The news is great fodder for original, timely Halloween costumes. And most of them can be easily assembled for this weekend's parties. Here are a few ideas, all of which are illustrated on the cover of Weekender.
Pink slip: They aren't handed out anymore when a person is laid off (the term stems from the pink page of an employee's carbon copy of a dismissal form), but it can be fun to poke fun at these economic times with the retro term. Make a sandwich board from pink poster board. Use a black Sharpie and ruler to turn the posters into a tidy, official-looking job-termination form. Or heck, just wear a woman's pink slip as your costume.
South Limestone traffic snarl: This is a group costume. Get several friends to dress as angry morning commuters holding car steering wheels and honking horns. In the middle of your group, have a friend dressed as a construction worker, perhaps holding a street pole and sign that says "S Limestone." More friends could dress as "road closed" and "detour" signs. This costume works best when everyone stands completely still for hours on end.
Beyoncé and the Single Ladies: This year's ubiquitous (and really catchy) music video Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) is perfect Halloween fodder. You and two friends wear black sleeveless leotards (your "Beyoncé" will need an asymmetrical, one-armed version, along with a silver metallic glove thing) and strappy black high heels. Bonus points if you learn the choreography, which is easily found on YouTube. Because Justin Timberlake paved the way on Saturday Night Live, guys can get in on the action, too.
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World Equestrian Games: Solo or in a group, dress as a variety of equestrians, but stand in a corner alone because no one is paying attention to you.
Coach Cal: To play University of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari, dress in a UK track suit or a nice-fitting suit with a UK blue tie. But the key is in the accessories: a PDA to tweet constantly on Twitter, "Go Cats! Love this town and all the fans." Then: "Can't wait to speak at the breakfast Rotary Club in Bowling Green tomorrow; then travel to the DAR luncheon in Pikeville and finally head back to Lexington to autograph my book, work out with the team, meet with movers and shakers for dinner at my new country club, and then watch the tapes from the last NCAA championship season before laying a few bricks with the construction workers at home." You must be in constant motion to pull this off: Try being everywhere at once.
You might also enroll some friends to play rabid, Coach Cal-loving fans. Maybe one could even play Calipari's gated mansion on Richmond Road (perhaps as a large hat with an Italianate house in the center and a fence — and gawkers — around the brim).
Twitter: 2009 is the Year of Twitter, so capture the zeitgeist and dress as the cute, animated bluebird that Twitter uses as its mascot.
CentrePointe: Make an expansive hat covered in a square of artificial turf and surrounded by a black, horse farm-style fence. Or put the turf and fence on the front of a T-shirt. Either way, don't forget signs that say "Coming soon: CentrePointe, a luxury high-rise" on opposite corners. As a bonus, get a friend to dress as the financier whose death reportedly doomed the downtown building project.