This will no doubt be a huge costume craze this Halloween, but it is particularly fitting for our 2010 theme as the latest disaster to ravage New Orleans. Basically you can take any number of costumes up a level with some black paint, vinyl, or even sequins (please don't use actual oil...if you think I'll let you in my house and on my furniture). Political costumes, regardless of which side of the issue you are really on, are always attention grabbers.
The Coney Island Mermaid Parade, as predicted, had quite a few anti-BP and oil-spill-related entries, such as:
(my photo...see more of this group here)
Paint for oil - might still rub off (not on my couch please!) but at least it's dry...
These marchers used REAL oil - no wonder she looks so sad. That has to feel NASTY. Also, you'd have to party on my front porch, because that crap doesn't come out of rugs, upholstery, or carpet.
To be much safer, how about a less transferable form of "oil?" I'm thinking some shiny black vinyl would be great (I'm more into the idea than realism...I know it looks brown, but that's less identifiable. Remember that Halloween is more about the caricature than the actual character). You can buy it in most fabric stores, especially around Halloween - think of what you'd make a Cat Woman costume out of:
One caveat: I can tell you from experience, vinyl gets hot. And don't forget what you learned from Ross' leather pants. You've been warned.
So to recap - tons of possibilities to take a mermaid, sailor, beachcomber, sea turtle, shrimp, lobster, crab, or other gulf resident and dip them in oil (not the tasty frying kind).
You could also just "be" the oil spill en masse - how about starting with a flouncy vinyl dress:
(source), then add a couple of these "seaweed" boas:
Tie on a few oil-spattered plastic fish and birds, and you're good to go. Maybe throw in some mardi gras beads, "beach closed" signs, shrimp trollers, and BP logos in the swirling muck.
Here's a homemade commentary on the Exxon Valdez oil spill you could easily update:
(found it here)
Consider replacing the ship "hat" with an oil derrick "hat" and you can still slap some dying sea life all over your shirt and call it a costume. Plus for some reason I think Oil Derricks are kind of cool looking, like a redneck Eiffel tower. And the possibilities for the "eruption" at the top with lots of beads or something else signifying droplets falling are way fun.
Even the commercial costume shops are jumping on the bandwagon, here's the "Bad Planning" costume from AnytimeCostumes:
Additional BP Twists: BP Businessman (or woman) in a suit with BP logo, with blood on his hands, or money coming out of his ears, or devil horns & tail...Sarah Palin (DRILL BABY DRILL!) with a strategically placed oil derrick...clean up worker in a haz-mat suit and respirator...
(source) Don't forget about taking the iconic Uncle Sam or Lady Liberty and smearing them in oil or strangling them with gas pumps.