Pro Tips with Wayne Diamante: Halloween is serious business

Welcome to the Spooky Pumpkin edition of Pro Tips! -- photo by HJL
Welcome to the Spooky Pumpkin edition of Pro Tips! — photo by HJL

Muahaha! Welcome to your Pro Tips from beyond the grave! I hope you’re ready for a bootiful All Hallows’ Eve, my pretties. This month’s Pro Tips is focused on questions and tips for ensuring you’ll have a spooktacular Halloween. And don’t forget, hit me up at if you need advice on the skeletons in your closet. They may not be funny, but I’m sure something about them is humerus.

Dear Wayne,

We want our trick-or-treaters to come away with a top-notch experience this year. We live in a very competitive neighborhood and we’re tired of being disregarded as a serious contender in the holiday game. We’re a tier-1 family and want the neighborhood respect we’re entitled to. Any tips on crushing the competition?

Reince and Sally

Dear Reince and Sally,

I find myself simultaneously horrified and in awe of your commitment to holiday one-upsmanship. Here’s the thing, no matter the context – airline first class, country and gentlemen’s clubs, day spas, elementary schools – there’s one distinguishing factor separating the ordinary from extraordinary, and that is the level of service expected and provided. For example, people love convenience. If you want to deliver a real one-percenter experience to the neighborhood, I suggest opening the candy wrappers a little bit the night before giving it away. People love open candies. Who wants to go to all the trouble of fussing about with toilsome cellophane and wax paper? Just give each wrapper a little tear and you’ll be all set to go on the big night. For an added touch, spice things up with an element of mystery by inserting a personal note like, “I’m watching you” or “They aren’t your real parents.” It’s the little things that make the difference.

Dear Wayne,

I need a killer costume this Halloween, something top shelf, you know? Classy, but also kind of ass-y. Any ideas on a real show stopper? Thanks in advance!


Dear Blithe,

Discovering the perfect costume is a bit like finding a unicorn: improbable, but not impossible if you have enough airplane glue. For sniffing. Everyone knows cyanoacrylate will not bind fur and bone effectively. Not for long, anyway. There are many hot costume trends this year, but my industry contacts tell me the following are the bleeding edge:

• Skeet-r-Pan
• Tickle-Me-Git’mo

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Sexy Versions of World Leaders Involved in the Conflict in Syria. Including, but not limited to: Sexy Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Sexy Bashar al Asad, Sexy Angela Merkel, Sexy Abū Bakr al-Baghdādi, and now Sexy Vladimir Putin – which is almost just like the regular version of V.V.P., but with less horse-grease and more bear pubes.

And of course, Celebrity Journalists! This year, my family is dressing as our favorite NPR correspondents. My wife will be going as Steve Inskeep, my youngest daughter will be Nina Totenberg, my oldest is going as Linda Wertheimer and I haven’t decide on Sylvia Poggioli or Lakshmi Singh, but I’m sure either one will be a big hit.

Dear Wayne,

My wife and I would like to have something for the trick or treaters this year. What sort of candy are the kids into these days?

Sherman and Magda

Dear Sherman and Magda,

Great question! Don’t be the jerks handing out popcorn balls or trail mix, or other homemade shit no one wants. Also, no sugar-free hard candies and no circus peanuts. I want my kids’ bags full of A-list sweets, because I don’t have time to rummage through the bit-o-honey and tootsie roll shake at the bottom of the sack.

Happy Halloween!