Halloween is Monday, and like most children their age. Cranky (13) and Whiny (12) have no idea what their costume will be. Punch (10) chose the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters months ago. Nevertheless, that leaves two 11th-hour decisions for two children at a very awkward age. So, off I went to the biggest Halloween store in the universe, the Internet, to research what the kids are wearing this year.

Reality TV, it would appear, is providing plenty of costume ideas. Although, are there really any reality show characters who you would like your child to emulate? Snooki from The Jersey Shore is a funny costume; however, I’m just not sure I want Cranky dressing up like a girl who is horizontal more than she is vertical and for all the wrong reasons. If you have a long black wig and several well-placed pillows, you can be any one of the Kardashians—again, there’s the role model issue.

The fast-paced world of rock and roll also is fertile soil. Lady Gaga is this year’s most popular inspiration. Katy Perry, Ke$ha and Rihanna also are popping up, and probably pretty affordable, as there is very little clothing involved. It’s amazing what you can do with glitter and body paint!

We have Twilight and True Blood to thank for the vampire trend. I actually approve of the vampire costume: It covers everything and it’s warm. Sure, Cranky gets embarrassed by the large ‘slow children’ sign I hang on him and all the reflective tape, but it’s dark out there. The increasingly charming Johnny Depp is keeping pirates hip, and, surprisingly, the title character from his almost 30-year-old film, Edward Scissorhands, is up there.

If you’ve got a group of boys, The Avengers leaps to mind, with Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Ironman, etc. Plus, if it’s going to bomb at the box office, then they could really use the merchandising revenue. As usual, I just wear my standard prison jumpsuit, changing the name on the back to the current celebrity inmate du jour. This year, it’s Lindsay Lohan, so I don’t even need to change the name from last year. How about that?

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