Tour of Doody

December 8, 2018 at 11:49 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

It Happens

Have you ever been down enjoying the Xmas tree, wandering with the Ale-festers at Pioneer Square, and nature calls?

I tell people I got my job just so I have somewhere downtown to go to the bathroom.

Anyone spending time downtown knows a clean, comfortable, accessible bathroom is a treasure to be safeguarded with near-death-penalty consequences for anyone who causes a toilet to go away. If you go in to shoot up, don’t take a nap afterward. That’s what the park is for. Free up le jon, asshole!

Same thing with mess-makers. You’ve been locked in there for an hour, and then you emerge and hurry out of the business, casting a sidelong glance that emits guilt and shame. (Among other things.) When we go investigate why, we see that you put ten paper towels on the seat to protect your precious ass, then can’t get the whole stinky mess to flush so you leave a few friends floating at the pool. Oh well, someone gets paid to clean it up…

This is why we hate you.

But.

We don’t hate you nearly as much as those who just ‘let ‘er go’ wherever they are. Foul most foul! This is how we met the Dook of Earl.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

Goodbye to U…S Bank

December 5, 2018 at 11:55 am (Waxing Nostalgic)

It is a day for funerals, (RIP #41, GHWB) so I will continue my series of eulogies. Things dying off that are damned inconvenient.

Today’s victim is the US Bank branch, downtown on SW 6th and Taylor Street. It has been there since 1948, and I have been banking there since 1979. I loved its central location and regal presence.

The ATMs, both inside and out, saw lots of action. The inside-one issued $5 dollar bills, handy for those on a budget. I would use the handicap entrance, saying hello to the nice guard who looks like Jeff Sessions without the perverted smirk, avoiding the panhandlers that would linger outside the main entrance. It was two blocks from my bus stop, perfect for my errand-running ways.

I asked why they were closing the branch, already knowing. “There’s a new owner, and they want to rent the space for ten times the amount.”

It’s the downtown way.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Goodbye To You

December 4, 2018 at 11:55 am (Waxing Nostalgic)

Hi there! Long time no see!

Yeah, it’s been a while. I haven’t given up on my beloved blog/sorta-diary, but I have been staying away. I needed to percolate for a while, to let some dust settle, see how things played out. Not every thought needs to be recorded, not every feeling shared with the internet.

I still write in my head, every day. I miss the morning routine, where I had a day’s activities sorted and punned up, ready to be shared. I need to get back to that.

So who am I saying goodbye to? Everyone, eventually, but for now I’m going to eulogize things that have gone away from my life, and now I miss them.

I will begin with the Fred Meyer store on SE Foster and 82nd…

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Those Magic Moments

August 29, 2018 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

Hall of Fame

As I approached the Pink Store, I noticed someone in a ventilator mask doing something to the front-door lock. WTF? It’s 10 PM, and union rules say… As I got closer I saw it was Mrs Brady’s husband behind the mask, with Grinder at his shoulder, supervising. Oh goody.

It was the final stop on the middle day of my three-day weekend, excepting this short shift giving lunches to the stores. I had been rolling along, smooth and sure, didn’t even have to open separate tills, just take over for whoever was working. Piece of cake! But all of a sudden I’m walking into a construction zone full of supervisor-types.

I repeat. Oh goody.

Grinder has risen! After a long bout of office work, he’s back to managing a store. When the city closed The Mothership, Master P bought an old corner store a few blocks away, in the West End. $20,000 in electrical updates later, the store has gone from rickety old bodega to somewhat snazzy snack shop. There was a lot of cleaning and updating to do, and after Southie finished dealing with the construction aspects, Grinder was brought in to pretty the place up.

Grinder is an early-bird, workwise. He gets in, gets his stuff done, and ducks out when possible, but when duty calls in the dark hours, he’s there with minimal grumbling. (The situation he’s dealing with gets plenty of grumbling, but the fact that he has to come out on his off-hours isn’t usually an issue.) He was in an exceptionally good mood this night. I figured it might have something to do with the fact that he was stuck overnight doing heavy physical labor, and the large travel-cup he was not letting go of for any reason. Pure speculation, of course…

I took over Carlito’s till, and made a few sales. Grinder and I chatted amicably; he heard tales of Dr T’s wedding and updates on all the buzz around the Nightclub Store. Igor dropped by, and it was like an employee meeting.

That’s when El Cunte walked in…

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Overwhelming Emptiness

August 16, 2018 at 11:00 am (Cussed Dumbers)

I love the early quiet hours. At dawn, when shade covers the ground but the sky is alight with the optimism of a new day.

“Can I get a dime for this?”

I’ve always worked at night. I love the quiet and solitude of early morning, and would hate to spoil it by rushing off to work. I’d rather smoke a joint and fall back asleep for a few hours. Stoned thoughts followed by deep sleep, then wacky REM dreams before waking refreshed about 10 AM. Add caffeine to the equation, and I’m mostly ready for work.

Mostly.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Flight of the Stewl Pigeon

June 2, 2018 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers)

A bird in the hand…

I deal with all kinds of animals at work, mostly the stinky two-legged human variety. Pitbull “service animals,” the occasional rodent, or, the most frightening, cockroaches and bedbugs. (These critters will get us moving; the last time a guy came in with a bagful of cockroaches, we badgered him out of the store forever, and I locked up and ran to Rite Aid for bug spray. WAR!)

A more common interloper, something we are almost used to?

Birds…

I’ve talked about birds before, specifically when referring to certain managers. It’s the perfect metaphor for what happens when Grinder shows up, or when a pigeon walks in.

