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Want to Dress With Dignity for a Change? Try Being a Genuine Hero

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W hat, again? Didn’t we just get through peeling off last year’s Halloween costumes and filing them in the back of the closet under “Stuff I’ll Never Wear Again as Long As I Live, but Maybe I Might”? And now we have to do it all over again?

Well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. But this time let’s give the bloody plastic fangs and the killer bee suit a miss and party with a little dignity. What about the idea of appearing as a heroic figure--maybe one of our personal heroes?

HE: Gee, I dunno. My personal hero has always been Bugs Bunny. Witty, clever, urbane, fearless, earthy, fast on his feet, healthy eating habits, doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Lord Byron goes to Brooklyn via the carrot patch.

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The down side: I don’t fill out a bunny suit very well. That’s your department.

SHE: I’m taking my cue from Julia Roberts and her childhood worship of Abraham Lincoln (you know that’s why she flipped for Lyle Lovett--he has Abe’s facial structure and the same ache in his eyes). I’ll go as my fave male hero, veteran actor Jimmy Stewart.

How about me dressing up as Harvey, the see-through rabbit that was Stewart’s pal in the movie by the same name? We’d look great--you as Bugs, me, well, I guess I wouldn’t have to go to the party if I was going as an invisible rabbit.

Guess I could do the Amelia Earhart thing--goggles, leather jacket and a rumpled map.

Or I could go as Hillary Clinton--don a blond wig and carry a briefcase stuffed with health care plans. She’s becoming my hero. You go as Bill. Bet there’ll be a bundle of First Couples out on Halloween night.

HE: Problem is, I look about as much like Bill Clinton as Ethel Merman does. How’s about Robert E. Lee instead? When more people start seeing “Gettysburg” in the theaters, that man is going to be the topic of a lot of discussion. And, heck, if Martin Sheen can bring it off, I can. Just need to brush up a bit on my courtly manners and learn to speak without using contractions.

Come to think of it, Civil War figures would be fair game for any guy with a fair amount of facial hair. I don’t believe I saw one clean-shaven man in the entire cast.

SHE: Speaking of movie heroes, how about going as Daniel Day-Lewis a la “The Last of the Mohicans”? You’d look great in a loincloth, providing you also wear a barrel. Just kidding.

I’ll never forget the time I went to a Halloween party as Grace Kelly. She was one of my all-time heroes. I wore a beautiful white dress and tiara (she’d just gotten hitched to Prince Rainier), and I talked this boy into dressing like the prince. The good news? It was a great party. The bad news? Everybody thought we were Queen Elizabeth and Fidel Castro. So I’m a brunette . . . .

HE: I think it’s kind of a kick to wear clothes--legitimate clothes, not necessarily costumes--on Halloween, because you might never have a chance to wear them otherwise. Case in point: I once went to a Halloween party in full Scots regalia, complete with kilt, borrowed from a friend’s father. It all weighed about 1,000 pounds, but I felt fairly heroic in it. And I felt particularly heroic after I took my date’s dare to wear the kilt in the time-honored traditional Scots manner. Didn’t sit down all evening.

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SHE: Hey! How about going as our most despised anti-hero? Madonna tops my list. All I need is a torpedo bra (OK, and a barrel), some hot pants and a rosary necklace. You?

HE: It wouldn’t be very inspiring to come as the jackass who cut me off on the way to work this morning, so I suppose the only other answer is Torquemada, the wacky, zany guy who gave us the Spanish Inquisition. Or maybe I could come as Paul Hindemith, the German composer who wrote a music theory textbook that caused me to scream in my sleep when I was in college.

SHE: If we’re going to hit this Halloween blast together, we should probably pick our favorite couple heroes. Jack and Jackie? Edward and Wallis? Mickey and Minnie? Tarzan and Jane? Superman and Lois? Antony and Cleopatra?

HE: Think you’ve got the proper character motivation to really be Olive Oyl? How about me as Charles and you as Diana and we could spend the evening ignoring each other? Perhaps you as the Statue of Liberty and me as the huddled masses. Or maybe you could come as Heidi Fleiss and I could be Hollywood.

SHE: Heidi would be easy (pun intended). Wild hair, major shades and lots of teeth. But you as Hollywood? Guess we could glitz a barrel.

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