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Heads of state part trick, part treat


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Every year we grumble about how there are more Halloween costumes for adults than kids and that adults have taken over the holiday. And then I wonder if we’re adding fuel to the fire.

We have an interesting collection of masks.

They are extremely life-like face masks with two tiny holes for your eyes — masks of the presidents. We have presidents 39 through 44 with the exception of 41. What’s that, you say? You don’t have any?

I am married to the only man in America who has found a way to weave history with Halloween.

The first year we were married the husband bought a Halloween mask of then President Jimmy Carter. His exact words were, “We’ll never get a chance to get one of these again.”

It was like he was looking at the last Veg-O-Matic to ever air on late-night television.

He said it as though this mask was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I could only hope.

Carter eventually took up residence in a cabinet where we kept bandages, Tylenol, prescription meds and the humidifier. Carter became like our family care physician, we only saw him when one of us didn’t feel well.

After Carter, much to the husband’s amazing, unbelievable good fortune, he found a Ronald Reagan mask.

He subsequently missed out on Bush 41 but did acquire a Clinton mask, a Bush 43 mask and an Obama mask.

If you’ve ever seen these presidential masks, you have probably wondered who buys them. Now you know. We do.

The husband wears the presidential masks when handing out Halloween candy to the kids, but it is often the parents who have more of a response.

Once in a while a kid might recognize the face on a mask and comment that the president looks shorter in person or ask why he’s not in Washington.

More often, a parent is likely to scream at the child, “Don’t take candy from a Democrat!” Or Republican.

It depends on who is in office and which mask the husband is wearing.

We have enough presidential masks to have a summit or at least phone Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and tell him one of the presidents will see him. Of course, it would take time to round up one of them.

For years Reagan was in the kids’ dress-up box along with an old Cub Scout uniform, a firefighter’s hat, assorted hats and heels and my mother’s old wedding gown.

We see President Barack Obama on a regular basis, as he is in the hall closet on a shelf between mailing supplies and vacuum bags.

Bush 43 is in the linen closet. He’s behind a stack of towels. I know he’s there, but I always forget that I know he’s there. Consequently, every time the stack of towels dwindles, I yank out the last one, am startled and shriek, “Who put Bush in the linen closet?”

I worry that there are only so many times you can scream something like that before the Secret Service pays you a visit.

My birthday was last week. Care to guess what my gift was? Welcome to the lineup, Gov. Romney.

Lori Borgman is an Indianapolis columnist.

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