Opinion: Timely Halloween costumes NPR's Scott Simon muses on some of the costumes he'd like to see this second pandemic Halloween.

Opinion: Timely Halloween costumes

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This weekend is Halloween. Sidewalks will teem with young trick-or-treaters dressed as demons, ghosts and monsters. But this year, do we really need more reasons to shriek?

Now that they're older, our daughters have confided that they're sure I always enjoyed Halloween more than they do. I used to encourage them to go trick-or-treating dressed as Angela Merkel and Malala Yousafzai. They preferred to be princesses, pirates or cats. Our haul of candy confirmed their wisdom.

What might we see on the streets this year? There may be red-suited "Squid Game" players, Minecraft chicken jockeys and small Bernie Sanders reaching for candy with mittened hands. There could be TikTok influencers, whose dances may be hard to remember by next Halloween, and bearded children toting toy pianos who say, I'm BJ Leiderman, who writes the WEEKEND EDITION theme music. Not sure if they'll get candy or rocks.

I wonder if this year we'll see some trick-or-treaters on the streets dressed in suit jackets over sweatpants and slippers. When adults open their doors, the kids could move their lips to mouth, trick or treat. When people ask, did you say something, they could say, oh, sorry, we were on mute.

We might see children dressed as flight attendants, bearing rolls of duct tape, ready to deal with any swearing, belligerent passengers who refuse to wear masks.

Some might wear a No. 10 and red and blue stripes, to play at being Carli Lloyd, who closed out her career in the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team this week after 316 games and two World Cup titles.

Trick-or-treaters could perch toothpicks in their mouths carefully to look like Astros manager Dusty Baker, back in the World Series at the age of what he calls a cool 72, a manager who believes experience can succeed where analytics run out.

Some youngsters could wear white pharmacist coats and brandish toilet-paper rolls painted to look like fat syringes. Trick or treat, they could say, here's your booster shot.

Last year, a lot of trick-or-treating was lost to necessary precautions that kept kids away from each other and adults from opening the door to ghosts, ghouls and super-creatures.

But this Halloween, so many Americans are vaccinated, and soon school-aged children may be, too. It will be good to hear all those small-knuckled knocks again and to open the door to scream, laugh and fill their buckets.


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