Treats and tricks

So it’s the morn of All Saints’ Day, and the weekend’s revelers are laying low – goblins and scarecrows and evil spirits (if any) banished by the holy day’s dawn;  and hung-over Halloween party-goers are creeping away into the Monday workaday world.

I’m not big on wild parties.  For something special to do yesterday I went with a church group on the Port of Houston tour.  The tour is a two-hour ride on a comfortable boat down the Ship channel, past anchored freighters, container ships, tankers and huge Navy ro-ro (roll-on-roll-off) cargo ships, all the way to where the Washburn auto tunnel invisibly runs under the Channel.  The boat then proceeds back again.  On both sides to the Channel you can see all kinds of facilities – docks, granaries, a Coast Guard station, recycling-handling sites, refineries, a restaurant on its own little island, and warehouses.  There are big storage tanks for liquids not specified in the port tour, possibly because if ignited they’d blow sky high.  The Port is security-conscious.  Cameras were not permitted on the tour.  We had to get listed as being tour participants, our names were checked against the list, and drivers’ licenses were matched with faces.   The Port Authority doesn’t want any nasty tricks perpetrated on its premises.  But the Port tour is a real treat.

Not being a party animal, I don’t haunt Halloween parties, but I hear from a friend that the Rice-Medical Center-Museum District part of Houston has a rather distinctive Halloween party culture.  People in costume can and do drop in where there’s a party going full tilt even if they have no idea who the party hosts are – and vice versa.  Sounds like you could get a horror story or (may God forbid) a true-crime tale out of such a situation, but the incident my friend told me about was charmingly harmless.  My friend related how her landlords, Dan and Jan, threw a big party and offered a prize for best costume.  The prize went to a young man who had a fabulous werewolf get-up.  Dan thought he was one of Jan’s co-workers and Jan assumed Dan was somehow acquainted with him. It turned out nobody knew him!

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