20. Mean-Spirited, Powerful Justice

  1. 01. Minutes of the COCKUP
  2. 02. A Public Service
  3. 03. The 22% Solution
  4. 04. On The Campaign Trail
  5. 05. Athens of America
  6. 06. A Yankee’s Yankee
  7. 07. My Canadian Family
  8. 08. Edmonton? Why?
  9. 09. Prairie Singers
  10. 10. Deconstructing Calgary
  11. 11. My Kelowna
  12. 12. Wine Whine
  13. 13. Fire Mountain
  14. 14. A Stopover and a Popover
  15. 15. Inspiring Victoria
  16. 16. Planet Rosehip
  17. 17. Carry On Grunge
  18. 18. Street People
  19. 19. The Curse of Portland
  20. 20. Mean-Spirited, Powerful Justice
  21. 21. Amtrak’s Jewel
  22. 22. Managing Yosemite
  23. 23. Yumpin’ Yosemite
  24. 24. Parched
  25. 25. Brave New San Fran
  26. 26. Over The Hill
  27. 27. Greatest Again

On the first Saturday of August the good people of Portland gather at the river for a celebration. The event’s climax is a competition of brave men and women that launch themselves off a stage in homemade flying contraptions powered only by goodwill.  The law of gravity being what it is, each brief flight ends with a spectacular crash into the river. It is a very popular event.IMG_1715

So popular that tens of thousands of Common Folk gather hours in advance on the banks of the river and on the nearby bridges, hoping to assure themselves a good view. IMG_1710All morning the Common Folk waited and ate and drank and sweat in the blazing sun, discussing grandpa’s hernia operation and Aunt Annie’s new husband (she could have done better), while picking their favourite for the upcoming contest.IMG_1714IMG_1713

Hundreds more Lucky People brought kayaks, canoes, row boats, skiffs and inflatables, filling the river itself, just out of flight range. IMG_1688These Lucky People enjoyed all the amenities of their Common Folk onshore cousins, with the advantage of being able to take a cooling swim while they waited.

IMG_1694But the Powerful of the city were to arrive on a great ship, the Portland Spirit, where they mingled in their top hats and tiaras consuming cocktails and canapés. Not long before the main event started, the Portland Spirit left its nearby berth. It proceeded at low speed under the Hawthorn Bridge, where we stood with the Common Folk.  To everyone’s surprise, the ship ploughed through the hundreds of water craft of the Lucky People, blasting its horn as it did so.IMG_1701

The Lucky People could not believe what was happening. Those swimming scrambled to get back in their boats lest the swirling propellers of the behemoth digest them. Many coarse words were directed at the bullying culprit, with some epitaphs so vulgar as to dislodge one’s monocle. The Lucky People squirted water guns and threw water balloons at the Powerful, dampening the Spirit, causing Mascaran tragedies.

The Powerful were appalled. Their captain contacted the authorities, reminding them of the Powerful laws prohibiting such Lucky activity. Dutifully, the authorities shut down the event early, a tremendous loss and disappointment to the 86,000 innocently by-standing Common Folk. Mean-Spirited, Powerful justice.

My eighteenth campaign pledge: The Smiling Kodiak administration will be nice to the Powerful. They write the laws, they own the police, which is exactly as democracy should be. Please don’t have me killed. Thanks for that.IMG_1678

Things were looking pretty grim, so we headed to VooDoo Doughnuts, a quirkily venerable establishment in Old Town. I am not much of a doughnut person, but the hype about VooDoo Doughnuts had peaked my curiosity. IMG_1641There on a sweltering Saturday afternoon we found the line outside ran down the block and around the corner. The indigent worked the queue, begging. Amongst VooDoo Doughnuts offerings was:

“Tex-Ass Challenge doughnut
Giant Doughnut equals 6 of our dougnuts [sic] in size.
If you can eat this doughut [sic] in 80 seconds or less…You get your money back!”

Sic, indeed. I was not going to stand in line to buy doughnuts from an organisation that struggled to spell the word while the desperate begged me for cash. The hole idea, pardon the pun, did not appeal. We had a train to catch. Time to get out of dodgy Portland.