a rickety bridge of impossible crossing

novelty halloween t-shirt clinic

Spooky season is almost upon us, and I've got a bone to pick with self-referential novelty halloween t-shirts. I've seen a number of them printed with the following statement:

This is my costume

No. This is wrong. It doesn't work. It's all lantern and no jack. This is what it needs to say:

This is my costume!

This isn't just someone making a statement, it's their hypothetical answer to an anticipated question. "Why aren't you wearing a costume?" This is my costume!

Imagine it's not a t-shirt, but just a thing someone says to you. Someone in jeans and a plain t-shirt walks up to you and, unprompted, says "this is my costume." Outside of a party, or trick-or-treating, or some context where the person is expected to be wearing a costume, it's just a non-sequtur. There's no obvious meaning. It's just going to generate confusion. Even in a party context, it's just going to garner an eye roll. Okay, buddy, you didn't put in any effort, I don't care.

But when imagined as a answer to a question, it might get a chuckle. Maybe you see someone at a party without a costume and you're about to ask them about it, when you notice what their shirt says. It's not just making a generic statement, it's as if the shirt read your mind and answered your question before you even asked it.

It's still not an equal substitute for a real costume, mind you, but it might net you some humor points. With no emphasis or punctuation, it's just "hey look at me, I'm lazy, isn't that funny?" You can do better than that, shirts 🦝