The retail stores have had their Halloween merchandise on the shelves and in the aisles for weeks, and in many outlets you can't walk past a display without a motion sensor setting off an ersatz goblin or witch to screeching or worse.

Now, I'll be the first to admit I don't get excited about Halloween. I'm not anti-Halloween or anything like that, but it's just that I just don't get much out of it and I really don't understand the appeal.

Sure, people hang orange lights on their houses and put stuff in their windows, and that's fine. Go ahead.

Maybe part of it is that we didn't do much trick-or-treating at all when I was a kid. Most of my peers did, but that's because they lived in or near town and not ten miles out.

On the rare occasions when my brother and I got in on the action, we just had some cheesy black masks that hid our eyes and we visited aunts and uncles in a couple of towns. We didn't fool or scare anyone, and I think that was the intention.

So I never had any concept at all of bringing home huge hauls of candy that would make you see spots if you ate it all at once or even spread it out over a few days.

As I said, I'm not against Halloween, and when kids dress up in some pirate, witch or cartoon character getup, that's fine by me. I just don't need to get in on it myself and I try to let Sharon give out the treats at our house. She likes Halloween more than I do.

So if you're looking for me Halloween night, I'll be the guy in his living room, cleverly disguised as an aging radio newsman.