Washington U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts got to celebrate Halloween a day early Thursday.
The jump-start on the holiday was courtesy of Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who arrived in Roberts' office -- dressed up as the Kansas Republican.
Roberts looked perplexed for several seconds when Hagel walked in wearing a mask of Roberts' face, a bald head wig and a robe of Kansas State University purple.
"Words fail me," said Roberts, who is known for his sense of humor.
"They don't often do," shot back Hagel, who makes a habit of dressing up as a well-known Washington figure for Halloween.
This year, he choose Roberts, whose profile has risen this year as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on which he is presiding over a contentious inquiry into prewar intelligence on Iraqi weapons.
"I wanted to cheer the chairman up -- he's been having a hard time for a couple of weeks," Hagel said.
The two senators walked together to the Senate floor when a vote was called. Hagel observed Senate decorum by not entering the chamber; instead, he stood in the door and waved to baffled colleagues, and he kissed a startled Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski on the cheek.
Hagel also presented the Kansan with a framed portrait of Roberts with devil horns and a goatee doodled on the face. Then he scribbled: "To My Scary Kansas Friend Pat Roberts, Happy Halloween, 2003. Your Monster Friend to the North, Chuck Hagel."