Tag Archives: costume

If you go to a Star Trek convention, don’t dress up as Super Mario

One time I went to a Star Trek convention dressed as Super Mario. “I don’t get it,” my friends all said to me when I told them about my plan. And I was like, “What don’t you get? Star Trek exists in the twenty-fourth century, right? OK, well, that’s our future, right? Their ancestors are us, and so Super Mario and Nintendo all will have existed in their past, which is now. Doesn’t that make sense? Come on, it’s Super Mario, you don’t think he’s going to make it to three or four hundred years from now?”


And my friend Bill was like, “It’s not that I don’t think Super Mario isn’t going to be around, it’s just that, that’s way too much backstory for a Star Trek convention. Why can’t you just wear a Starfleet uniform like everyone else?”

“That’s so lame,” I told him, “I mean, no offense to any of you guys, I know the Starfleet uniforms are expensive and everything. You know what? I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry. But you know, my Super Mario costume wasn’t cheap either.”

But it was too late, I knew I was going to piss everyone off by calling their Starfleet costumes lame. But they were lame. And I kind of wanted to piss them off. Because come on, if you want to dress up for a convention, I can think of at least twenty actually interesting costumes from the broader Star Trek universe that don’t involve wearing a generic crewman’s outfit. You could be a Klingon, right, or you could be one of those old school Klingons from the original series. Or you could be Worf’s human stepbrother, or Wesley’s spiritual companion, the Traveler.

I’m just saying, they jumped on me for Mario, and now they weren’t holding back. “Listen Rob,” this was my friend Doug. He definitely had the nicest of the regular uniform costumes, like it had removable pips, a magnetic com-badge, he even had to pick it up at the dry cleaners because of the expensive fabric. “Your Mario costume was from Halloween. And it doesn’t look expensive at all.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about, Doug,” I said. Great, let’s have it out, let’s do this. I knew from Halloween that nobody thought my Super Mario costume was anything special. But not expensive? “Not expensive?” I said in Doug’s direction, but I was talking to the whole group now, “Do you know how expensive a pair of overalls is? I bought them online and they were expensive. And then this hat, this isn’t just a costume prop piece, OK, I bought this specially, and then I sent it to an embroiderer to have the M stitched up front. You see this fake moustache? It’s made out of walrus whiskers, all right, this fake moustache is going to outlive all of you.”

But nobody was budging. It was just me, a lone Super Mario surrounded by a whole group of Junior Lieutenants and Chief Petty Officers. “And yeah, Steve was a Vulcan, so that took at least a little bit more effort than just putting on a blue shirt and a black pair of pants, but not a lot. He didn’t really commit, he didn’t get the Vulcan haircut or anything.

And then my friend Larry spoke up, “Well, if Mario existed in Star Trek’s past, then Star Trek should’ve existed also. Right? How do you explain that?”

And everybody just went, “Oooooh.” And yeah, I didn’t have an answer. I said that it wasn’t fair, that of course Star Trek couldn’t exist as a popular TV show that predicted the course of events for the next three or four hundred years. But you can’t count that, it’s just not fair. There were a lot more words, but that basically summed up my whole argument, that it wasn’t fair. And then Jim, my brainiac friend, he started this big lecture about how Star Trek shaped the popular culture of the twentieth century, directly influencing our electronics, the design of the cell phones, all of those tired arguments you hear every time you read some article about Star Trek in the newspaper. And of course, everyone else just sat around in awe, another boring Star Trek speech.

Worse, we got to the convention, and OK, maybe people didn’t really get the whole Super Mario thing, I get it, it’s a bit of a stretch. And maybe I was a little lazy, just reusing the same costume from Halloween because I didn’t feel like ponying up for something else. But I could have done something, maybe made it like Mario was in Starfleet or something. But no, the worst was, amidst the hundreds and hundreds of regular Star Fleet officers, there was a group of fans who dressed up as Darth Vader and a bunch of storm troopers. And wherever they went, everyone was like, “Ohhhhh!” taking tons of cell phone pictures, having really cool mock fights. And after a while I just wanted to ditch my lame Mario costume, but it really was very expensive, I don’t know why I spent so much extra money. It’s not like it really added anything special to the look. And the walrus moustache? There’s no getting around that. That was just a really bad purchase. A really bad, questionable, impulse, late night Internet purchase.

10 essential tips for dating Spider-Man

  1. Don’t mess around with his web-shooters

    Seriously, they’re not toys, OK, he needs them for fighting crime. Besides, that webbing could potentially be kind of dangerous. What if you press the button and it covers your nose and mouth? It takes like at least an hour for that stuff to dissolve. You’d suffocate. Spider-Man cares about you a lot, he doesn’t want to see you suffocate. All I’m saying is, you get really mad when Spider-Man goes through your purse to look for those mints you always carry around. Respect his personal boundaries accordingly.


