The ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain marked the close of the harvest season, which the Celts celebrated by constructing bonfires and wearing masks. In some parts of the world, young children still follow this yearly ritual by dressing up like ghoulish figures of the occult, such as "SpongeBob SquaredPants" and "Hannah of Montana." However, the Mercury Geographic Society was alerted to a heretofore-unknown tradition wherein grown adults don costumes and celebrate a contemporary version of the holiday, dubbed by recent generations as "Hallowe'en." Armed with tinned rations, a costume for camouflage, and four sherpas, this intrepid explorer set forth for one of the small isolated pockets of Western society in which this new tradition is practiced: a section of Portland, Oregon, known as "Old Town."

The practitioners of Hallowe'en are actually markedly different from the indigenous inhabitants of Old Town, but to the naked eye they immediately appear identical: Everyone in Old Town is stinking drunk. Whether they are natives or visitors from neighboring lands with bizarre names like "the Beav" or "the Couv," all are sozzled to the point of regrettable decision-making. But a trained observer can soon detect visitors by looking for the following traits: The females congregate in flocks and shriek into portable telephones, whilst the males douse themselves in fragrant colognes and frequently exhibit the appearance of a bag used for vaginal cleansing.

Like all anthropological endeavors of this Geographic Society, our pursuit was primarily concerned with locating and documenting the bare female breast; indeed, as any scientist can corroborate, the acquisition of any sort of human knowledge begins and ends with boobage. Our intent was to set up our bivouac in the heart of Old Town itself, and our initial attempts to infiltrate the "hot spots" of the region were unsuccessful. At the door of one "nightclub," we were thwarted when a pituitary case demanded we fork over a quantity of the local currency. At another, we encountered a hulking savage armed with a clipboard and an earpiece. "VIPs only," he barked, a sort of native code that we can only assume was meant to weed out interlopers.

But we quickly realized that entry to these clubs was not necessary to observe the behavior of Old Town's population on Hallowe'en; indeed, the females on the street were outfitted in numerous disguises that were—to a casual observer—scandalously form-fitting. Several of the womenfolk elected to transform into virtual courtesans. I observed a lithesome, fully matured female outfitted as a French maid, but her skirt was astonishingly short, and the front of her dress exposed the anterior halves of her bosoms. It was not enough to fulfill our Geographic quest, but we were getting warmer.

All of the women were kitted in dress that shared a common theme but displayed individual variances. For example, one Old Towner had on a costume that she dubbed "Sexy Librarian," while another was "Sexy Little Bo Peep," and yet another was "Sexy Robot from Short Circuit." Further field study uncovered "Sexy Katie Couric," "Sexy Mrs. Butter-Worth," "Sexy Gandhi," "Sexy Catholic Schoolgirl," and "Sexy Catholic Priest." (For the record, this Geographist should like to point out that the "Sexy Richard Simmons" costume was not sexy in any way, but "Sexy Jesus"—complete with beard and stigmata—was surprisingly appealing.)

It turns out that several of the male participants of this Hallowe'en ritual were amateur Geographists: They, too, were looking for exposed female skin. "Damn, where all the ho's at!" exclaimed one, while his companion observed, "Let's find some bitches and WORK it, bro." These seemingly sophisticated communications were in fact mating calls of the most primitive kind.

Soon enough, our fortitude rewarded us with the sort of discovery that becomes the highlight of a long and illustrious Geographic career. Leering from behind a urine-soaked dumpster, we witnessed two members of the female sex—one garbed as "Sexy Oompa-Loompa" and the other in something that might possibly have been "Sexy Ewok"—engaging in a Sapphic dalliance, and as they swapped spittle and fondled each other's...