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The time for little beggars knocking at your door is here again. Halloween is a tradition that we celebrate on the last night of October, 11 days from now.

The origin of Halloween is the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The celebration marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of long dark nights. Immigrants from Ireland and Scotland brought the customs and traditions of Halloween to America, and the celebration became a popular event. Over the years, "trick or treat" has been the accepted practice. To prevent tricks, it is the custom to give neighborhood children treats.

Costumes are a large part of the event. At this time of year new stores open and they are devoted to selling all things Halloween. The costumes are very elaborate and costly.

Since we are watching our expenditures, this may be the year for a homemade costume.

The following suggestions are for adults only. As far as the children are concerned, they should only be all things cute and sweet. Ballerinas and bunnies are perfect for little girls and cowboys and superheroes for boys. The adult costumes I am suggesting require only business attire and a really expensive briefcase. The briefcase can be obtained at any good pawnshop.

Depending on your side of the fence there are so many bogeymen and -women to choose from. In some circles the No. 1 bad man would be George Bush, followed by Dick Cheney. The No. 1 female would be Sarah Palin. I am sure all the Sarahs will be carrying pitchforks.

For those on the other side of the fence, you have Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank. Anyone from the liberal media also qualifies. If you can't make a decision who is the biggest and baddest, there are plenty of books being sold telling the ugly truth. Your costume could include a gavel or a microphone.

Due to the current financial crisis, there are heaps of other bogeypersons from which to choose.

Overpaid CEOs, financial gurus, banking executives and former governmental appointees fall into this category. For a costume all you need is paper money hidden in your hand-tailored suit and a blank look on your face.

Another source for a scary character would be the decisionmakers of HMOs and property insurance companies. The costume is already in your closet due to casual Fridays. Just jeans, a shirt and the word "no" printed on it are all you need.

It would be astonishing if the wearing of the persona of a believed enemy could purge the wearer of negative feelings. Maybe we could relieve ourselves of pent-up rage. If only the simple act of putting on a costume would remove all the blatant hatred from our political discourse. Halloween would truly serve a purpose if that were probable.

As you talk to friends and neighbors, voices are raised in frustration and anger. The negativity of the ad campaigns is fueling fear and uncertainty.

Halloween is only four days before the election, and the early voting actually begins this morning. We do not need ghosts and goblins to scare us because we are already terrified by reality.

The most frightening thing we face is making a choice while we speculate whether we have been told the whole truth.

The next scariest thing is that many won't vote.

Mary Partington lives in New Port Richey.