Editor’s Scratchpad

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Will it be
terror or treat?

If you spot someone who looks like Osama bin Laden roaming your neighborhood this evening, there's no need to shudder or to call the FBI. Chalk it up as the blackest Halloween humor possible, roundly denounced as tasteless in the United States but profitable for some foreign costume makers.

Several companies displayed bin Laden costumes last week at the Hong Kong International Toys & Gifts Fair. In Mexico, the Caretas Rev costume company offered the bin Laden costume, including rubber mask, for $33, but exercised good sense by not exporting the offensive outfit north.

America's most popular Halloween costumes this year reportedly are policemen and firefighters, apparently because of their new status as national heroes. Or could it be because those costumes personify the bravery needed to go door to door during these scary times?

--Lee Catterall

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