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Halloween Costume Ideas for the San Francisco Bay Area

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Here’s the thing about Halloween: from November through September I come up with about 80 amazing costume ideas, but once October hits, I’m stumped. Nothing ever feels right—my hilariously timely get-ups are outdated, my scary options are bound to frighten away friends and lovers, and the weather just isn’t suitable for a provocative twist on a classic (slutty tax collector, anyone?).

I’m sure I’m not the only person with this problem, which is why this year I’ve decided to compile eight Halloween costume ideas for you, my loyal readers. And because I’m the San Francisco City Editor for CultureMob, I thought it only appropriate to find costumes that were Bay Area appropriate. That is, people in New York just wouldn’t get it.

1. Gavin Newsom as Patrick Bateman. This has nothing to do with his politics—I just think San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom looks a whole lot like Christian Bale, particularly in his role as murderous yuppie Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho.” Instead of going as Patrick Bateman, this year, go as Gavin Newsom as Patrick Bateman. Confuse all your friends! Related option: Gavin Newsom as Batman.
2. The dog, cat, and rat. Have you seen this guy around town? Being part of the dog, cat, and rat stack-up will require two other friends, but think of it this way—I’m helping them pick their costumes, too. (You’re welcome.) The absurdity of this combination is perfect for Halloween, and it carries a positive message: “Why can’t the human race get along?” Hey, he said it first.
3. BART Charlie Chaplin. Sometimes you’ll be riding BART late at night and out of the corner of your eye, you’ll spot someone who looks a whole lot like Charlie Chaplin. Is it his ghost? An enthusiastic fan? Some improbable combination of the two? Who knows. The point is, BART Charlie Chaplin would make an excellent Halloween costume, as long as you’re willing to ride the train all night long.
4. Mission hipster. Yeah, yeah, I’m not supposed to use the word “hipster” anymore. Apparently it’s meaningless. Guess who told me that. Right, a hipster. Call it what you will, but I’m pretty sure if you don a red plaid shirt, uber-tight jeans, glasses that are too large for your face, and an apathetic attitude, people will get the point. Make sure to start growing your ironic facial hair now! For added effect, sneer when you’re asked what your costume is. How dare they try to label you.
5. San Francisco tourist. This one’s easy. Put on an Alcatraz shirt and wander aimlessly around the city. Be sure to take an accidental detour into the Tenderloin. The little details are what make this Halloween costume accurate. For example, when riding BART, always go in the wrong direction for at least two or three stops. Then when it’s time to exit the station, make sure to hold up the line by being unable to figure out how to insert your ticket into the machine.
6. Happy Happy Happy Man. Shout-out to my Berkeley buds! Mostly because I don’t think San Francisco people will understand this one. The Happy Happy Happy Man is a guy who hangs outside of the Berkeley campus and chants “happy, happy, happy” over and over again. His message has something to do with the reckoning and our complacency. It doesn’t matter, really. Just carry a big sign and use the magic word.
7. No Unlawful Sex Man. But hey, San Francisco has its share of kooks, too. Make an ironic statement on bigotry by being Unlawful Sex Man for Halloween night. I’m sure you’ve seen this guy: he spews his hate speech around the trolley stop on Market and Powell. Pass judgment on all the people you pass. Given that it’s Halloween, I’m confident there will be plenty of sinners to choose from.
8. Drag. No, that’s not really an original costume idea. And no, it need not be confined to the San Francisco Bay Area. But is there any better place in the world to express yourself as a drag queen or king? I doubt it. Just don’t make the fatal newbie mistake of trying to emulate one of your favorite local drag performers. There is only one Peaches Christ, and don’t you dare forget it.

Are there any suitably San Francisco Halloween costume ideas I left out? Be sure to comment with your picks. I’m open to suggestions.