With annual retail sales second only to Christmas, Halloween is hardly kid stuff. Aside from the usual monsters and ghouls, this year’s popular masks and costumes include Michael Jackson, Michelle Obama, Bernie Madoff, the Joker from “The Dark Knight” Batman film, and President Barack Obama, which in some people’s minds are not necessarily mutually exclusive. But retailers, I think, have missed out on some potential moneymakers.

With annual retail sales second only to Christmas, Halloween is hardly kid stuff. Aside from the usual monsters and ghouls, this year’s popular masks and costumes include Michael Jackson, Michelle Obama, Bernie Madoff, the Joker from “The Dark Knight” Batman film, and President Barack Obama, which in some people’s minds are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

 But retailers, I think, have missed out on some potential moneymakers:

- Rush Limbaugh Set: Big fun for boys of all ages! Includes a microphone, foot-long cigar and a football jersey. (Not affiliated with the NFL in any way, shape or form).

- Balloon Boy Hoax Kit: Comes with a script, an attorney’s business card and a cardboard box to stuff your little brother in. Adult-size handcuffs extra.

- John Edwards Mask: Reversible. Fool your loved ones! Comes with a comb and two-sided tape. Sense of decency not included.

- Lil’ Lobbyist Set: Features $600 loafers, a “crackberry” and a briefcase filled with Payday bars.

- Jon & Kate Mask: This self-absorbed, two-headed monster is sure to trigger screams of terror from anyone with a TV.

- Nancy Pelosi Makeup Kit: Frighten others into compliance with “The Look” made famous by mothers the world over! Kevlar vest and whip not included.

- Adam Lambert Kit: Mascara required. Don’t knock it; he’s gay and still gets more women than you.

- Obama Basketball Jersey: Men’s sizes only.

- Levi Johnston Kit: Are you a barely literate teen dad? This clothing-optional kit is for you! Free diaper bag with every purchase.

- Dancing with the Stars Costume: Now with tighter pants!

- Pirates of Wall Street Kit: Includes ruffled shirt, sword, a tarp and loopholes big enough to sail a hijacked cruise ship through.

- Cleveland Brownie Kit: Because dressing like an elf isn’t humiliating enough, extra features include a blank playbook, booing fans and a beer bottle that’s perfect for chucking! Not to be worn around small children unless you’re prepared for your kid to wet your bed.

Nightmare on Main Street

In keeping with Halloween, the current No. 1 movie, “Paranormal Activity,” is not about monsters or murderers, but otherworldly things that may be occurring in your bedroom while you’re sleeping.

Um, no thanks. I concur with my colleague Jim Hillibish, who relishes the days when horror films were more about heroics and crowds of extras running to no place in particular.

I love the hokey, 1950s sci-fi genre: “The Beast That Ate Akron,” “I Married a Monster (Though Not Necessarily an Alien)” and “The Improbable 1950s Woman Scientist.”

The horror-film industry lost me when it started churning out porno-slashers where sorority girls are fodder and the black security guard is always the first to go.

There have been so many “Halloween” sequels, Michael Myers practically is bludgeoning his victims with a walker.

Want a real fright? The national debt is $11.4 trillion and growing by the second. Unemployment is in double digits. The North Koreans are still crazy, and the health care debate is so convoluted, nobody knows who’s on first. And no matter what’s decided about Afghanistan, they don’t call it “The Graveyard of Empires” for nothing.

Most horrifying of all? The Cleveland Browns have nine more games!

Charita Goshay writes for The Repository in Canton, Ohio. Contact her at charita.goshay@cantonrep.com.