Tonight's the night.
Halloween on a Friday. It's like two holidays in one.
Makes you want to start early and come home way past the bewitching hour. But, don't overdo it.
Before you beg for candy or wait for the Great Pumpkin, beware: It's spooky out there. This year, the trick-or-treat trail is crawling with spoilsports.
We've already had two incidents of Halloween party pooping. Cincinnati's city council - now, there's a scary bunch - shortened the beggars' hours from 6-9 p.m. to 6-8 p.m. Here's hoping Mayor Roxanne Qualls gives out stopwatches as her treats.
In the other incident, the Anderson Township post office lost its witch to political correctness. Somebody complained that a Halloween decoration riding a broomstick was a religious symbol. If the witch remained, the complainer expected a Nativity scene at the post office for Christmas.
Down came the witch. The post office did not want to offend its customers. Or get into a battle over the separation of church and state.
All this from the same place that sells Christmas and Hanukkah stamps. And, delivers bills - try to tell me they're not offensive.
No doubt about it, it is spooky out there. Seriously crazy, too. But, Halloween is supposed to be fun. ''Trick or treat!'' is said with a smile.
In that spirit, I've cooked up a witch's brew of treats. If my batch of double, bubble, toil and trouble turns out right, this is what Greater Cincinnati's famous will hand out tonight:
Bob Bedinghaus - Blank checks.
Stan Chesley - Souvenir napkins from the Clinton White House.
Bruce Coslet - Game-winning football. Used once. First come, first served.
Mike Brown - Bengals' schedules. For 1998.
Patricia Corbett - Grace notes.
Cincinnati Cyclones - Recipes for roast duck.
Cincinnati Mighty Ducks - 3-D glasses that make the Gardens look like the Crown.
Marge Schott - Pens. Red ink only.
John Allen - Ballpark blueprints and calculators that add up nine-figure price tags.
Jack McKeon - Victory cigars.
Ed Maruska - Elephant ears.
Firefighter Jerrold Ware - A hero's welcome.
Phil Heimlich - ''I like Dwight'' campaign buttons.
Dwight Tillery - Betting slips. From the candidate endorsed by Pete Rose.
Charles Winburn - ''Down with Dope'' kazoos.
Jim Tarbell - Baseball cards pushing some bald guy's candidacy. The best campaign handout since fingernail files.
Judge Lee Hildebrandt Jr. - Truth serum.
Larry Flynt - ''I do downtown'' membership cards.
Jerry Springer - Undelivered commentaries from his short-lived return to TV news.
Falmouth, Ky. - Clear skies. Still waters.
John Shirey - Guide books to San Diego. Never used.
Jeff Blake - Postcards from his recent quick trip to beautiful downtown Addyston.
Boomer Esiason - Splinters.
Marty Brennaman & Joe Nuxhall - Elvis stamps.
Cincinnati Police Chief Mike Snowden - Pink slips.
Former Cincinnati Fire Chief Tom Steidel - Overtime slips.
Bob Huggins - Watchdogs.
Oscar Robertson - Family ties.
Rep. John Boehner - Cell phones.
Sylvia ''The Meter-Feeding Granny'' Stayton - Plug nickels.
The Enquirer - Sunday comics. Without the wrapping paper.
Cliff Radel's column appears in The Enquirer Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Call 768-8379 or fax at 768-8340.