Kill. Me. Now.
With just four shopping days left until Halloween, most children and adults have long since made their choice of what they're "going to be" this year. And while the No. 1 children's costume involves those adorable goggle-eyed Minions from the "Despicable Me" movies, this year's top adult costume makes me genuinely fear for our planet.
More on that in a moment.
Local costume shops say Halloween business is way down this year. Sherri Tatton, co-owner of Costume Castle and Crafts in Layton, says she's been in business for 30 years, and this Halloween has been the worst she's seen yet.
"The main reason is the economy," Tatton said. "I think everybody is really conserving their money. ... And then, the weather's been warm, so it doesn't seem like Halloween."
Gerald Olsen, owner of Spirit Halloween Superstore in Layton, said his business is "down by half" from last year -- which was a good year, he admits. Olsen blames Congress.
"This year, I chalk it up to the stupid budget problems," he said.
About 80 percent of Olsen's customers come from Hill Air Force Base, where some folks weren't collecting a paycheck there for a while.
"But since Monday, business has been picking up," he added.
It's also difficult to run a costume shop in this age of political correctness run amok, according to Tatton.
"You've got a college that doesn't want students to dress like cowboys and Indians," she said. "Or geishas, or hillbillies. Everybody's concerned about offending people."
Well, apparently not everybody ...
How else would one explain this year's most popular Halloween costume?
Oh sure, Americans are sporting some annoying adult costumes this year. For example, among the Top 10 Halloween get-ups are characters from the television shows "Breaking Bad" and "Duck Dynasty." And there's been a surge in, of all things, fox costumes -- inspired, we suppose, by the creepily infectious Ylvis song "What Does the Fox Say?" (Survey says: "Joff-tchoff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!")
Ah, but what is the very most popular adult costume in the U.S. for Halloween in 2013? It's none other than ...
... the Miley Cyrus twerking outfit from this year's MTV Video Music Awards, complete with a teddy-bear onesie and foam finger. Presumably, you just add the tongue.
Initially, I'd hoped we'd been spared the Twerktastic Halloween of the rest of the country. After all, Tatton says she hasn't gotten a single request for a Miley Cyrus costume.
"Not in this area," Tatton said. "Utah normally never follows the national trends in costumes."
About the most controversial Utahns have ever gotten, Tatton said, was the year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Says Tatton: "That year, people were calling in, asking, "Do you have a blue dress we can put silicone on?"
Yeah. "Ewwww ..."
But wait, are you saying Costume Castle doesn't carry any foam-finger hands?
"I do not, nor do I plan on getting any," Tatton said. "We're in our own culture here."
So then, Utah managed to dodge this disgusting Halloween trend, right?
Nope. In talking to representatives of the Spirit Halloween Superstores in Riverdale and Layton, their "Twerkin' Teddy" costumes sold out as quickly as they came in. Folks were even limited to one costume per transaction.
"People went crazy over them," said Paige Wood, sales associate at Spirit Halloween Superstore in Riverdale. "They were fighting over them."
And sadly, it would seem that even the children aren't immune to this Miley Cyrus virus. As far as children's Halloween costumes go, Olsen says "anything Hannah Montana" is flying off the shelves.
"All that Hannah Montana stuff is gone," he said.
Whoa. A child dressing as a Miley Cyrus character -- any of her characters -- after the VMA nonsense?
Double "Ewwww ..."
Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @Saalman.