A summary of views, commentary and sometimes comedy.

The fall is a wonderful time of year, Crates and boxes encrusted with summer dust are cracked open, new telephone numbers are hopelessly irretrievable, and welcome back parties spring up like fond memories of lost friends and acquaintances. At a recent Back Bay soiree, some illustrious members of the Harvard community and other assorted Boston elite gathered for chit-chat and bizarre revelation.

One woman approached this young undergraduate, whispering "Are you interested in International Business?" I replied that although it wasnUt my main area of concern, I certainly knew my fair share of management consultant and Gordon Gecko types. "Good," whispered she, "because there's some thing big happening that I want to talk to you about--but not here. Do you have a business card?" I regretted that I did not. "Give me your phone number anyway." I searched around for a piece of paper, but all I had in my pocket was a blank check. I turned it over and wrote my phone number on the back. "I've got to go now--but I'll be in touch," she rasped, leaving the brown-stone. In an effort to gain a favor for my consultant friends, I had just given a cloak-and-dagger stranger a blank check.

Other assorted oddities: a youngster by the baked brie plate slapped an invitation to a gala ball in my hand after shaking it. He looked twelve years old. The tickets were $250 each. The German consul-general and his lovely wife Anna described their other foreign posts. A quintillionth-generation Harvard sexagenarian discussed Canadian politics with startling insight. A former Harvard rugby player offered to hook up an undergraduate with his 'friend' in business.

But the most amusing conversation du soir was with a Harvard admissions officer, who started the evening with one drink in his hand. He told us of the clever t-shirt that freshmen in Massachusetts Hall had once designed: "The President Works Under Us." We laughed pleasantly. By the time he had had a few more Tanqueray and tonics, he was describing his favorite pickup lines on women in Guadeloupe, penile implants and how he had once offered his rear-end to a man. It's amazing how lively people become, well-watered. So the prize for best welcome back party must go to this renowned Back Bay couple, who manage to bring the world to their door and let flies-on-the-wall listen in. Bravo, bravo, bravo.