Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.


CP: My head hurts, I’m fresh out of eye makeup remover, and I feel like Liz Taylor in the opening scene of “Butterfield 8.” I’m way too old to have a Halloween hangover, right?


RN: Nah. Go ahead. Embrace your frat boy within.


CP: That frat boy would be you, possum. I can about imagine the diabolical goings-on at the Alpha Tau Omega chapter house on All Hallow’s Eve.


RN: I have no memory of said shenanigans. Not because of any brain-cell-killing kegger action, but because I don’t recall Oct. 31 being the big Party-with-a-capital-P event that it is now.


CP: Dang. I had images of you launching off the frat-house patio on a broomstick while doing your famed 11 o’clock version of “Defying Gravity.”


RN: Sadly, no. And if I did, I’d never admit it. Although it would have been “Rose’s Turn” rather than “Defying Gravity.”


CP: When I go through old photo albums, a 12-page year will have five pages of me and friends in costume. You don’t want to lose the one of a male friend in a full white wedding dress, having recently thrown up on the hood of a Yellow Cab.


RN: I hesitate to inquire after the costume you found yourself in for this year’s festivities.


CP: Robert Smith of The Cure. Again.


RN: Googling. Oh, him. Yeah, I can see that.


CP: It’s so easy, once you have the wig and a big red lipstick for smearing. My fave thing in recent years, though, is throwing on a mask, fright wig and black choir gown to answer the door when trick-or-treaters arrive. If I can get a young’un to sprint to the sidewalk and climb into his mother’s arms in abject fear, I figure I’ve done my bit for our nation’s scariest holiday.


RN: Lovely. None of our trick-or-treaters seemed to grasp the meaning of my costume, although perhaps it was a bit esoteric for 5-year-olds. I jammed my head through an Armstrong acoustic panel and went as the debt ceiling.


CP: Oh, that’s rich. Why go as a concept, or Ben Bernanke, when you can try to beat Divine’s look in “Female Trouble”?


RN: Me, in drag? No thanks. I think Mr. Ron, the reigning 1980s diva of the old Casablanca Show Lounge at the Gay 90’s, permanently scarred my perspective on drag.


CP: Don’t knock it, as they say, until you try it.


RN: My fear is that I will be aiming for Catherine Zeta-Jones in the movie adaptation of “Chicago,” but I’ll come out looking like Lucille Ball in the film version of “Mame.”


CP: I have a red wig I can rent you.


RN: Of course you do. Why do you think The Gays think of Halloween as Christmas, Hanukkah and Dayton’s Jubilee Sale, all rolled into one?


CP: I’m certain there are lots of Jungian explanations to do with masks, identity and collective unconscious, but I figure it comes down to a pair of torn fishnets and a giant can of Aquanet.


RN: That, and a pair of jazz hands.


E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib