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A very scary Halloween on two wheels
One of the perks of working at a newspaper that publishes 365 (or 366) days a year is that I get the opportunity to work when most of the rest of the world is languishing at home.I have worked on every major holiday, and most of the minor ones, too, and, thus, have ridden my bike to work on most holidays.Each holiday ride seems to have its own character and obstacles; I've had fireworks thrown at me on Independence Day, for instance, and had folks offer me rides on Christmas.The holiday on which I least like to ride just passed: Halloween. I like to ride on All Hallows Eve about as much as I like to lash on antlers and prance about in the woods during deer season.For kids, Halloween is about costumes and candy.For adults and near-adults, it's about costumes and adult beverages, and the costumes are optional.Don't misunderstand: I like adult beverages as much as anybody. Heck, one of my neighbors kindly dished out candy to my kids and a beer to me, and it was the best treat I can recall, going back at least as far as the time I was handed a fistful of Zotz as a precocious youngster.As much as I like beer, the streets tend to get a little risky when they're bumper-to-bumper with tipsy drivers.This past Halloween had the makings of a doozy - it was a Friday, after all - and I should have known it was going to live up to its billing when I walked out work early Friday morning and encountered a young woman stumbling around the sidewalk outside the News Center.As I prepared to leave, I saw her lurch to and fro before face-planting on the sidewalk. She stayed down for a while, got up, stumbled into the street, navigated back up the curb, then body-surfed the concrete again. She got up, then stumbled into the grass for a little nap.I asked if I could call her friends or a taxi, but she was incoherent, so I called the authorities. The next day, I learned, my wife and her co-workers debated whether I did the right thing, and curiously (to me, anyway) it seems the office was divided on whether I should have "turned her into the cops." (Feel free to let me know your opinion in the comments section below).Regardless, that was just the start of a wild Halloween on two wheels.During the day, I took a recreational ride around Clinton Lake. Without thinking, I rode to Stull. Yep, the purported Gateway to Hell. On Halloween, when the devil himself is said to make an appearance at the haunted old church. Ol' Scratch was a no-show, though, at least in the middle of the day, so I pedaled on home.My ride to work Friday afternoon was uneventful, but on the ride home for dinner I was: yelled at and almost hit by the parent of a cute pirate trick-or-treating downtown; nearly sideswiped by a car turning left in front of me; nearly hit by a car backing out of a parking spot; nearly ridden into the curb by a car pulling into my lane; and, oddly, offered a watermelon by the passenger of a passing car. I declined.Then on my return to work Friday night, I tried to thread my way between a slutty nurse and an escaped convict and almost ran into Moses. The prophet was crossing against the light. Sounds like there should be an 11th Commandment.My next holiday ride should be Thanksgiving. I expect a less eventful ride, though I might encounter an inordinate number of stuffed, sleepy drivers.