Of all the holidays that have been frivolously stripped of their original meaning, Halloween probably takes the cake. What was once a pagan ritual to appease the potentially vengeful ghosts of the recently deceased has degenerated into a shameless excuse to dress like a slut and binge on high-fructose corn syrup in all its forms.
But if you want to get back to basics, Venezuela’s probably the ideal place for Halloween: a place that scares the hell out of you pretty much every day.
So in the spirit of putting utter terror back into Halloween, here are some DYI costumes inspired by the Venezuelan crisis, in all its horrifying glory.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Shoestring Budget Costumes:
In the unlikely event that you’re strapped for cash in Vz, there are 3 ridiculously easy costumes you can make with cardboard, some pabilo and a black marker:
- Comerciante (Retailer): hang a “No hay” sign around your neck.
- Cyberterrorist: hang a “DolarToday” sign around your neck.
- Franklin Nieves: hang an “I’m sorry” sign around your neck.
Bonus: If you’re reeeeally pelando bolas, you can always dress up like a Patriota Cooperante. Since no one has ever seen one, you can pretty much get away with wearing anything in your closet.
For the Sci-Fi crowd:
Take a cue from this genius and go out as an Acetaminophen Farmer. If Matt Damon could grow potatoes in space, surely you can grow Tylenol in Venezuela… right? Borrow a small plant from your office or mother-in-law’s house, hang some empty acetaminophen boxes from the branches and voilá. Way to stick it to the seed-hoarding pharmaceuticals.
Make it a group thing:
Nothing brings people together like “a cola”. You can include any number of friends and family and all you need is a Sharpie and your National ID: brand all the members of your queue with numbers on their right arms and have them be ready to show their cédula on demand. You can even include a coleado (someone that tries to cut in line every couple of minutes). Downside: you’ll have to celebrate Halloween by the last digit on your ID Number: 0s and 1s go trick or treating on Monday, 2s and 3s on Tuesday, and so on…
Remember, your body is a canvas for political messages:
If you’re the type who always wants to make a point, dress as as an Escasez Mummy: Since shortages left you fresh out of toilet paper, just go naked, and be sure to explain this to everyone you come across. Por eso es que este país está como está!
Get the family involved:
Grab your kids, arm them with empty suitcases and twitter accounts, and teach them to look sad and hungry. Act hostile. Don’t forget the Homer Simpson-style three-day stubble, that’s vital.
Congratulations, you’ve just turned your family into Bachaqueros.
If you’d rather keep it generic:
There are so many characters to chose from in Chavismo, picking just one can become an overwhelming task. We’ve got you covered: just get some rubber bands and use them to fix a wooden board to your face.
Any board will do. There. Now you can be Giordani, Luisa Ortega, either of the Tarecks, heck, you can even be Maduro if your self-esteem is that low. Just make sure to deny any accusations of wrongdoing, flat out.
High-Rolling Diego Salazar-style:
This one’s really simple. Wear Rolexes, ROLEXES on every single limb. And we mean all of them.
Slutty Pran Bride
Let’s face it, “Slutty [Fill in the Blank]” is what 21st Century Halloween is all about. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a dash of glamour to your costume. If you can beg, borrow or steal a mean-looking bulldog, you too can fulfill your childhood fantasy of one day being a Slutty Pran Bride:
If you’re so depressed you can’t be bothered to dress up:
Just walk around aimlessly in shambles, looking empty and destroyed. Bonus points if you can get someone to beat the shit out of you. If anyone asks what your costume is, answer: El Legado de Chávez.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.