“Fuck Portland.”

September 28, 2010 at 2:02 am (Cussed Dumbers)

A comment like that would normally make me bristle, but considering who was saying it?

“I’m sure Portland feels the same way about you.”

It’s been a mellow summer for gutter-punks and street trash. The new sit-lie rules have made it easier to move these folks along. And if they hesitate? I wash the sidewalk. I was prepping a five-gallon bucket of water when a barefoot young man walked in. He was shirtless under bib overalls.

“You sell beer? I’m lookin’ for a tall-boy. Steel Reserve? Four Lokos?”

“We don’t sell malt liquor, and we don’t sell singles. Six and twelve-packs only.”

What?” He pretended to be shocked.”What if I can’t afford a sixer?”

“Bummer. We’re under restriction from the city. Too many people drink on the sidewalks, then raise hell.” I paused and looked him in the eye. “We had to sign a contract with the city to keep our liquor license.”

I could see he was profoundly concerned. “Fuck Portland. I hate this city.”

“I’m sure Portland feels the same way about you,” I said as he huffed out. He returned to his dirt-covered buddies across the street. They donned backpacks and started heading back toward the store. It was then that I recognized his buddies. They’d been in about an hour previous, looking to buy bottled water with a food stamp card. When I shot that down, they headed for the porn display.

It was as if they were witnessing nudity for the first time..

“Ooh-hoo! Look at them titties!” They each grabbed a magazine. The dirtiest of them got down on all fours and pretended to be a dog. When he came uncomfortably close to licking the cover of a Playboy calendar, I’d had enough.

“If you want to read it, buy it. Otherwise, it’s time to go.” That was as diplomatic as I was going to get.

“Hey, this is a business, isn’t it? You sell magazines, right? I’m just deciding which magazine I want…”

He was operating under that ‘customer is always right’ fallacy. As Elmer Fudd said, “He don’t know me vew-wy well, do he?”

“You’ve had enough time. Buy or fly.”

He stared at me like I’d insulted his grandmother, but didn’t move.

“Did I not speak clearly enough? TIME. TO. GO.”

The woefully inadequate Manson stare continued.

I blinked at him in an over-exaggerated fashion.

“You’re an asshole,” he said.

“I’ve been told that. OUT.” I could play stare-down all night, but I wasn’t going to. Or have to. Tough guy relinquished.

“Man, fuck this town. I’m outta here tomorrow.” The filthier of the two had already returned across the street and claimed a spot just to the right of the door of our competitor.

*They* sell Four Lokos…

I stepped outside to survey the sidewalk. Another group of three had taken a spot on the corner. They were dressed like the kids in the “Come on Eileen” video from the ’80s. They were far enough away from the door that I could feign indifference. I can, however, change my tune in a hurry if they move closer. A five-gallon bucket of cold water says they won’t want to stay around, from the look (and smell) of ’em…

Pass the soap?



  1. PAgent said,

    Young man, I like the cut of your jib. How’d you like to come over to my neighborhood and clear out the punks cluttering up the sidewalk outside?

  2. beastard said,

    I’ll be right there! I prefer my usage of the five-gallon bucket as a cleaning tool, as opposed to a sonic-annoyance device…

  3. godzilla's scaly dick said,

    Found you via NYC’s Die Hipster. Clap clap clap clap.

    Start making ownership of AR15s mandatory for business owners in Multnomah County. Then institute a slacker/hipster/gutter hunting season.

    Too harsh? Then put a quart of Lysol in that bucket of cleaning water.

    “What if I can’t afford a sixer?” Well then go turn a trick at the whole foods co-op, or ask mommy for more.

    HOW many times have I heard that kind of reaction to adults setting boundaries with these sociopaths? “You’re an asshole! You’re not Kewl! You suck!”

    “Thank you for sharing. Pacifiers are in aisle four. Buy two–one for both ends of your alimentary canal.”

    As for buckets as sonic annoyance devices, those work quite well when the head of one of these devolved me-tards is inside. Try it! You can call it art!

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