We get pigeons, seagulls, crows and starlings wandering into the Waterfront Store. Eventually they find their way out. To the best of my knowledge, no bird has died at the Waterfront Store.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

On The First Day of Summer

May 6, 2018 at 4:20 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

Cinco de Mayo; it’s the beginning of our Xmas season.

Downtown is a constant beehive, although the past few years the sidewalk seems to roll up earlier than ever. I could take my break on 5th Avenue, sitting in plain view puffing on my one-hitter, eyeballing the occasional bus or MAX, and only see one or two shopping cart people rifling the trash for empties. That is standard from January through April. Nobody out for the hustlers to hustle.

But once May rolls around? Yeehaw!

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Seven-Year Itch

May 3, 2018 at 10:40 am (Drunk and disorderly, On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

“Hello, my name is Charlie and I’m an alcoholic.” And a drug-addict and all-around man-about-town.

I’ve been quiet lately, not feeling like sharing, or much of anything, really. Was dealing with depression issues for a bit, but like in my teens, eventually it evaporated. Depressed about what? Nothing more than the pressures and general shame of life. In the midst of the downtime, I’ve had some fun. It’s just that the fun evaporates as well, leaving me to my own empty (yet way-too-busy) thoughts.

My friends have been there for me. I drop in on Dr T. Dizzy and kitty Naomi are stalwart companions, giving me smiles and support. At work, Igor has risen to the top of the milk jug like fine cream, positioning himself to become manager-apparent. Doing such, we spend lots of time working together. I’d rather teach my boss what I want than have to make them figure it out.

And then there’s Wednesday, my day on the road. Mizelle and Lily show up about 9 AM, smiling and bringing sunshine on the rainiest days. I get up about 6 or 7 AM, putter and get my head ready for driving. Lately there’s been nothing to prep my head with, which leaves me in a weird limbo…

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Chuck Wagon To Kansas

March 28, 2018 at 3:18 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

“Get out! No! Get out.”

I say that so many times a night. Thieves, scumbags, crazies. If I see them coming through the door in time, I issue a preemptive strike. I start with a normal tone, albeit a bit loud. If I have to repeat myself, I switch to Dad-Voice and project an authoritative “HEY!” that would pierce the tones of Slayer on headphones. It usually involves an argument, “I didn’t do that!” or “That was somebody else!” Once in a while I am wrong, but not too often.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Redhead’s Rolling Rock Review

March 15, 2018 at 11:40 am (Cosmic Encounters, On the road again...)

I look forward to Wednesdays. Mizelle and Lily come down from the mountain, and I chauffeur them all over the metro area. One of the perks is the music. The Ford Explorer has a CD player as well as AM/FM, and it gets put to use.

Knowing better than to mess with another’s presets, I clicked around on the radio until I found presets closest to the stations I was after. Preset One, or Preset Five, and four clicks of the search button going right, got me one of the two classic rock stations in Portland.

KGON, to quote Bob Seger, is still the same. I called it the B.S. station. Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Squier, Buffalo Springfield. But no Black Sabbath, unless you count Paranoid. (Or Iron Man, if the DJ has to take a shit.) KGON does play a lot of Ozzy, but mostly Crazy Train and Mama, I’m Coming Home. Sho’nuff, Mr Crowley was playing when I turned on the radio.

So we click button number five, and push seek four times, to find 105.9 The Brew. Basically KGON with more Def Leppard and less Journey. (I stopped Believin‘ a long fuckin’ time ago.) Bonus: Cort Webber from the old KUFO days is the 10 AM-2 PM DJ, so the on-air interjections are humorous and brainier than usual. It’s comforting to hear a voice on radio that has been there for 30 years. From his intern days on the Bill Prescott Show, to the Cort and Fatboy heyday, Cort’s baritone snarkery is a constant favorite. He’s like Portland’s Walter Cronkite, with more nose hair.

Lily helps with musical selection. I try to explain that Pink Floyd isn’t really anti-education as we rock out to Another Brick In The Wall on the way to school. Pink Floyd gets the loud treatment; it was fun watching Lily’s face react as Welcome To The Machine threw itself around the speakers of the SUV. I reassured her it was supposed to sound that way, and the car wasn’t falling apart.

Time, with all the bells and cuckoo clocks, plays nicely in our terrestrial space ship.

Sadly, most of both channels are a playlist unchanged from 1986. Can we put Steve Miller away already? And Bon Jovi? Fuckin’ king of the earworm. I love AC/DC, but all they ever play is Back in Black and TNT. Put on some Soul Stripper or Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and watch the volume knob have an orgasm. Judas Priest is touring again, sounding as good as ever. How about a little love? Besides You’ve Got Another Thing Coming? (I noticed they are playing the song Grinder on this tour. It’s radio-safe!)

Ozzy’s duet with Lita Ford is lovely, but I skip songs about suicide when Lily is in the car. We have some deep conversations. I’m not ready for that one yet.

The past few weeks I’ve been bringing CDs, either off my sister’s “drinking pile” or stuff I’d previously burned for road trips. Lily wasn’t as excited about Blue Oyster Cult as I was, but, judging from her facial cues, she really enjoyed my Paul McCartney and Wings homemade greatest hits. We were the band on the run…

After 12-13 hours, I’m ready to let the eardrums rest for another week. I’m keeping my eyes open, in case Sister unearths another great one. My ace in the hole? When Bohemian Rhapsody comes on, and both Lily and Mizelle are in the car, I’m going full-on Pavarotti.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »