Monday, October 25, 2010

Crowbots in Disguise

Well, Hallowe'en week is upon us once again, and with very little time left to get your costume together, The Swarm is here to help! We will not be providing any costume suggestions for you, because you really should have had that figured out a week or two ago. Instead, we at The Swarm would like to provide you with suggestions for your pet's costume!

There are a plethora of commercially available costumes for your dog, and a few for your cat. The shortage of cat costumes seems to be a combination of a feline's natural unwillingness to do absolutely anything you want it to, and the fact that an internet search combining the words "cat" and "costume" results in slut costumes. Also goddam furries.

This piece will primarily focus on costume ideas for the owner of alternative pets, like llamas and ants.

So... I guess we'll get those two out of the way first thing.

Llama - Shave it. Liberally apply self-tanning lotion. Now it's a camel. Maybe also put a cigarette in its mouth.

Ant Farm - Fry them. Now they're Forbidden rice.


  • Glue a little globe on its back.
  • Glue a little plastic elephant to your turtle's back, and a little globe to the elephant's back.
  • If you have multiple turtles, glue them on top of one another in descending order (if they tip over you've got it backward) and cap it with the elephant/world combo. Use as many turtles as you have available, 'cause it's turtles all the way down.
  • If you happen to have a real elephant handy, the same concept works with an Earth-print beachball. If you're also going to incorporate the turtle motif, I suggest sticking to Giant Tortoises. And have the elephant stand on just one at first to see if it can hold the weight. Stand back, just in case it explodes like an egg under a cinder block.
  • Lastly on this theme, if you have a homunculus, make it carry around a small globe like Atlas. He might not like it, but you made the little golem, so tough.
Now, onto snakes.

You'll notice several of the last few ideas involved gluing things to an animal. This part will be largely the same. For some reason this always seems to be a problem for reptile owners. Some guy that owns like seven lizards and five snakes and is the most hard rocking metal-head you've ever met freaks the second you talk about doing anything cool to one of his pets.
Dog owners are usually cool. They assess each situation on its own merits. Shove a dog down a slide? Sure. Dog blindfolded and shoved in a dark room? Cool. Spinning a dog on the floor until he gets sick or bites you in the face? Why not? But snake owners, as soon as you want to put it in a tube sock or roll it up in a Boboli crust and pretend it's a burrito, they're like "Dude, not cool. Don't touch my f***ing snake. You're gonna rip off a scale and it'll leak snake juice all over and die. Why are you trying to hurt my snake?"Now, for the life of me I would assume that at some point, someone somewhere would have developed a glue for use on snakes and other scaled beasts. But since this doesn't seem to exist, I recommend plain old super glue or a resin-based epoxy.


  • Glue a toy airplane under your snake. Snake on a Plane!
  • Make a little cardboard articulated bus. Put your snake in it and let its head hang out the windshield. maybe put a little bus driver hat on it. Also, you could dress a mouse in a little business suit and... you know.
  • Coat your snake in a jam, like boysenberry or blackberry and now it's a giant earthworm.
  • Construct a giant ketchup bottle out of a laid-down old water heater and a traffic cone. paint your snake red and periodically make it crawl out of the end like some living ketchup spill. Other combos: Mustard bottle/ yellow snake, giant baby bottle/ white snake. Picturing any of these really unsettles me.
  • Tie your snake to a number of old school roller skates and glue on a poodle skirt. She's a car hop! (a blonde ponytail would be cute too!)
  • Paint it brown and either keep it agitated or glue it into a coil. Dog poop!
  • Coat your snake in glue and roll it in garishly colored feathers. Feather Boa!
  • Paint it brown, add 4 legs and two ears, and it's a Dachshund. The best thing to use for both the legs and ears is corn dogs. They are the right color and really drive home the "dog" part. Also the sticks can be glued directly to the scales, so even after the corn dogs are eaten, it's an eerie skeleton dachshund! I suppose if you're really messed up you could just have your snake eat a dachshund and then poke holes for the legs to come through. Nope, that's just a bad idea.
  • Take a spray bottle, fill it with water and black food coloring. Spray down your bird. Now your cockatiel is a crow!
  • If you have several birds do them all and turn them into God-awful Southern jam hippie filth rock band The Black Crowes.
  • Put your new crow next to an ibis and make them fight. Crow vs. Wade!
  • Dress your crow like Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible. Looks like he's ready for Crow-vert Operations!
There should have been a picture here of a crow
with Aladdin Sane face paint. Now just pretend it's
still David Crowie and naked Mick Jaybird just left the room.

  • Put your fake crow in a blue gingham pinafore. Where's she from? Somewhere crow-ver the Rainbow!
  • If you have a dog like the one on Frasier, glue your new crow to its back. It's Jack Russell Crowe! I suppose you could actually do this without the bird. Just dye the dog black and staple some wings on its back.
  • And while we're momentarily on dog costumes, put a gray wig on fido, tape a cane to his foreleg (unless he's already in one of those dog wheelchair things) and give him some little wire frame glasses. He's rover the hill!
  • If you don't like the idea of dying your feathered friend, coating it in melted black wax or tar should make it look like a bat.
  • Ok, this one's a little complicated. Take a large piece of beef tenderloin. Either glue your crow to it or just staple some wings and bird feet on the beef. Dye the beef black to match your crow-keet. Now dress it in a little loin cloth and give it a caveman club. It's Filet Crow Mignon! I guess this one could really just be done with a piece of meat and a leopard print loin cloth. No dye or wings or anything needed; it would still be Filet Cro Mignon. But that's not a pet costume; that's dressing up raw meat.
  • If you're a rodent lover, take your pet rat and enmesh its tail with the tails of many other(live or fake) rats. Now that's a King Rat!
Lots of little crowns aren't necessary, but would be adorable!
  • For your pet rabbit, a little red food coloring by its mouth turns it into the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • For a bit more involved bunny costume, stiffen its ears with copious amounts of Elmer's glue, add a Beanie Baby "Twigs" head on top and tape yard sticks to its legs. Now that's a crazy tiny giraffe. Color as needed with markers.
  • If you have a ferret, glue its mouth to a ball. Now it's one of these things!
  • Generously spread Peanut butter all over your hamster and roll it in bird seed. Bird feeder!
  • Your bear needs no costume. It is a bear. That's about as awesome as it gets. Maybe buy it a wallet so it looks even more important. People will see him and go "Holy crap! That bear has a wallet! He must have important stuff to keep track of!"
  • Ok, this one is tough. The problem is that goats don't really "dress up". If you put a big mane on it, it kind of looks like a scrawny lion, but really it looks like a goat in a mane. Cow? Well, goats already have udders and some of them are spotted, so it's just a goat, or a really crappy cow. Dog or cat? All the parts are there - 4 legs, tail, nose, etc. It's just a goat. So, the only solution is to dress your goat as Baphomet. Make your goat sit in the corner on his haunches in front of a dim light. Slap some fake boobs and giant leathery bat wings on it. It will scare the shit out of your guests.

  • Paint your cat like a raccoon. Or a skunk. A line of white paint down its back and it's that cat from the PePe Le Pew cartoons!
  • Dress your cat like Justin Bieber. I think a cat in a little hooded sweatshirt with a Bieber wig would be precious.
  • Maybe dump some food coloring or Jell-o in the tank. That's about it.
  • Own a shark? Iron Man is popular.
Tony Shark

Lastly guys, I did not have nearly enough time to make illustrations for each awesome costume idea. If anybody would like to e-mail me a picture/drawing/whatever to help flesh out these ideas, that would make my day. All contributions will be added to this article, and I'll credit you as the artist. Happy Halloween.

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