Here are some things that I hope we can all agree are not funny: infectious diseases. Paedophiles. Dead children. Isis. Dictators. Are we all on the same page? (If not, please feel free to stop reading now because there’s a high chance you won’t enjoy the rest of this piece.)
So if these things aren’t funny for 364 days of the year, then why on Halloween do people suddenly decide that they are slap-the-thigh, great-‘banter’, high-fiving comedy? Last year, Asda and Tesco were both forced to withdraw their ‘mental patient’ costumes after some people sensibly pointed out that it was probably quite offensive, and this year’s contender for the most inappropriate fancy dress goes to the ‘Ebola containment suit costume’ which can be found at Brand On Sale. Because all I’ve really ever wanted to wear is a white boiler suit paired with latex gloves and a breathing mask that essentially mocks the 4,500 people who have died of the disease so far.
The sad thing is, not only can you guarantee that this $80 suit will sell well but if you dare to venture out on 31st October chances are you will stumble across some other, very ill-advised costumes that will make you recoil in disgust at the pure idiocy and mindlessness of your fellow human beings. AND I’M NOT BEING HYPERBOLIC. If you are currently a student, there is not so much a ‘chance’ of this happening as a big fat definitive certainty. Let me take you back in time, if you like, to 2013 when the rugby team from the University of East Anglia dressed up as members of the KKK and Josephy Kony (and it wasn’t even Halloween at the time). Or that memorable moment when two female students from Chester University won a £150 prize when they attended a party as the Twin Towers, complete with explosions and bits of plane. I shit you not. Or the Durham rugby club who in 2012 dressed up as the different participants in the Jimmy Savile scandal – be that the police, his victims, or the disgraced man himself. I know that Durham has the ‘worst club in Europe’ (by default) and is probably one of the least fun universities our good country has to offer, but surely there are better ways to get your kicks than to dress up as the notorious paedophile and/or his underage victims. Then again… maybe not.
At this stage I would also like to point out the running theme in two out of three of these aforementioned incidents: that a rugby club was involved. If you look up ‘university rugby club’ in the dictionary the usual definition is: ‘a group of sexually-repressed, ruddy-faced men, who like to get homoerotic on and off the field and whose views of women are loosely based on what they read in the Horrible History books about the Victorian era.’ It was only early this month that the LSE men’s rugby team were disbanded after distributing homophobic and misogynistic leaflets, so at least that’s one organisation which won’t have a chance to hold a hilarious ‘bad taste’ Halloween celebration. But the rest of them? Hold on to your hats because it’s safe to assume that there’ll be plenty of over-gymmed lads, pumped up on a heady mix of Glenn’s vodka and Boost energy drink, dressed up as sanitary towels and lady boy’s roaming the streets of every university town. Something to look forward to.
Let’s all be clear on one thing – ‘bad taste’ fancy dress is not big, nor clever, or ‘lol’. They are, and excuse my French here, fucking stupid and if you wear one then you, by default, are fucking stupid too. So there you have it. Go forth and prosper but please, for the love of God, just don’t dress up as a ‘back-alley abortionist’ at the end of the month.