Don’t drink and dive!

May 8, 2007 at 12:33 am (Cussed Dumbers)

The year is not half over, and I think Portland has its Darwin award winner already. Loss of life is always sad, but some sad situations are funnier than others. My condolences to the family, if they recognize who I am writing about.

I work downtown, and deal with drunk people all night. I’ve personally drank enough to last three lifetimes, so I get it when people want to escape, get messed up, feel good. My philosophy has always been to keep one foot on the ground, and enough wits about me to survive the most basic of situations. I keep aware of my surroundings, and if I’m doing something I shouldn’t, I plan an escape route.

Last week, I saw the detox wagon pull up across the street from the store. Then came a cop car and an ambulance. Then a fire truck. The ambulance picked up a guy off the street; the rest of the emergency vehicles left.

A bartender from up the road came in, and asked if I’d heard about a jumper. I told him what I’d seen, and he went back to work.

A bit later, the graveyard guy came in, and asked what the ruckus up the street was. The light rail was not moving, and the street was taped off. It was on the far side of the building, so I had no clue.

Speculation ran rampant, urban legends were building, until tonight, when street patrol came in. “Hey PJ,” I asked my source, “did you hear anything about a jumper last week?”

He and his partner started laughing. “Oh, yeah…”

“So tell me, ” I cajoled.

“Not much to tell. We got a call about some street drinkers, and found a guy passed out across the way. One of our guys was patrolling the eighth floor of the parking garage, and he came across a couple other guys, drinking. One was just plain fucked up. We got him. The other guy, he thought he was being smart, and tried to hide behind the support beam. Problem is, to get behind the support beam, he had to jump over a four-foot wall, which leads straight out into oblivion and then eight stories down. He took out the awning to the restaurant, a couple of power lines, and made a bit of a mess on the restaurant window. I hear the folks dining by the window got comped meals. Can you imagine trying to eat spaghetti after seeing that?”

Nothing tomato-based for me tonight, thankyouverymuch.

That’s as close to an official version as we’re gonna get. The media doesn’t report suicides, and I think this was categorized as such.

The moral of the story? Look before you leap, I guess…

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