Some years I scramble around at the last minute trying to figure out a Halloween costume. Some years I don't dress up at all.

Then there are the years when I figure it out well in advance.

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A Little About Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll (real name Jason DeFord) burst onto the country music scene on 2022 after years of being familiar to rap audiences.

His songs "Son of a Sinner" and "Need a Favor" both skyrocketed to the top of the country charts; the former actually winning three CMT Music Awards in 2023.

Jelly Roll
Photo via Getty Images North America
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The singer lived hard for years - in and out of jail at least 40 times by his count, amid near lifelong battles with alcohol and drugs. He's covered head to toe in tattoos, something uncommon among the majority of country singers.

Why I Chose To Go As Jelly Roll for Halloween

As a kid, Jelly Roll was a little pudgy - hence the nickname his mom gave him.

He and I have that in common. The "pudgy". Not the nickname.

RELATED: Jelly Roll's New Tattoo Has Special Significance

Most of today's country stars wouldn't have any issues shopping off the rack at Old Navy or even Walmart. But not me and Jelly Roll - we're bigger boys. We need a few extra Xs on those tags.

I glanced in the mirror at my unshaven face one morning in late August, and realized that Jelly would be the perfect Halloween costume.

I grew my beard out for a month, took to Amazon to get a body marker and a fake gold chain, and bought a denim jacket which I'll continue to wear as long as the weather allows.

WITL's JR as Jelly Roll, Halloween 2023
Photo via JR, Townsquare Media Lansing
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My Day As Jelly Roll

My choice of costume was met with enthusiastic approval from many of my co-workers. After all, Jelly Roll is one of the hottest acts in country music right now - and it takes a certain, shall we say, body shape to pull off this look. One friend even nicknamed me "Jelly Donut".

I stayed in costume all day, and even went to lunch in my full get-up. That's when I learned exactly how convincing the look was.

WITL's JR as Jelly Roll, Halloween 2023
Photo via MJ, Townsquare Media Lansing
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I wasn't hungry for a big lunch - just a quick gas station snack would be fine.

As I patiently awaited my order, several other customers came and went - several of them in Halloween costumes of their own. I stood between two other men waiting for their numbers to be called (both of them in their regular workday apparel).

I overheard a woman ask someone an aisle away from us if they knew how to get to Holt. They didn't know, so she approached the man to my right and asked him. He replied that he had no idea.

And that's when it happened.

This woman did not even make eye contact with me as she passed me by to ask the fellow to my left if he knew how to get to Holt. Didn't even look at me.

For the record, the guy to my left couldn't give her directions either since he was just in town for work. She left exasperated.

Didn't even look at me.

WITL's JR as Jelly Roll, Halloween 2023
Photo via Al Garcia
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Do tattooed, bearded, burly guys wearing gold chains get bypassed for directions on a regular basis?

Did this woman even realize I was simply in costume for the day? Or did she consider the big scary guy to be unapproachable?

I guess we'll never know.

I could have told her how to get to Holt.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Jelly Roll

The Jelly Roll: Save Me documentary on Hulu tells Jelly Roll's complicated life story and spares no details. He's shockingly honest about addiction, prison, his childhood and his insecurities. Here are 10 key takeaways from the project.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes