Be the pun: Delight in your cleverness this Halloween

Published 9:58 AM EDT, Fri October 26, 2012

Puns make a lot of people groan. But not me, I love them.

And when I dress up for Halloween at the office, I pun it up.

Halloween is a day which makes adopting a different character or persona completely socially acceptable. With that kind of freedom, wouldn’t you want to be someone or something devilishly clever, at the very least?

That’s my plan.

On October 31, as I cross Centennial Park Boulevard in Atlanta, Georgia, and head into the CNN headquarters, I’ll have the same excited grin on my face as I always have on Halloween. I’ll be exceedingly pleased and proud of the punny costume I dreamed up and put together – this year I’ll go as Hell-o Kitty – and I’ll barely hold back my enthusiasm when people ask what I am.

Simultaneously, I’ll temper my squee with the understanding of what lies ahead: The inevitable “huh?” and “I don’t get it.”

One year I was particularly happy with how I’d executed the pun of a small Orange Julius. I created a Roman soldier’s tunic and lappets and wore a laurel wreath crown, all in shades of orange. And I’m short, so I loved that effectively I was a mini-sized Julius Caesar. The perfect rendition of a small Orange Julius! But the majority of my coworkers guessed I was Pocahontas.

Last year I went as pumpkin pi. I created a poofy orange dress and wore a green fez (which functioned as a stem) that were covered in mathematical equations which solved pi. I even put a joke one on there: ∏≠r2  Get it? Pie are round, not square. Once again, I stumped the journalists of I didn’t think it was that subtle.

Even my simplest costume – a witch hat, lab coat and prescription pad – left a few coworkers scratching their head. And how obvious is that one?

I’m willing to bet some of you share this unique frustration. Still, it’s nothing compared to the awesomeness of a good pun Halloween costume. If you’re struggling to come up with an appropriately nerdy costume for next week, Geek Out! would like to offer some inspiration:

Buzzfeed has a great post about pun costumes. Our favorite is the very Gandalf-esque “Fantasy Football,” but a close second is the “Cap-sized ship.”

One night stand” requires some skills with a saw or trompe l’oeil (or a trip to the local party store) to recreate an accurate night stand, but “cereal killer” is relatively low-effort and uses props you likely already own in your kitchen.

This “Frank Einstein” costume would be a great partner outfit to anyone dressing in homage of Edison vs. Tesla. (Wearing a meme costume this year? Be sure to submit your pictures to iReport!) Of course, the classic “Freudian slip” is a perennial giggle-fest for psych majors, everywhere.

Other ideas:

“Hairy potter”: Dress as a gardening “Cousin It.” Cousin It was arguably the coolest monster on “The Addams Family,” and this hairy beastie wearing a gardening smock will certainly command attention.

“Doctor Jones”: It’s pretty easy to dress up as “Indie,” but don’t ignore this adventurer’s hard-earned academic title. Put the “doctor” back in a Doctor Jones costume by wearing scrubs, rubber gloves, a surgeon’s mask, an adventurer’s hat and carry a bullwhip.

“Iron Maiden”: Ren Fest dress languishing in your closet? Break it out for a double-pun costume! Pair it with an “Iron Man” mask and you’re instantly transformed into an “Iron Maiden.” Then hum “Run to the Hills” as you mill about the Halloween party.

“B minor”: Obviously the most treacherous chord of them all and perfect for a punny Halloween costume.  Add some sooty smudges, a construction worker’s helmet and a head light to any bumblebee outfit. Musicians will howl with delight.

Have you created a punny Halloween costume? Tell us about it in the comments!