Three Cheers For Portland

Man, what a great city Portland is. I like how people just chill outside quaint little neighborhood cafes, sipping lattes they bought with food stamps. How do I know these people bought their lattes with food stamps? Because NO body would hire somebody wearing a dog collar to do ANYTHING. Except maybe an animal clinic would hire someone wearing a dog collar to stand outside the building on the sidewalk of the busy street and lick themselves as a means of advertisement/marketing.

I like how everything is called a bistro. Setting up a coffee shop? Make sure you work "bistro" into the title (i.e. "Bright-Eyed and Bistro-Tailed Coffee"). Want to open a nickelcade? You've got to call it a bistro (i.e. "Whacky Willy's Bistro-cade"). What about a home improvement store? No problem (i.e. "Bistro the Builder -- Can We Build It? Yes We Can"). Law firm? We can make it a bistro ("Bernstein, Bingo & Bistro, LLP"). I'm no longer sure what a bistro used to be before I started this paragraph.

I like the budding relationship between the driver of the afternoon bus and the emaciated lady with Elvira hair and painted-on jeans, who always sandwiches a Harry Potter book under her arm. She never sits down. She just casually fingers a pole for balance as she stands and chats up the bus driver. He likes it. I can tell, even though he tries to play it cool behind his highway patrolman sunglasses. I can tell because he doesn't tell her sit down like he did the slightly challenged Bill Murray lookalike guy who tried to strike up a conversation with him about Scentsy.

I like the jobless people who stand outside the courthouse protesting things, as if it will somehow make them less of a loser if they have a cause. Dude, chick with the magenta hair and holey fishnets, newsflash: hating Judge So-and-So because he isn't vegan isn't a cause. Just saying. But, you know, do your democratic duty or whatever.

I like the bottle and can refund system. People, I'm telling you, it really encourages recycling. How can it not work? You get PAID to recycle. I'll be honest, if I'm in a state without a bottle and can refund, and I'm driving around and I finish a can of Coke, I'm going to throw it in the trash. But if I'm getting PAID to recycle it, I'm going to clutch it in my non-shifting and non-steering wheel hand (that's my mutant third hand, evidently) like it's a glorious, shiny nickle with a picture of Neil Diamond on the back or whatever. And guess what, even if I DO do the socially irresponsible thing and throw it away, there's a decent incentive for jobless protester chick to leaf through the trash and collect my can. Then she can cash it in. Everybody wins. The can gets recycled and she's 1/80 of the way to new set of fishnets that the rest of us can quickly glance away from as we throw up in our mouths.

The only thing I don't like is the roadkill removal service, or lack thereof. Fluffy Squirrel that got smooshed like 10 days ago in the middle of the street, upon which I must walk twice each day to and from the bus stop, is still there. Let me tell you what a pleasure it was to watch the gradual effect of rain, countless car tires, scavenger birds, and bacteria on Fluffy Squirrel, day by day, by day, by day. And on that note, I leave you. Alone. With your nightmares of Fluffy Squirrel dancing beside the ghoulish Michael Jackson in the "Thriller" video.