Canadian Coffee Break: Halloween Past and Present

’cofadian’The Canadian Coffee Break brings together some of the finest Canadian minds in Southern California every week for a topical, lively round-tablesque discussion over very dark coffee. Won’t you join us.


  • What was your costume?
  • Why did you choose it?
  • Was your costume Franken Berry®?
  • Why or why not?
  • Describe the best costume you ever pulled off in Canada, and what made it the best.

Sean Chrétien
My costume is not Franken Berry, but unlike most people, it is not because of any manifestation of monster-bigotry. I am not Franken Berry, because I am against Proper Nouns. This year, I am throwing an admittedly revolutionary Hallowe’en party – guests are not allowed to come as anything Proper/tangible. I’m going to call it “The First Annual Abstractoween,” though I’m sure someone’s had this idea in ere. The trick (or so I would think) is to not tell anyone what you are, thereby making the best costume the one that is the most difficult to immediately recognize. Here are some examples of possible contenders:

1) redundancy – wear suspenders with a belt.

2) indecision – wear a pirate’s eye patch with a ninja’s garb, clown shoes and a mullet wig.

3) irony – “dick in a box” costume but with the box on one’s tush. (poop in a box? irony!?!)

4) injustice – perhaps the Oink pig in handcuffs to keep the party contemporary?

5) idiocy – come as an iron, and tell everyone you’re dressed as irony.

Of course, I can’t tell you what I am dressing as, because that would ruin the party – but I can say it involves traffic cones, cation tape, and a tail. As for Canadian Halloweens – nothing too memorable – I didn’t realize how much fun dressing up as a woman was until I moved to America.

’jamieJamie (website)
Apparently this (pictured, right) is an improvement over my Indian costume – commonly referred to as the Pocahontas costume. Note to everybody out there: if it’s too late to go to the costume store and you end up shopping for your costume at Von’s, even the mohawk you shave onto your head will not make up for the fact that your “Indian” costume has glitter on it.

Sarah (website)
So. Halloween was Wednesday. YEAH BABY!

Some of my memories of Halloween back home in the urban jungle that is Halifax, Nova Scotia, include wearing a snowsuit under my costume several years running, throwing away that crappy molasses taffy with the yellow/orange/black/white wrappers, drinking supersips (basically bags of kool aid) with my bff and running for student council president on a platform which included egging our rival high school, then reneging on said promise, just like a real politician.

This Halloween my costume was fairly boring, due to my 65-hour-a-week job taking over my life. In a Pucci dress and go-go boots, I was a poorly-timed Austin Powers reference. Simply put, my costume was an ironic non-ironic Austin Powers reference, in the vein of middle-aged dads who still say “Yeah, baby!” I chose this costume because I’ve decided that ironically referencing Austin Powers is my new thing, since it’s definitely the height of uncoolness–GET IN MY BELLY! Ha ha ha, brilliant. Respectable people do not say this shit anymore. Frickin’ a.

Alternately I was considering bucking the trend of going as a sexy ___________ and instead dressing up as a frumpy stripper. You know, shoulder pads, sports bra, knee-length-ish denim “mini”-skirt and maybe some rain boots. But I was too busy for such planning. Alas, no Franken Berry either, mainly because he’s a staple of American pop culture, which I know little about. Much like Dr. Evil! A tucka-tucka- tucka-tucka-tucka… haaaah? PRICELESS!

Happy Christmas shopping months, folks. Good luck with those bargains.

I have ONE request, and that is for sharks with FRICKIN’ laser beams attached to their FRICKIN’ heads!