Halloween in D.C. sucks. Everyone thinks their government shutdown costume is going to be hilarious, and what you end up with is 15 people in a low-rise apartment in Dupont Circle wearing Smokey the Bear costumes holding signs that say “unemployed.” Ha-ha.
Our advice: stay home. Buy a jumbo bag of Reese’s. Consider eating them all yourself.
Then prepare. Because, if you live in the Beltway, here’s what you'll be met with when your bell rings the night of Oct. 31:
Eric Cantor: He’ll probably be wearing a John Boehner mask (ironically). Give him a case of wood polish. He’ll need it for the gavel.
Barack Obama: He’s wearing a John Boehner mask ironically as well! He doesn’t even want the candy – just wants to say hi! What a nice guy. Before he leaves he asks you to write a check for $95 because you didn’t sign up for health care. You explain that it’s not your fault – the website wasn’t working. Obama just smiles like Gus from Breaking Bad and stands there until you pay up.
John Boehner: He’s wearing a John Boehner mask ironically as well. Wait, that’s his face. He doesn’t realize it’s Halloween. He’s asking for a lot of things – all your candy, as well as your wallet, and your health insurance card. Politely close the door.
Mike Allen: Politico’s Playbook author is dressed as Ben Feller, formerly of the AP. It’s a pretty obscure reference, but you get it immediately as a Washington insider. He disregards the candy and asks for news tips. You start to tell him about something you heard at work when he stops you. He just wants to know whose birthday is tomorrow. Before he goes, for some reason he thanks you for coming.
Jill Biden: She’s dressed as Asma al-Assad. It’s a hilarious costume — relevant, subtle, self-aware. But she's not in character. She's asking if you've seen her husband.
Mitt Romney: It takes you a few minutes to recognize him. Not because of his costume (he's just wearing a shirt that says "Happy Halloween"), but because you forgot who he is. He asks for a Reese's. Then he asks for another one. You feel bad for him so you give it to him. He wants more. Then he says, "I didn't get rich by not knowing how to negotiate." You give him a handful of candy and say goodbye. "Thanks you guys," he says as he trails off into the infinite midnight.
Ted Cruz: He's dressed as Mr. Smith, giving the second lady a run for her money for "best costume." He arrives as he's in the middle of a speech about the war on Halloween in which he keeps referring to "Obamascare." Hand him a Tootsie Pop and he'll stop in order to suck on that for a while.
Michelle, Sasha, and Malia Obama: They're dressed as the three American economists who won the Nobel prize. Gag. The first lady asks for a healthy option. You don't have any so you just hold out the bowl of candy. They take some — but you can tell they're not coming back next year.
Jay Carney: He's dressed as Ron Ziegler. That's a good joke — Google it. You ask him if he wants candy. He says he can't confirm or deny that he wants candy. You give him one, and he eats it. You ask him if he liked it. He refers you to the Department of Agriculture.
Hillary Clinton: She arrives at your doorstep crouching down with her hands over her head. She gives some explanation about ducking sniper fire. She disregards the candy bowl and asks for a check — $35,800 made out to something called the "Victory Fund."
Joe Biden: He's acting shifty and wearing a John Boehner mask. You compliment him on the ironic costume. He explains it's not his — he forced Obama to give his up, just like he forced Obama to support gay marriage. He grabs a Reese's. "Hey," he says while devouring the chocolate, "any chance you've seen my wife?" You point him in the direction that Jill went. "Thanks," he says as he starts running the opposite way.