Halloween Costumes for the IT Crowd

Bad news: this year, Halloween's on a weeknight. Most of us will forego the festivities and spend the evening, as always, keying, coding and complaining.

But for the handful of IT’ers out there not on calls, not being paged, and not spending an all-nighter on the Payroll project—this is for you. Here are my can't-miss Halloween costume suggestions for the IT crowd.

Not that I am exactly an expert. Last year I dressed in dark gray, went to a party, walked up to our Director of HR and poked him in the stomach. I said I was the stylus-part of a Palm Pilot - he then belted me with a fistful of candy corn and today I swear there's still something wrong with my 401K deductions but he won't return my calls.

Nonetheless, choose the outfit below that best fits your mood:

May require a bit of investment. Don your best Hilfiger attire. Stuff your pockets so they overflow with dollar bills. Carry a cup from Starbuck's, jingle the keys from a BMW, and wear a blank look on your face. Costume: College new-hire.

Walk around like royalty. Wear a crown, be aloof, throw your weight around and force people around you to kneel at your command. Costume: IT Department Secretary.

Perfect for you partygoers. You just need a headset. Go to a party, knock on the door, tell them to wait there for a second, and then disappear for the next two hours. Costume: Next Available Representative.

Try to look inconspicuous, then suddenly shake and vibrate without warning. Repeat frequently. Costume: either a pager, or our DBA after 6 cups of coffee.

Here's an easy one. Just need a long white cane and a pair of dark sunglasses. Costume: your company's e-business strategy.

Dress like a dentist. Wield a long string with a huge molar tied around one end, so it looks like you're pulling teeth. Costume: anyone trying to get requirements from an end-user.

This one's obvious. Cover yourself with bugs. Better make it fake plastic bugs if you're going to be anywhere near the buffet table. Costume: new software release.

Requires a little make-up expertise. Douse yourself in fake blood. Make it look like you've been through the wringer. Show that you've been slashed from head to toe. Costume: next year's IT budget.

Need a few props here: A bent fender, a smashed headlight, and a crumpled bumper. Look bruised and battered, like you've just crashed. Costume: my hard drive, or the stock of any high-tech company beginning with "e-".

Still stumped for a costume? Here's one you can make in no time. Just grease up with a couple handfuls of Crisco—the slimier, the better. Costume: Vendor. (I recommend you stay away from open flame.)

Last, but not least, the easiest costume to make. Just get a bucket. Fill it with sand. Insert head. Costume: CIO.

Michael Cohn lives in Atlanta and this year plans to wear fangs and a cape—he's going as a headhunter.