty _____" way down over years past?
posted by 23skidoo at 7:41 PM on September 22, 2009


23skidoo, yeah. I first thought of this as a costume idea around the time that Kelly on original i<>90210 got messed with for being a slutty witch (by virginal Donna, who was basically naked herself dressed as a mermaid). But then I couldn't find an effectual way of conveying the "A-HA! You're a slutty blank!" reaction without explaining it every time, which is a total time suck and self-defeating in large crowds.

Yep, I have been nursing this idea since the 90s.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:47 PM on September 22, 2009


html fail! 90210.

Curse you David Silver.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:48 PM on September 22, 2009


We have pumpkins!
posted by cjorgensen at 5:42 AM on September 23, 2009


* bows *
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:08 AM on September 23, 2009


Beware the dancing pumpkin: Seven days after you see the dancing pumpkin... you will have a slcice of pumpkin pie. It will be die-licious.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:57 AM on September 23, 2009


The best you could do is come up with a megacostume that incorporates as many archesluttal costumes (slutty nurse + schoolgirl + cat + cop + nun) at once and tell people you're a generic female Halloween costume.

This done well would be fantastic, actually. Find a way to condense any given sluttable uniform/costume down to some iconic six inches or so, with some bit of immediately-recognizable emblem-and-texture patch being a given uniform's whole representation on the costume. With some good design work, you could probably fit a dozen or more of these onto one top—cop badge on blue across from redcross on white on an (obligatorily low-cut) shirt front, six inches of army camo with stripes on one shoulder giving way to a Croft-ish knife-strapped-to-arm on a bicep, on down in another strip or two to fancy princess gloves on the hands, hang a fursuit tail off that back that molts like some mythical creature into a shiny red pointed she-devil tail, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:49 AM on September 23, 2009


posted by 23skidoo:
"a megacostume that incorporates as many archesluttal costumes (slutty nurse + schoolgirl + cat + cop + nun) at once and tell people you're a generic female Halloween costume."

Paging Komar and Melamid...
posted by not_on_display at 11:07 AM on September 23, 2009


Slutty cardboard box.

I saw this last year on a private site: fishnets, makeup, and then a cardboard box. It was wonderful.
posted by hugsnkisses at 12:42 PM on September 23, 2009


Oh god, the megacostume is an AWESOME IDEA!

I love you guys. I'd marry you all if it wasn't numerically impossible via the site.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:57 PM on September 25, 2009


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