"It was so hard to see busloads of police marching through an empty Castro," says one Castro resident, and another adds, "I was in tears last night." The buzzword for the evening seems to be "martial law," which is technically two words, unless you say it very quickly. We've seen a lot of the "martial law" talking point lately -- in an email from Citizens for Halloween, and again in some unintentionally funny dramatica between the SFBG and the mayor's people.

"Hundreds of Riot Cops marched in formation through the Castro," say Citizens for Halloween. (Or maybe just Ted? Hard to tell.) "We need to say no Martial Law. If we allow this precedent we will see these tactics used against events like Critical Mass." Oh, yes . Make it so, Chief Fong!

Anyway, here's the picture that's shaping up for next year: Bevan's allegedly putting a plan together (haven't we heard that before?) and the mayor's office is probably going to create a new office for special events; and the city may actually have an official party next year instead of just a weird vacuum. Meanwhile, throughout the next year, various free-spirited individuals are committed to moaning and wailing about this life-threatening topic; and will hopefully be recorded and compiled on a Haunted House Sound Effects cassette tape.

But we'd like to hear from you, readers; now that Halloween is a distant memory and Thanksgiving is fast approaching, there's one burning question on everyone's mind: what are you going to be buying for Christmas? Sound off in the comments, plz!