Everyone I know is excited about the change in the weather. From new drinks at Starbucks to shopping for boots and cable-knit sweaters, October seems to help everyone forget that summer and all its long, carefree days are behind us now. Instead, front porches are decorated with pumpkins and brightly-colored wreaths as folks prepare for Halloween.

The atmosphere is infectious, and I confess, I’ve been caught up in it myself. I’m notorious for planning for Halloween months in advance, with costume ideas long kept on the back burner finally ready to make their grand debut. In the past I’ve gone as Lois Lane, because obviously, Disney princesses, pirates, candy and Carmen Sandiego. My biggest lament is that the new “Ghostbusters” movie came out this year. Last year I had the ingenious idea to go as a female Ghostbuster, and it was going to be so clever and original. Now, however, it’s just cliché. Instead for this year I’ve got two solid ideas I’m trying to decide on, and while that decision hasn’t been made yet I’ll be sure to let you know what I do decide.

I’ll tell you what I won’t be dressing up as though — clowns. If I see someone purchasing a clown mask while I’m out shopping I will do very little to hide my disdain. It’s been true for a long time, and this year it’s especially so, but clowns aren’t funny.

With recent widespread events, I can understand that it’s an easy thing for a kid who thinks it’s a prank to do. But this goes beyond pranks. It’s hard to know what exactly to label this as, but police, parents and school officials all say the same thing: Stop it.

Saturday night I heard on the police scanner that an individual dressed as a clown was flashing his boxers to people passing by. This is unacceptable, no matter what clothes you’re dressed in. Beyond that, there have been reports of clowns allegedly peering through windows and making threats to schools. Enough is enough.

The clowns itself aren’t the threat, however. What’s threatening is that these ideas waste the time and money of our local law enforcement, and keeping them away from the real dangers that take place in our cities.

The public doesn’t appreciate it, and the police certainly don’t either. Apprehensions have taken place in numerous states where individuals have made threats using clowns on social media, from Maryland to Colorado, and even reports in Canada. Police take these reports seriously, and what may at first be a joke to some individuals could have lifelong repercussions.

It goes to show this is no laughing matter.

I’m entreating everyone reading this to use your common sense, and hold off on that costume idea where you’re whole friend squad is going as a circus troupe. Maybe go as “Clue” characters instead? That’s at least six easy costumes right there.

Miranda Wilcox is the interim managing editor of the Prosper Press. Email her at mwilcox@prosperpressnews.com.