Excuse me, what is that pointy thing sticking out of the top of your head?
"It's an apple stem!" replied one of four young men linked together in a scene right out of a familiar TV commerical. They were dressed up as various fruits and threaded into the legs of a giant pair of men's briefs.
"We're the fruit of the loom guys!" said the apple and his friends.
"Don't you get into men's underwear?" the grape of the group asked.
They posed for pictures and hammed it up with other tricksters last night on Wisconsin Avenue. It was another Halloween in Georgetown.
One devil in a red dress squeezed onto the street.
"I just came to see what it's like," said Jane Fletcher of Alexandria, who had never been to the Night of Ghoul before. She thought it was "pretty wild."
Why did she choose to be a devil?
"Just natural, I guess," she said and was lost in the crowd.
Phrases heard on the streets included: "I don't want to get hit by a car." And: "You don't bring a baby to Georgetown on Halloween." And: "It's not as good as it was last year." And: "We thought it would be a little more crowded."
Most of the crowd, estimated at 60,000, seemed to have to come to watch. There were gawkers galore. But only about 10 percent were in costume, so mostly they gawked at other people in street clothes.
Arville Brock-Smith, 18, didn't dress up.
"I didn't want to look stupid," he said.
And yet he brought his friend Larry Dunn, who flew in from Los Angeles just for this Night of Party.
"This is the spot to be on Halloween," said Dunn.
At first, police kept the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street clear by pushing people back onto the sidewalks and by sending brigades of officers on motorcycles through to stop the crowd from walking onto the street.
"We're not going to tolerate it -- being rowdy," said Assistant Chief Isaac Fulwood, field operations officer for the police department. At certain points they had to allow crossing, and when they did, the throngs screamed and shouted as if they had just been let free from jail.
Paul Abugattas of Arlington was in a van that was trying to drive through the packed intersection.
"We like to look at the people," he said. But why do it in all this traffic?
"What traffic?" he asked.
Of those in costume, there were lots of bunnies. The Peter Rabbit kind and the Playboy kind. There were lots of devils. A couple of coneheads. Many vampires. Many men dressed up as women. There were also some Ronald Reagans, some Rambos, a few Ghostbusters and one Rambo the Friendly Ghost.
One woman had shopping bags of all sizes pinned to her black sweatsuit.
"I am a bag lady," said Debbie Rosenthal, 31, of Bethesda.
"I think that all yuppies today are bag ladies, with all the bags we carry around. If you'll notice, these are designer bags."
At In The Bag, a bag shop on M Street, the employes wore costumes.
"It's been real slow," said salesman Greg Johnson, "if you mean buying-wise." The store is usually open until midnight. "The boss called and said if it gets too rowdy, close down," said Johnson, who added that he had taken most of the cash out of the register, just in case.
Outside on the street, it turned sharply cooler as the Riggs National Bank clock struck 11 p.m. Mist appeared. The crowd continued to walk up and down the two main streets. Some yelled and screamed.
By then, there had been 29 arrests -- 17 for drinking in public, nine for disorderly conduct, one for simple assault and two for vending violations. There had been three robberies.
On the street, one woman walked by handing out pieces of play money.
"I'm a money tree. Here's $10,000. That ought to hold you till tomorrow." As she turned, a group walked past, wearing dark glasses and carrying canes. It was another Halloween in Georgetown.