Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Yummy treats

Lighten up for Halloween

        Halloween couldn't be any scarier.

        Osama bin Laden's gang and anthrax by mail have given everyone a massive dose of the willies.

        Frankenstein's monster, by comparison, is just a big clumsy oaf with some bad body piercing.

        The times are so terrifying many are rethinking Halloween. Should it go on tonight as planned or be shelved until peace breaks out again?

        I say go for it. Dress up. Beg door-to-door. Hand out treats, not tricks. This land has had enough of the latter.

        Do it up right. Be courageous. And outrageous. Don't just sit out a bowl of waxy, microscopically small candy bars and cower — gas mask and latex gloves at the ready — behind a bolted door.

        Go all out. Greet the beggars. Make your treats special. Personalize them. Think Martha Stewart in orange and black.

        For pointers, I made my annual pilgrimage to the friendly neighborhood witch. Over a bubbling cauldron of al-Qaida stew, she cackled about the specialized treats beggars will get by ringing the doorbells of Greater Cincinnati's rich and famous:

        • Charlie Luken — Forks. Toast.

        • Courtis Fuller — CDs by George “No Show” Jones and the late King Curtis.

        • Hamilton County Republican Party — Blank slates.

        • Nick Vehr — Torches for the 2012 Cincinnati Olympics. Never lit.

        • Police Chief Tom Streicher — Yard signs against Issue 5. He'll be out of uniform, of course.

        • John Shirey — Three words: Free at last.

        • John Cranley Robert's Rules of Order.

        • Pat DeWine — Videocassettes of Election 2001's spookiest commercial: The councilman in a geeky, ill-fitting jacket skulking around a quiet neighborhood in the dead of night.

        • Minette Cooper — Gavels, rarely used.

        • Phil Heimlich — Surveillance cameras.

        • Alicia Reece — Waffles.

        • Jim Tarbell — Paint remover.

        • Tom Neyer — Conflicts of interest.

        • John Dowlin — Subway tokens.

        • Corner Carl Parrott — Guest passes to the Hamilton County morgue. No photographs.

        • Bob Taft — Rejected designs for Ohio's state quarter.

        • Paavo Jarvi — Hershey's Symphony.

        • Ford dealers — Firestone tires, slightly blemished.

        • Procter & Gamble's A.G. Lafley — Pink slips.

        • Mike Brown — Seating charts for Paul Brown Stadium. Each section's on the 50-yard-line.

        • Dick LeBeau — Applications for place kickers.

        • Neil Rackers — Curveballs.

        • Bob Boone — Lineup cards, overused.

        • Barry Larkin — Sour grapes.

        • John Allen — Mustard fit for the Great American Ball Park.

        • Jim Bowden — Memberships to his fan club (Ron Oester, president).

        • Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall — Truth serum.

        • Carl Lindner — Pennies, pinched from the Reds' payroll.

        • Marge Schott — Bumper stickers proclaiming: “Don't blame me. I don't run the Reds, honey.”

        • Rev. Damon Lynch III The Prayer of Jabez.

        • National Flag Co. — Stars and Stripes.

        • Firefighters and police — LifeSavers.

        Columnist Cliff Radel can be reached at 768-8379; fax 768-8340; e-mail


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