Costume shops around Nashville are scrambling to catch up with what is expected to be the hottest trend in Halloween wear this year: scary outfits that may convince residents that former Federal Emergency Management Agency head Michael Brown and secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff are stalking the neighborhood.
“Normally by this time of year we have most of our Halloween stock set,” says costume shop manager Jill Tishler. “But Katrina has thrown all our preparations out the window.”
Premiere Costume Shop on Church Street has just received a stock of Michael Brown masks, which it is combining with a FEMA-logo knit shirt for its “Heckuva Job Brownie” special.
Brown is the horse-show promoting, résumé-padding Bush political appointee who apparently was given the top job at FEMA on the recommendation of its previous director, Joseph Allbaugh, Brown’s college roommate.
Premiere Costume is also promoting its “Homeland Insecurity” special: a realistic cadaverous-looking Chertoff mask, combined with a nonfunctioning cell phone and a paperback copy of I’m OK, You’re OK.
“It doesn’t matter which one you pick, they are both terrifying costumes,” Tishler says with professional pride.
And that, according to some, is exactly the problem.
“I’d like to ban these masks altogether,” says Metro Council member Brenda Gilmore. “It’s one thing to have witches, vampires and zombies all over the place on Halloween night, but I just think Brown and Chertoff appearing in our neighborhoods would be too disturbing and terrifying to some people.”
That being the case, Gilmore certainly will be dismayed that Tishler has heard of at least one Nashvillian already working up an elaborate Superdome costume with a broken Styrofoam “roof” for a hat.
“Halloween is a chance to take control of what we’re afraid of by dressing up as scary things,” Tishler says. And these things are much scarier than Dracula, because he only sucks blood from one person at a time, and these guys sucked the life out of an entire city.”
(The Fabricator is satire. Don’t believe everything you read.)