Today’s goal: Communicate what it’s like to drive in Portland, Oregon.
There are many transportation options for getting around in America’s “weirdest” city. You can walk. You can ride a bike. You can use various TriMet options like the MAX light rail, the bus, and street cars.
And, if you are some kind of gigantic douchebag, you can hop in your vehicle and drive.
It’s true. “Low car households” account for 60 percent of growth since 2005.
A low car household is considered one where there are more adults than cars. My wife and I are part of this elite group as we sold my car (named The Spaceship) when we hit town. There are two of us and only one car. We be greenies.
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Down on the corner
Why is it that the drive to/from work is quite often the worst thing that happens to me on some days?
That was rhetorical but I’ll answer anyway. Some people do not deserve to live. I’ve elected myself judge and jury. Unfortunately, I just don’t (usually) have what it takes to be the executioner.
Does that make me passive-aggressive if I leave it to some unknown stranger to clean up that mess?
Here’s today’s story.
I’m driving to work and about to turn right on the cul-de-sac. These two scruffy looking nerf herders, one male and one female, both young, were standing on the corner looking like they might be about to cross the intersection where I need to turn.
My spidey sense was tingling.
As a super-human (one that uses his brain) I did what came natural. I slowed to a crawl and watched them carefully trying to judge what could possibly be their intent.
Finally at a complete stop I still watched. Suddenly they departed from the corner and entered the intersection, just like I thought! They didn’t look for cars at all. Idiots. They seemed more preoccupied with something in the sky. Maybe their auras were intersecting with rainbows being used as slip-n-slides by unicorns. Who knows?
They stumbled drunkenly about half way through the intersection. Slow – as – hell. Finally the gap was big enough for me to go. I proceeded with caution.
Aha! One of them changed course and walked back in front of my car. Again no looking around for cars on a street. They couldn’t possible be found there, right?
By this point I was beyond flabbergastion. I glared and mouthed words at ’em. They looked bewildered. “What is this street thing we’ve found?” they seemed to be asking themselves.
Finally I got past and found my parking spot. Geez. What an ordeal. But wait, there’s more. They were walking down the middle of the street in my general direction.
This brings us to the unusual part…
Quite out of character, I got out of my car and headed at them.
“Sup?” I yelled while gesturing towards the heavens.
“You got a light?” they asked.
Whiskey tango foxtrot. Could they be any more fucking oblivious?
“What the hell are you doing standing around in the middle of the street,” I yelled some more.
At last they seemed to get that something was up. A few more exchanges like this and finally the male said something like, “Dude. You need to chill.”
“How the fuck are you still alive?” I demanded to know.
Sadly, I never got an answer. They just blithely moved on down the street. I leaned against my building and watched. After all, they knew my car and where I parked. I watched them approach several more people, probably in their personal Quest For Fire. They certainly fit the part.
Apparently the only thing that mattered in their miserable lives was the need to smoke. And yet, they seemingly were too dumb to plan ahead enough to maintain the necessary accoutrement in their possession to engage in that activity, like matches or a lighter or two sticks to rub together or something. So they were reduced to begging to satisfy their addiction. It seemed to be the single thing they were able to focus on.
They entered a parking lot at the end of the cul-de-sac and approached someone in a truck. I couldn’t hear but words were exchanged. After a while they wandered back into the street again. At this point I was extremely curious about where the hell they could possibly be going.
I went to work and vented about the experience to my boss. As we looked out the window, there the young idiots went, back up the street and out the same cul-de-sac they just went down. And they were walking in the middle of the street!
They finally arrived back at the same corner where I first encountered them and stood there for a while, looking around and up at the sky.
A few minutes later I went back to see what they were up to but they were gone.
Hopefully some nice stranger beheaded them for me. Fucking assholes.
Please enjoy the musical selection for this post: