In my defense, last year I really pulled it out for Halloween. About three days before, while watching Dont Look Back in a class, I realized: BOB DYLAN. I needed to be him. On most people it would be stupid, but I would pull it off like it was nobody’s business. It was one of those perfect costumes– simple, yet everybody knew exactly what I was supposed to be. And in the West Village, when people want you to think they’re cool, they let you know that they “get it.” And Bob Dylan is so… relevant. Suffice to say, I got a lot of compliments that night. Obviously.
This year, I was hoping something similarly brilliant would strike me. It didn’t. But yesterday I realized who I’d most like to be in the world. He is not a man, but a shell. Let’s reacquaint ourselves, shall we?
After Anna from Door Sixteen introduced us all to this brilliance, I was obsessed. I watched it everyday for weeks. For the first week, I’d find myself watching Marcel before bed and upon waking in the morning I’d roll over groggily, open my laptop, find the youtube page still open, and joyfully watch it again. Maybe twice. Maybe three times. What of it? Marcel and I had something special.
Unfortunately, I am not shaped like a shell. And I didn’t really want to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch people traipse around in bulky and unwieldy getups– just tonight I almost wet myself while witnessing two cardboard boxes struggle to hold hands. But I like my costumes to be something I can move in, lest I need to run from the police or stumble upon a discotheque, ideally those two events happening in sequence. Which is my excuse for deciding to embrace a craptastic, poorly planned, poorly executed, but quite comfortable costume with gusto. If you can believe it, all this went down on Halloween, because I’m just that efficient.
Step 1. Gather all your tan/beige clothes. You should have socks, pants, a sweater, and a hat. You’re going to want to wear about 6 layers of sweaters, both to round you out a bit and because it’s like the fucking arctic outside.
Step 2. Mix red and white drugstore kids’ paint together to make pink.
Step 3. Paint the front section of a white pair of Keds. Wipe the excess paint off with a paper towel because you don’t have time for that shit to dry.
Step 4. Write a nametag because otherwise nobody is going to get it. Then again, even then nobody’s going to get it, so do whatever you want. I was really proud of myself after free-handing Marcel’s scrawl. Seriously you guys, sometimes I wonder where I get such incredible talent.
Step 5. “Okay, uh, my one regret in life is that I’ll never have a dog. But sometimes I tie a hair to a piece of lint and I drag it around.” Lint is skeevy, so I used a mix of plastic bags, paper towels, and electrical tape. The tape made it slightly sticky, so it got progressively filthier throughout the night as I did, obnoxiously, drag it around. Perfect, that’s what you want. Tie a piece of black thread to it, loop the other end around your wrist.
Step 6. Build an entire world that’s big enough to make you look tiny. Definitely the hardest part, but so worth it.
Voila, Marcel the Shell with Shoes on. Jenny Slate would probably cry. Of JOY, you jerk.
Okay, I’ve set the bar pretty damn low. Did you dress up? Tell me everything, I’ve missed you.