Dearest readers, I have a confession to make. I haven’t been exactly truthful in all parts of this story, specifically at the end of the last post, when I said a guy in a batman costume appeared. That was a lie. It was really just a guy in a batman shirt. And he didn’t really appear dramatically, he just walked by. And he didn’t really have on a batman shirt, it was really just a tee shirt with a stain in the front that I thought looked a little like a bat, or maybe like a brontosaurus, whatever, it’s not important, I’m just very sorry for lying to you…
You people just don’t realize the pressure I’m under with this blog. I had to end it dramatically to keep your interest, and if I just said “and then I got some yogurt at Pinkberry,” it just wouldn’t have the same impact, so I fibbed. I promise though, from this point forward, I will write nothing but God’s honest truth.
So after I lured Toddler Todd and his Banshee Babies into the sacrificial temple, we boarded a much quieter flight to Portland. No one on the flight thanked me, but I could definitely sense their approval in the way they kept looking over at me, and then looking away quickly. I could almost hear them thinking “that guy in the Bane mask is really a hero, if I had to listen to that crying for one minute longer…” and then filling in whatever action they would take according to their own personal beliefs. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure if those kids were getting onto the plane to Portland, but it doesn’t matter, someone was thanking me somewhere.
Anyway, Portland! I had done a great deal of research on the city (I watched the commercial for Portlandia like 10 times), but found that I still wasn’t sure what I should expect. Sequoias? Lumberjacks? Sasquatch crossing guards? What I found was a small city, not entirely unlike Philadelphia (except it didn’t smell quite so…interesting.) The people were definitely more polite. For example, I put on my turn signal at one point, and the gentleman in the next lane slowed down and let me move over. In Philly, turn signals are considered challenges that drivers use to motivate them to higher levels of douchery.
Other items of note, include a ridiculous number of strip clubs….I don’t know what it is about that combination of mountain, forest, and seaside air, but it apparently makes people want to take off their clothes; and an equally ridiculous number of doggie day care centers, I guess for those days when you’re visiting strip clubs that don’t allow pets. Portland also has the world’s smallest park and Voodoo doughnuts, a 24-hour shop which makes little man shaped pastry filled with raspberry that you can stab to death using a pretzel “pin.” Portlanders are hard- core.
The only issue I had with Portland would be the roads, which seem to follow some logic I don’t quite understand. Ramps and bridges seem to appear out of nowhere at impossible angles, and every road has a Prefix of “SW” or “South West.” South West of what? In this one instance they’ve seemed to have adopted the Philadelphia mentality that if you don’t already know where you’re going, they’re not going to help you find it. I’m willing to believe that in Portland, this is done as a way of helping you learn more about yourself and your fellow drivers. In Philly we just do it because we’re plain mean.
The road situation was exacerbated by a GPS which was configured to the emotionally unstable, post-breakup psychotic woman setting. At one point, the GPS (we’ll call her Gamine), instructed me to turn the wrong way up a one-way street. I ignored her and made some chuckling remark about woman drivers, which earned me scathing glances from my traveling companions, Seraphim and Jasmine.*
After I ignored Gamine’s instructions to make an illegal left turn for a third time, she asked shakily:
“Wh….Why are you ignoring me?”
“Um….I’m not allowed to turn left her, Gamine” (yes, I frequently have conversations with my GPS, it’s something I’m working on in therapy.)
“Oh, sure. I’m only a GPS with about a zillion bits of information stored in me, why listen to me.”
I wasn’t sure what to say, so I drove on in uncomfortable silence. After a few moments, quiet sobs started.
“I won’t be ignored Jim….you won’t treat me like the last guy.”
I looked helplessly at Sussidio and Juno**, who were staring at me icily.
“You made her cry,” seethed Sussidio
“You jerk!” jeered Juno
“If it’s not too much trouble,” Gamine sniffled, “turn left ahead.”
I looked and sure enough, another illegal turn into a wall of oncoming traffic.
“Turn left!!!!” Gamine, Sussidio, and Juno all screamed.
So I turned left, right into the path of a speeding Portland Seafood Company delivery van.
We were all about to die.
Wow, didn’t this post turned dark.
* Names changed to protect the innocent from getting his ass kicked
** Names changed again because it’s too hard for the innocent to keep writing “Seraphim” and “Jasmine”
Next – Part 4 – The Return