Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How to not get sued on Halloween

In a society that is as litigiously obsessed as ours, one can never be too careful. As the internet and its various file-sharing controversies (Napster, Youtube, et al) have demonstrated, people everywhere are willing to sue at the drop of a hat in order to vigorously defend their copyrights and trademarks, regardless of how invaluable they may be.

Sadly, the once-innocent joyous holiday of Halloween has fallen prey to this same "sue-happy" zietgeist. Time was, a kid could just dress up as Frankenstein's Monster or Dracula and call it a day. Now their candy-gathering revelry would be ruined by a lawyer from the estate of Bram Stoker serving them with papers or Sara Karloff (granddaughter of Boris and a big fan of suing people) chasing them down the block threatening to take them to court for their fun-size Snickers.

But we at Blogfot care about you, our loyal readers. Thus, we present a couple of costume examples that would stand up to scrutiny in any court in the land.

First up is one I spotted a couple of years ago at a costume store, and it made me laugh out loud. Thankfully, it can still be found on the internet today. It's called, in a stroke of brilliant duplicity, the "Wizard Boy Wig."

Say hello to "Larry Trotter", student of the mystic arts.
He may or may not be British, and his mail is
delivered to him by a duck.

Just to be clear, this is in no way meant to be a popular boy wizard of literary origin that has spun off a bunch of successful movies from a series of best-selling books that are protected by copyright. No sir, that is not what this is at all. This is a "Wizard Boy Wig." Just what it sounds like. If there was such a thing as a boy wizard, he might comb his hair like this. Lots of kids have bangs, don't they? That's all we're saying. Furthermore, said kid may need glasses to correct an astigmatism he might have, and if he did, he might look like this. So move along shysters, and take your legal writs with you. Absolutely nothing to see here.

Next up we have a costume that manages to be funny and yet tweak antiquated male expectations of femininity at the same time: the "Humorous Grand Ole Opry Star Costume", made available to consumers via the cunning legal minds at Party America.

As you can see, the costume gives its wearer humongous boobs and a giant bouffant of obviously peroxided hair. How ludricrous is that! Surely such a thing doesn't exist in real life. A character such as this could only be the stuff of fantasy. Just think, you could wear this costume to a Halloween party and charm everyone with your southern twang and sassy, straight-talking personality. Then you could grab a guitar and sing some of your own completely made-up country/western hits. Here's some ideas / suggestions for songs to get you started: you could sing a song about harassment in the workplace called "8 to 4." That would be good. Or perhaps a sensitive ballad about eternal devotion titled "I Will Forever Have Strong Feelings For You." Then, as a finale, you could pluck a male party-goer from the crowd (preferably a white haired, bearded one) and sing a duet about togetherness, maybe titled "Small Partially Sunken Pieces of Land in the River" or something like that. It'll be a blast.

So there you go. You are now legally informed and should be able to avoid any costume litigation. Happy Halloween-ing!


Ugly Juice said...

Saw this in the news today, thought you'd appreciate: http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/11/03/professor.bigfoot.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

BlogFoot said...

Thanks! I've seen this guy quoted in many of my bigfoot books for years, but had no idea he was such a pariah.

Hopefully there will come a day when the Dr. Meldrums of this world are hailed as visionaries and not heretics.

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