First Richard Nixon kissed Janet Sloane, a pre-med student at Howard University. Then Ronald Reagan kissed her. And then Nixon kissed Reagan. Tenderly.

"Nuke Iran, nuke welfare, nuke the babies!" cried Reagan at the corner of Wisconsin and M streets as the crowd, full of hobgoblins and people with safety pins in their ears, howled like beasts on Halloween.

They were and it was. A Washington preelection Halloween, one of the last night's highlights being the joint appearance of Nixon, Reagan and Jimmy Carter on a swarming Georgetown street corner where but minutes earlier, Pope John Paul II had strolled with a Playboy bunny.

"Do the Pontiff," said his robe.

"Good dancer and great lover," said his bunny.

Haloween in Washington seems to get bigger and more bizarre each year. From Capitol Hill to 19th and M to the traditional parade through the streets of Georgetown, you can find enough beasts to populate the Museum of Natural History. San Francisco has Polk Street, New York has the Village, and Washington is trying valiantly to held up its end of the parade.

Some selections from last night's bestiary: THE BALLERINA

Habitat: Behind The Bar at the Hawk and Dove, Capitol Hill.

Distinctive markings: Pink tutu, skin-tight black leotard over an impressive beer belly, hairy legs, red Converse sneakers.

Noises Emitted: "This is a little girls' size large," explained Michael Openlander, who identified himself as New York City ballet star Suzanne Farrell. "Tough, I'll tell you. Very tough on the gonads. And women who don't shave their legs -- how do they wear these things? They itch like crazy."

He stuck a red Converse up on the bar, then scratched a delicate calf. His tiara gleamed. WONDER WOMAN

Habitat: In front of the bar at the Publick House, Georgetown. Drinking Amaretto and whispering sweet nothings into the ear of a gorilla.

Noises Emitted: "We're in love," she said, identifying herself as Carol Sewell, a hostess at Clyde's.

"Actually, I was licking her ear."

"No, no, no, no," said Wonder Woman. "He was not."

"But we were talking dirty," said the gorilla. THE CONSULTANT

Habitat: The bar at Flaps Rickenbacker's, 19th and M.Right arm crooked with glass of wine, right leg up on bar foot-rail, dark conservative socks revealed.

Mating Call: "Can I buy you a drink?"

Other Noises: "I'm having a couple of pops here, then I'm going home to cook a goose I shot yesterday."

Plumage: Hart Schaffner and Marx blue suit from Raleighs, blue button-down shirt, striped tie.

Runs in the Wilds With: Other beasts identical to himself, often discussing, as they were last night, a Saudi contract they have to paint buildings at King Khalid Military City. But that's another story. THE SHEEP

Habitat: The Pension Building, at a 2,000-person benefit for restoration of the structure, sponsored by the Decade Society.

Distinctive Markings: Cotton balls and long johns.

Noise Emitted: "Baaaa."

Companion: Little Bo Beep.

More Noises: "We got some pretty weird looks in the car coming over here," said Chuck Dodd, the sheep. ABSCAM SCAMMER

Habitat: On the sidewalk outside of Roy Rogers on Wisconsin Avenue.

Distinctive Markings: Arab headdress, $1,000 bills sticking to clothing, buttons identifying her as "Rep. Michael 'Ozzie' Myers (D-Pa.)." Same button also said "Money Talks, Bull---- Walks."

Noises Emitted: None. Or, actually, "I'm not going to tell you my name because I work on the Hill for a congressman."

From an interested party: "Has he been indicted yet?"

"No, he hasn't." NEW WAVE PERSONAGE

Habitat: Outside a deep-dish pizza spot that smelled fattening, on M Street.

Distinctive Markings: Two safety pins in her right ear, one in her left. And one that seemed to be embedded in her cheek.

Noises Emitted: "See, you take an embroidery needle and you punch it right through. And you don't tell your mother." This was actually emitted by a companion, but the companion had a simulated pierced cheek, too.

Alternative Habitat: Immaculata Preparatory School, where they require young ladies like Shelly Sirica, 15 (she claimed Judge John Sirica as her great uncle), and Jennifer McGuinn, her companion, to go to class in blue polyester uniforms.

"It feels really gross on your skin," said Shelly Sirica. The democratic national committee person, spotted drinking at a bar with A FUNNY MASK IN HIS POCKET

Habitat: During the Democratic National Convention in New York, on guard at the door to a DNC lunch at 21. Last night, on a bar stool at Rumors.

Noise Emitted: "I put the mask on when I get really drunk," said Bill Slosberg. He also practices law. THE PREPPIE

Habitat: Outside a costume store on 18th Street.

Noises: "Actually, I've been wearing this all day. And the last 16 years."

Plumage: Saddle shoes, starchy white button-down shirt from Britches, khaki pants, gray rag sweater, khaki ski vest, Pendleton scarf.

More Noises: "This is pretty bizarre for this town," explained Brian Murphy, a waiter at Gary's. "Normally I'm into leather, with chains." THE TERRORIST

Habitat: On the sidewalk outside of Bullfeathers, Capitol Hill.

Plumage: Nasty looking black ski mask, dracula teeth.

Noises Emitted: "I'm just your average every-day terrorist," said Larry Magathan, a 26-year-old waiter.

"Take your teeth out when you talk," said a man standing next to him.