“Camp” is a mysterious substance that is only fully understood by gay men, and by the straight female best friends of gay men who hang around gay men so much that they essentially become one.


I don’t know why I’m even bothering to describe what camp is, because if you don’t know what it is, you probably won’t understand what I’m talking about anyway. But here goes.


Camp is a secret code made up of various levels of artifice. Camp is a person who knows he’s being absurd and affected, and knows that you know, and knows that you know he knows you know. Camp becomes the thing it’s making fun of, and goes beyond it to become a kind of meta-mockery.


In other words, Miss Piggy is camp. Miss Piggy is ultra-camp. She’s fifty pounds of camp in a five pound bag. Miss Piggy is a man performing a puppet pretending to be a female pig pretending to be a movie star who somehow actually becomes a female pig movie star, and simultaneously parodies female pig movie stars, even though she’s the only one that ever existed. That, my friends, is camper than camp.


Now, here’s the thing: If you have no idea what I’m talking about at this point, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WEAR A MISS PIGGY COSTUME FOR HALLOWEEN. EVER.


I’m serious. Camp is a highly flammable substance, and if it’s handled improperly, it will explode in your face. Only trained professionals should attempt to use it — namely, gay men, and the straight female best friends of gay men who etc.


A man dressed as Miss Piggy is funny. Actually, anyone dressed as Miss Piggy is funny, but the men are in on the joke. That’s why this costume works:


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And this costume doesn’t:


See what I mean? Boys only. Although, now that I think about it, sometimes it’s just not that easy to tell the difference. Piggy costumes are funny that way.


I know that most of the instructions I’ve been giving so far have been warnings not to wear Muppet costumes. But I can’t help it, I have a responsibility here. For example, it’s especially problematic when a woman wears a Piggy costume and she happens to be even slightly overweight.


People who see you are forced to run through this complicated internal dialogue: Did she dress like Miss Piggy because she thinks she’s overweight? Did she dress like Miss Piggy because she thinks she’s not overweight? Maybe that has nothing to do with it? What?


It’s just safer when guys do it. You know where you are with guys.


At the risk of repeating myself, here’s another plug for wearing a costume that makes use of your own face. The alternative is just too horrible, as seen here:


And here:


Overall, it’s best to go simple, and let the guys handle it.


I hear I Dream of Jeannie costumes are popular. Or cowgirl. You could try cowgirl.


Next in the Muppet Fan Halloween Parade:

A Halloween pop quiz

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