Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Memories (Page 3 of 3)

Best. Song. Ever?

Here’s a story I like to tell, and I just realized that it’s precisely the sort of slice-of-life material that you crazy “blog readers” eat up with a spork. So here goes…

I work in radio. Not on the air, though, just as the “IT Department Of One.” (Hey, if you can’t rip off US Army advertising copy, what can you rip off?).

My first five years with the stations was as a part-time board operator, basically an occasionally-multitasking button pusher. The only difference between myself and a DeeJay was that the DJ got to crack the mic and I didn’t. But I still had to take the phone calls from all the drunken crazies… and when you’re a rock-n-roll station, the phoners are as crazy as they come. One night/morning early in my career (in other words, “before I knew better”) I took a call from a guy who wanted to know what the Greatest Classic Rock Song Of All Time ™ was.

Stupid me, I tried using logic. “Well, you know, it’s really a subjective thing… yadda yadda.”

“But, man, what’s the best one ever?”

“It depends on who you ask… blah blah blah.”

“Dude, I just need to know which one it is!”

Eventually the utter knob on the phone… okay, the other end of the phone… managed to convey that he was trying to settle a bet with his buddy: Was the Greatest Classic Rock Song “Stairway to Heaven” or “Hotel California”?

I hate Hotel Cali, so I settled the bet in favor of Led Zep. The entire process only took maybe fifteen minutes… but that was about twelve minutes longer than it should’ve, had I any sense…

And some things never change. Heh.

Clearing out the memory backlog a bit.

(Aren’t you all glad I’ve taken to jotting down little reminders in my phone to jog my memory? Yes, I’m sure you are. Heh.)

The TriMet bus (and light rail) system is, all things being equal, a tremendous asset to the Portland metropolitan area. It is also, from time to time, a source of amusement.

The #14 line runs along Hawthorne Street in southeast Portland, and so is known as the “#14 Hawthorne,” which is displayed on the electronic signboards on the front and side of the bus itself. But what happens when the rightmost half of the sign is malfunctioning?

Well, it makes the bus Hawt, apparently. 14 Hawt, to be precise.


Okay. Moving right along… am I the only Portland resident to notice that cast-off couches are virtually everywhere, even in places you wouldn’t think a couch could migrate to? You sort of expect to see on one a curbside from time to time, but in the middle of a berry thicket? In a gully? I swear, there are couches (and I’m lumping loveseats into the “couch” category, if you must know, you pedantic person you) everywhere in this city. I’ve never particularly thought of a couch as an outdoor accessory, but clearly a fair number of people have.

I was discussing this phenomenon with Lilith recently, prompted (of course) by yet another curbside couch sighting. She, too, had noticed the proliferation of couches, but hadn’t assigned to it quite the same level of fascination (or obsession, if you prefer) that I have. If nothing else, this clearly establishes which one of us is crazier. Useful, that.

Her joking comment was that perhaps instead of calling Portland “Stumptown” we should call this place “Couchtown.” But then, of course, we’d have to pronounce it like we pronounce Couch Street…

Oh, wait. “Cooch Town.” Scratch that idea, folks…

“He’s a giant chicken, I tell you!”

Welcome to the new Memories section, where I write about things I really should have written about at the time but for some reason or other (that would be “laziness,” most of the time) I didn’t.

Oh, and bonus points if anyone catches where I got this entry’s title. Heh.

So. A while back, Lil’ and Geoffrey and I were at Freddy’s. I think it was so she could buy cosmetics, or some such. Geoff’ and I snarked a lot, as usual. Shortly before the end of the shopping trip, I spotted this:

Well now. What have we here? It’s a giant chicken for sale!

“It’s a duck,” Geoffrey insisted. I was, of course, mildly offended… mainly because that’s the worst excuse for a duck I’ve ever seen. Besides, it had a comb on its head. That makes it a chicken, right? We went back and forth about that for a few minutes without either being convinced of the other’s position.

So he found the box it came in. Sure enough… that’s supposed to be a duck. Go figure, eh?

What have we shown here, folks? Shopping with me is always bound to be a snark-filled experience! That, and apparently I can’t tell the difference between a giant inflatable duck and a giant inflatable chicken…

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