Oh, you caught me doing some research on the Internet for this week’s column. I was scoping out this year’s hot Halloween costumes. Thought the information could also be useful to figure out how scared I should be upon opening the door to hand out candy. Yes … it seems we could be visited by Buzz Lightyear and Woody from “Toy Story” fame. Now those are some characters I can handle! Turns out superhero Iron Man is also popular along with a few Harry Potter characters. Personally, I’m also hoping for a visit from Mr. Potato Head. But alas, it looks like the costume is toddler-friendly. Gotta face the reality … the odds are not in my favor on the spud. I remember my very first adventure into the wonderful world of trick-or-treating. I was probably about five years old. In the late ‘50s, costumes came in a cardboard box with a cellophane window opening on top so you could get a good peek at the cool mask that covered your entire face with little eyeball and nose holes. The costumes always came with some kind of a simple outfit with a tie in the back, but no one really cared about that. Obviously it was all about the mask. That year I was Betty Boop. She is the iconic cartoon character from the 1930s, with literally, a very large head. Her signature look includes overly pudgy cheeks, crazy long eyelash extensions and a wispy flapper-style hairdo. Yep, when I close my eyes and sniff, I still remember how the inside of my Betty Boop plastic mask smells after wearing it for about 30 minutes. Obviously there was some kind of chemical reaction with the plastic and sweat. Those masks were beastly hot. Oh, and did I mention Ms. Boop had this famous one-liner in all the black and white cartoons? It was “poop-poop-de-doo” spoken in the highest and squeakiest of voices. Not sure of the exact translation of that phrase. Actually I’m not even gonna speculate. Like me … all our babes are now way past the cute kiddie trick-or-treat costumes. Even our special needs daughter the last two years has started helping me hand out the candy. But I do recall there were a few years I dusted off the sewing machine with a leaf blower and stitched up a few costumes from a McCall’s, Vogue or Butterick pattern. There was the classic white and red clown costume. All three of our kids wore it at one time or another until one day it just went poof and disappeared from the planet. We suspect spontaneous combustion. One year I found a pumpkin pattern and stitched up a costume specifically for Mimi. The bright orange gourd, with the happy pumpkin face, was padded with stuffing and covered her torso. She wore long black leggings, pigtails and looked adorable. Mimi probably wore that costume for three or four years before we moved on to the more sophisticated cheerleader outfit and ‘60s pink poodle skirt. Did I mention that Mimi, our special child, absolutely adores Halloween? Yep, hands down it is her absolute favorite holiday. In fact the word “Halloween” is probably one of the only three-syllable words she can enunciate. And since she can’t say “Thanksgiving” or “Christmas” every major holiday is “Halloween” which suits the Frantz family just fine. It always took two people to get Mimi around the block on Halloween. It was a bit of a challenge to get the wheelchair up and down the curbs safely. We never tipped her over once. But it was worth hearing the squeals every time we hit another house. Actually, Mimi could care less about all the candy. The only exception would be plain M&M’s. She loves M&M’s and has a stocked clear plastic box perpetually full on the kitchen table. My mom, bless her heart, is always bringing over a fresh bag for Mimi. Actually, all Mimi really wants to do during trick-or-treat is visit with the neighbors and hug whoever is handing out the loot. Oh, and cracking up over how some of our neighbors have dressed up their pets is always a bonus. Did I mention that while researching hot Halloween costumes for the younger crowd, I also noticed the top picks for the more mature trick-or-treater? The following are the costumes I am hoping not to find when I open my door this Halloween: Lady Gaga, Snooki from the trashy reality shore “Jersey Shores” and absolutely anything resembling a vampire. Way too scary! Dixie Frantz is a long-time Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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