  2. You won’t know who he’s hanging out with at work

    Spider-Man spends a lot of his time with other adults dressed up in various superhero costumes. While of course he would love to introduce you to his crime-fighting coworkers, there’s the whole secret identity thing that you have to keep in mind. That’s just the nature of his business. If people figured out who you were, they might be able to trace the link back to him. The next thing you know, Mysterio shows up at your house to kidnap you and draw Spider-Man into a trap. Do you want that kind of guilt hanging over your head? Besides, isn’t it kind of cool, the secret nature or your relationship? It’s like a hidden treasure, something only the two of you get to share.

  3. It’s not that he didn’t like the surprise birthday party you threw for him

    It’s just that, with his built in spider-sense, it’s really hard to pull a fast one on Spider-Man. Even if it’s the most well-intentioned secret, as soon you start getting past the idea stage into the actual execution, his alarm bells immediately start ringing. And yeah, he tried to act surprised, but everybody knows that Spider-Man is a terrible actor.

  4. If he’s being a dick, maybe it’s the alien costume

    All you’re trying to do is make plans to do something special on Saturday night, and he’s all not paying attention or putting in any effort to show that he even wants to spend time with you. Even regular boyfriends get in weird moods sometimes. But has Spider-Man been acting even more difficult and aggressive than usual? Maybe it’s the alien costume. It’s kind of a long story, but a while back, Spider-Man was sent to an alien world with a bunch of other superheroes to battle a collection of the earth’s nastiest bad guys. While snooping out some high-tech lab, he found an alien costume that shifted its appearance just based on his thoughts. But it turned out to be an evil alien parasite, slowly filling Spider-Man’s mind with hate and violence. The next time Spider-Man gets his spandex in a twist, maybe suggest changing into something more comfortable? If he gets really defensive, it’s probably the alien costume.

  5. Or it could be the clones

    This is kind of like the alien costume problem, but without as much overt Spider-Man being a dick. It’s like, you make plans with Spider-Man early in the day, and then when you see him later in the afternoon, he’s like, “Plans? What plans?” Don’t jump to conclusions. There’s a pretty good chance that there might be a bunch of Spider-clones running around, and the Spider-Man who you talked with in the morning might be a different Spider-Man from later in the day.

  6. Try not to get upset if he doesn’t return your calls right away

    Spider-Man disappears all the time. The X-Men need help in Antarctica and there’s no time to explain. The Green Goblin blasts him with a shrink-pumpkin and he has to figure out a way to return to normal size. Remember what I was talking about with alien costume? He was on that other planet for weeks. His girlfriend at the time simply couldn’t understand, and she dumped him. If you’re dating Spider-Man, you’ve got to get used to long stretches of time where he doesn’t return any of your calls or texts. But try not to get too worried. He usually makes it back home in good shape.

  7. Stay away from the Brooklyn Bridge

    He does his best to protect the ones he loves the most, but every once in a while, even Spider-Man falls short. Years ago he was dating this girl Gwen and, well, she fell off the Brooklyn Bridge. It was kind of the Green Goblin’s fault. Still. Just stay away from bridges.

  8. Avoid keywords that might trigger a long boring speech

    Power. Great. Responsibility. Uncle Ben. Nobody likes tiptoeing around their words, but unless you really like listening to that, “Great power, great responsibility” speech, do yourself a favor and don’t mention any of these triggers. In fact, if you feel like a conversation might be steering in this direction, try changing the subjects. Worst case, mention that you thought you heard someone screaming down the block. Because it’s a really boring speech, and he won’t shut up about it.

  9. Don’t offer to do his laundry

    You might think you’re being helpful, getting that gross smell out of his Spider-Man costume. But it’s impossible. Do you know where he goes in that thing? Sometimes in the sewer. Other times he’s fighting bad guys at the dump. It’s a nasty job, and if you mix any of your clothes in the same load as that costume, all you’re going to do is make your stuff smell like garbage too. And do you think Spider-Man wants to date somebody that smells like that? Come on, he gets enough of that at work. Just do your own laundry, and Spider-Man will do his.

  10. Don’t expect a happy ending

    Just try to enjoy the ride, because it’s not going to end well. Even if you somehow manage to not get thrown off the Brooklyn Bridge, even if things wind up going incredibly well, like you get married, maybe you’ll be expecting a child, it’s only a matter of time before it all blows up in your face. Doctor Octopus is going to steal the baby, and then it’s going to turn out that you weren’t really pregnant in the first place. At least you’ve got that marriage to fall back on, right? Wrong. Something might happen to Aunt May and Spider-Man might be forced to wish away your years of marital bliss in a deal with the devil in return for the safety of his elderly aunt. I’m just saying, the universe doesn’t want Spider-Man to be happy, and the closer you are to Spider-Man, the higher the chances that you’re going to be a part of that misery. Get out while you can. Why not try talking to the Hulk? Or Batman? Batman’s rich. Really rich. You should call up Batman.

Originally published on Thought Catalog