By Tom Purcell
"The wife keeps shooting down my Halloween costume ideas because she says they are too insensitive."
"That's too bad. Pop-culture expert Robert Thompson, the founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, says it is the one day of the year when almost anything goes. A day when adults can 'do something outrageous they'd never do normally.'"
"I couldn't agree more. It's the only day of the year we can freely satirize our culture, but the wife is having none of it."
"You weren't thinking of dressing up like Caitlyn Jenner, I hope?"
"No, but I was thinking of satirizing our lousy economy by dressing up as a hobo. I was going to wear old, torn clothes, but the wife put a stop to it."
"Because it would be rude to make fun of people who live on the streets?"
"No, because I was going to wear my regular clothes. I haven't been able to buy new pants since the economy tanked in 2008."
"Surely you have other satirical ideas to choose from."
"I was going to dress up like the clock kid, who brought an allegedly homemade clock to school in a briefcase, but the wife said no way."
"Because she thinks such a costume might offend some people?"
"No, because she doesn't want me to disassemble our bedroom clock. Then I had the idea to mock the story about the dentist who shot Cecil the lion. I was going to dress up like a dentist with a bow and arrow and carry a pro-Planned Parenthood sign."
"I don't get it."
"How can people can get so universally outraged by the trophy killing of a lion without everyone getting universally outraged by some disturbing videos of Planned Parenthood activities? Then I had an idea to dress up like a machete-wielding ISIS member, but the wife really disliked that idea."
"ISIS is beheading Christians who won't convert to their faith. A costume that calls attention to their horrific bloodshed would certainly be provocative."
"Well, the wife said such a costume would make people angry at me, not the bloodshed ISIS is causing. Many people can't bring themselves to digest the real evil ISIS is carrying out on innocent people, but it would be easy for them to find fault with me."
"The pope recently concluded a fascinating visit to our country. I imagine some people will come up with costumes based on his visit."
"The wife says no way am I permitted to do anything that involves religion, as there are so many people who might find that offensive."
"Well, your wife seems to reflect the hypersensitive nature of people these days. Then again, it would be inconsiderate to dress, say, as an illegal alien or Klansman. Still, for the most part, Halloween is possibly the last bastion of freedom in America — the only day of the year people can do something that is not entirely appropriate."
"Well, the wife isn't going to let me do something inappropriate."
"How about having some fun with a political figure now that the presidential campaign is heating up? Surely that is still OK?"
"I was going to dress up in a blond wig and a pantsuit, but the wife said that would be insensitive to middle-aged women like Hillary."
"How about dressing up in a frumpy blond toupee and a suit to have some fun with Donald Trump?"
"Great suggestion. The wife says the ONLY thing Americans can still make fun of is a rich, white Republican man."
©2015 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood" and "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact [email protected] or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at [email protected]