Of Portland, Bridges & Eternal Damnation

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Multnomah Falls, Oregan plummet hundreds of meters, just a few kilometers from Portland.

March 11, PDX Airport — Portland’s like Montreal. What, with the hilly dead-end roads, similar size and rotting ‘60s federal infrastructure bridging a powerful and economically vital river. But the similarity’s deeper, so to speak.

Any person who’s half-awake and noticed that the Big Clock’s ticking would appreciate these two cities’ denizens’ carefully studied, quasi-religious approach to leisure. But unlike Montreal, Portlanders emanate that endearing Left Coast flakiness — strangers will smile at you — that evaporates east of the Great Divide.

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Left coasters are unabashedly flakey. Bless them.

I profoundly enjoyed this short visit. Been to California and BC many times but never here. Predictably, Portland’s in between (speaking of profound) but, culturally speaking, manages to better render the best of both.

Mind yesterday, after two days of biblically oceanic rain, we were blessed to have what my AirBnB hostess called ‘moving-to-Portland weather’. Never underestimate the power of sunny and 65.

Especially when your friends are freezing their asses off.

Speaking of flakey and religion, if only I’d photographed that billboard advertising — and I kid you not — “Beyond Reasonable Doubt: Jesus is Alive!” followed by some bible reference for proof (Julius 7:12 or something) where the logo normally lurks. What phrasing!

“Beyond reasonable doubt?” It sounds like Jesus got nailed for jury duty!

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Topographically, architecturally and culturally, Portland is like Montreal.

Picture His dilemma for recusal. “Do I tell them I’m the Saviour, so they think I’m nuts? Or I could reuse My material from the early days: assume that far-off world-weary look and sigh ‘I must be about My Father’s business’. After all, they’d think, ‘SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy’ and rush to support The Family business. Good PR for a judge. But would either excuse be bearing false witness and, if so, would I have to damn MySelf.”

And you thought you had problems.

Maybe the billboard’s reference was from that embarrassing hole-touching stunt staged for Saint (aka ‘Doubting!’) Thomas; again, I was riding a bike on a busy road in a city where smoking dope is legal and didn’t take a picture lest I get hit by some tattooed craft beer producing truck driver sporting a Victorian strong man beard, and go straight to Hell.

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No salt on the roads means years more life for concerned car cagregivers.

But I’d give up to three dollars to have sat in on the meeting where some earnest committee googled “5 Tips for Effective Billboard Ad Copywriting” before agreeing on those 6 words.

Yes, up to three dollars. Cash.

American!

*Just noticed “‘Nailed’ for jury duty’”. Ooh, that’s gotta be another strike against.