(photo: Jeffrey Pomranka)

With Halloween coming up on Monday, there’s going to be a lot of grown-ups attending masquerade parties this weekend. Which, unfortunately, has meant a lot of long, last-minute lines in crowded costume stores — including the one in Washington, D.C., where all the Republican presidential candidates went shopping earlier this week.

As you might expect, they all wanted to dress up as Ronald Reagan, but someone had already snatched that up before the GOP contenders got there… and things just got uglier as they all scrambled for other choices.

Michele Bachmann took the easiest route, deciding to go as Bat Boy.

Jon Huntsman settled for being the Invisible Man.  (Some thought Tim Pawlenty did, too, but it turned out he didn’t stay long enough to buy a costume.)

All of his fellow candidates wanted Ron Paul to be the Invisible Man, but he kept asking if he could be Ross Perot.  Amid all the crosstalk, he wound up as Perot’s crazy aunt in the basement.

Sarah Palin, who showed up even though she isn’t running, opted for Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.

Herman Cain decided to go as Sarah Palin, but people are just beginning to figure that out.

Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich both wanted to be Elmer Gantry, which resulted in a terrible fight where they tore the costume in half.  Perry completed his outfit with a cowboy get-up once worn by George Bush — and when he worried people might recognize it, he dyed a Jimmy Carter wig to put on top of it all.  Newt combined his half with a science-fiction robot costume.

Mitt Romney took the same concept way too far, stitching together pieces from so many different costumes that no one really knows who he’s trying to be.

And that Ronald Reagan disguise, an homage to the dream Republican presidential candidate?  No one knows for sure where that went… but some people swear they saw the store’s delivery truck leaving 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.