It's time to hone in on this year's Halloween costume. Who do you want to be? Are politics your thing? How about dressing up like our nearly departed Speaker? Back in 2013, John Boehner Halloween costumes were all the rage after the government shutdown grabbed headlines, but costumes were nowhere to be found. After his recent retirement announcement, it's the perfect time dust off your old Halloween ambitions and honor the Speaker's dedication to our country with a costume that sufficiently mocks him — while honoring his decision to get out of the way and let right-wing Republicans make the GOP even more out of touch. Behold: the Retired John Boehner.
Boehner's no Obama, so this costume requires some more DIY elements than popping into your local Party City. Start by taking in the Boehner aura: Check out his Instagram. You'll read in his profile, "He's a regular guy with a big job." Except soon he'll just be a regular guy with no job. How can you channel that into your depiction? Then find your way over to the new section of his website about the Pope's visit. Go to speaker.gov and click "Papal Visit." Yes, it's a whole new section, given equal billing to "About John" or "Contact." Watch the videos and breathe it in. Now you're ready for the physical costume.
First Off: The Face
Unfortunately, Boehner masks are not as popular as Hillary Clinton or President Obama masks. In fact, the only Speaker mask I could find was of Newt Gingrich. Obviously, these are left over from 1994 and serve as a warning to any costume company considering production of Boehner masks today. No one wants to have a warehouse full of rubber Boehner in 20 years.
So you're going to have to make or order your own. First, find a picture like this one from the above tweet. You want to make sure that he's facing the camera and go for a high res photo if you can. Maybe you'll find one you like in the John Boehner Crying Facebook Page.
Then, you need to decide if you're going to DIY or order a mask online. If you're ordering online, check out HalloweenCostumes.com's custom masks feature. You upload the photo and voila. For $9.99 you get a foam Boehner face with see-through fabric over the eyes and an elastic strap to hold it on. Try photoshopping some large blue tears into the picture if you know how.
If you decide to make your own mask, print the picture on a letter size sheet of paper. Glue the Speaker's noggin to a cereal box and then cut it out. You'll also want to cut out the eyes so you can see. Then, make small holes on either side near the ears, try using a sharp pen or needle. Find a large rubber band and cut it, turning the band into one large strap. Then, thread the rubber band through the tiny holes — one end of the rubber band on each side of the face — and tie a knot on the front of the mask. If you find an orange rubber band, it won't clash with Boehner's spray tan. Definitely don't forget to add a few large, blue tears with construction paper.
Then: The Duds
Here's where you play up the retirement. What do retirees wear? Bad Hawaiian shirts or sweat suits. Given Boehner's history of calling out members of Congress for dressing sloppily, you better pair this Hawaiian shirt, with some classic khakis. These "Weekend Chinos" from Dockers — not exactly stylish — would be perfect:
If you see Boehner getting in a few good years of shuffleboard before really calming down, maybe you'd prefer this tracksuit from Silvert's Adaptive Clothing for seniors. It looks awfully comfortable.
An Added Touch: Accessories
If you're white and don't live in Phoenix or Fort Lauderdale, there's a good chance you need some sunless tanner to pull this costume off. Assume your mask will already be some shade of orange. Now you just need to get your neck and arms to match. Easy! Stay away from any sunless tanners that are high quality or come with cloths to avoid streaks — you want your look to be realistic! As an added bonus, you can carry the can around with you as a prop. This Neutrogena deal on Amazon comes with two bottles, so you could even double fist them! Make sure to buy the older version of the product, as the can is a more obnoxious shade of orange.
All that crying? It can leave your eyes bloodshot. Another suggested accessory is a bottle of Visine. If you've gone with the Hawaiian shirt clothing option, put it in your chest pocket and pull it out when you channel the emotional Boehner. Like most everything, it's on Amazon, or pop into your local drug store.
Remember when Boehner golfed with President Obama a few years ago? Well, turns out he's pretty good! You can expect him to keep that up. Bring one of yours along for the evening; this pairs well with the jumpsuit outfit. Don't have golf clubs? Don't go buy golf clubs! That's crazy, unless you plan to pick up the game. Borrow one from a friend or family member.
For the ultimate accessory, you must bring Boehner's favorite foreign dignitary of all time with you: the Pope. You can explain to other partygoers that it's the real Pope or just explain it's a doll that Boehner uses to reminisce about the most meaningful day of his political career. Nope, not passing or derailing legislation, but hearing a religious leader speak! "A blessing for all of us."
Last But Not Least: Some Good Quotes
You'll need some good Boehner-isms to pull off your costume. "It has been an honor to serve" is just the beginning. Watch the video of his resignation speech for ideas. "I planned — actually, on my birthday — Nov. 17, to announce that I was leaving at the end of the year." Throw in a few "Irreparable harm to the institution"s. Consider changing some to the past tense: "It wasn't about me. It was about the people, the institution." You get the idea.
With these props, the right outfit, and a good layer of orange, you can convince your friends you're just a regular guy who had a big job. Just don't take the obstructionism too far — parties are meant to be fun.