Picture this: Dorothy slowly rocks to and fro as her crocodile tears splatter upon beer-licked pavement. The Tin Man appears rusted and fatigued, hardly moving more than an inch from his evident stupor. Amid growing laughter, the Scarecrow attempts to deter crowds of drunken students from soaking in the sight of their predicament. Quietly, the Cowardly Lion strokes his tail pensively, fearing the worst for his dearest Dorothy. No, this isn’t a scene from “Dorothy Gale Does Dallas,” but an image burned on my retina from last Halloween.

Some of my friends from home decided to come to Isla Vista to witness UCSB in all its glory and to, ahem, sample the local flavor. Needless to say, my friends dressed as “The Wizard of Oz” characters and bit off more than could chew, or, more appropriately, drank a bit more than they could process. After being spit on by a bumblebee, Dorothy proceeded to battle-ax Toto into the bee’s head. This, shockingly, attracted the fuzz and earned her an all-expense paid ticket to the drunk tank. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to discourage you from enjoying a drunken rant as you hobble down the yellow brick road that is Del Playa Drive, but, for the sake of your dignity and your police record, take some of these tips into consideration. It’s high time to learn how to avoid arrest on Halloween.

Despite the temptation, gentlemen, please refrain from grabbing the sailor girl’s butt. Most assuredly, there will be women aplenty gracing the streets of our beloved slum, but giving into the compulsion to squeeze a handful will only lead to one of three things. First, you will be seen by a cop and arrested for sexual assault. Second, if she enjoys it, it’s likely she’s the type you probably shouldn’t be shacking up with anyway. And there’s always the third possibility that she will slap you so hard your great-grandchildren will feel it, although if she goes for the balls, you won’t really have to worry about your posterity anyway. Believe me, you aren’t the great and powerful Oz, so unless you plan on bringing out a woman’s Wicked Witch of the West, back off, plain and simple.

Next, as much as you want to arm yourself with your bazooka to complete your soldier outfit, that would be a very, very bad idea. Isla Vista has a penchant for implementing Murphy’s law. For you slow ones, “that which can go wrong, will,” so wherever you think you’re drawing the line, you will likely cross it, pee on it and then proceed to pass out. Sure, I’m all for obscenely large bazookas bobbing above the heads of Del Playa wanderers, but you would be most unwise to test a policeman on a horse. For one thing, the horse can buck and knock you to next Sunday. Those majestic beasts are also naturally inclined to leave majestic piles of you know what, so mind the minefields. I’d also recommend passing one of the police checkpoints – assuming you are sober enough – before the end of the night. Their trashcans will be filled with more weapons than a medieval armory, and it is a priceless sight to behold.

This one should fall under the heading of common sense, yet it is often overlooked once the process of getting hammered begins. Do not, by any means, bring an open container of any kind out into the streets with you. I guarantee that you’ll be nailed faster than a 2-by-4, and consequently incarcerated before you can say “sober.” The Isla Vista Foot Patrol doesn’t care what’s in the cup or bottle, but that you are varnishing your ambrosia in the middle of a kegfield. All you need to do is pre-pre-game at your house, pre-game at a friend’s and then it is game on!

Considering you possess the good sense to take these suggestions to heart, you should be well on your way toward enjoying all the euphoria that I.V. Halloween has to offer. Otherwise, enjoy your concrete seat next to Dorothy and gang in the drunk tank. Trust me, once that hung-over sun lazily rises from the sea, you will most assuredly realize – uh oh, Toto – we definitely aren’t in Isla Vista anymore.