Sunday, June 20, 2010


So we took the camper and went to the Gorge for a couple of days. Caught a break on the weather; we had a little rain after dark and in the early morning, but mostly sunny after that, even though the forecast called for rain.

Amazing to me that we walked to the river and the wind howling from the west was white-capping the water and gusting to what had to be 45-50 mph, but a hundred yards away in the trees, there was no discernable wind. Could have lit a candle.

Shows what a funnel the river is, and how wind will take the easiest route when it can.

On the way there, we pulled into a truck stop in Troutdale to get gasoline. The truck stop's cash price was almost fifteen cents a gallon cheaper than the credit card price in town, and when you have a 55-gallon tank, that mounts up.

The stop was busy. Two rows of pumps, four lines of traffic, port and starboard. There was a Popeye's Fried Chicken place and quick-stop market next to the lot, and several cars that were parked nose-in at the sidewalk, all empty.

We pulled into one of the lines, had three cars in front of us, a couple behind us, and to the left, with the parked cars on the right.

After a couple of minutes, we moved up. Friday afternoon at the gas pump, made slower because in Oregon, you can't pump your own petrol. Us and, I think, New Jersey, only two states where that still happens. Got to wait for the attendant.

A woman came out of the chicken place and got into a car parked nose-in. We were blocking her, but there was no place to go. She lit her engine and leaned on her horn. Tried to jockey out, couldn't, then hit the horn again.

(Dont'cha just love jackasses who, while sitting a line of bumper-to-bumper traffic -- usually right on your rear, decide that their horn is like Harry Potter's wand, and if they use it, the cars in front will somehow magically disappear? My reaction is usually less than sanguine: Yeah, that will help, asshole ...)

Mmm. So after a moment, the woman got out of her car and stomped over to where I was sitting in the passenger seat. "You have to move," she said. "You're blocking me in."

Right away, I'm thinking, how did a blind woman get a license to drive? Because anybody with any vision can see there is nowhere for us to go. What -- I'm supposed to get out and hoist the twelve-thousand pound camper over my head so she can back out?

But I was blocking her egress, so I tired reason: "We can't move right this second." I pointed at the cars around me -- as if that was going to help. Like maybe she couldn't see them, but me directing her attention to them would do the trick.

Didn't. Do the trick.

This was an angry person standing at my window. Her face was ... pinched is the term I want, and florid. She was really pissed off. An unhappy woman, and from her look, not just about the current situation. Probably in her thirties, and if I had to guess, tipping the scales at around three hundred pounds.

"Why did you have to block me in?!" Venom dripped from her voice.

I just stared at her. I wanted to say, "Sure, lady, we drove from Beaverton over here though Friday afternoon traffic to do just that. We knew you'd be here, and we were waiting for our chance, because we live just to make your life more miserable than it already must be. We are part of the conspiracy to do that."

Or, I could have pointed out that when we got there, she wasn't in her car and nowhere to be seen, and we'd be out of the way in two minutes, tops.

But I didn't. The time for reason had come and gone. I just shook my head and said, "Go get back in your car. We'll move as soon as we can."

She stomped off, and have a terrible fucking day.

My wife, who is mostly a vegetarian and a yoga teacher and as peaceful a person as you are apt to meet, said, "I hate it that I feel this way, but -- I just wanted to slap her!"

Me, too. Well, except for the hate-it-I-feel-this-way part ...


Bobbe Edmonds said...

Ummm, Steve? That post up there? It's a thing we call SPAM:

"We BJ Brough, Inc. specialize in providing a unique service of cleaning apartments and private houses. The service we offer allows you to get the help (maid) you are looking for cleaning your home. All you have to do is set your preferences in terms of days and times, special assignments and more.

The goal is placed before us is the optimal customization to your specific needs of our assistants pool quickest, most effective manner.

When you choose to use our service, you can stop worrying and feel safe, when all the responsibility is on us! You always have nowhere to turn! Us not risk hiring a foreign worker without a permit or demand for payment on behalf of government officials."

Translated from that link in...HEBREW?!?!?

I thought I had bad spammers...!

Steve Perry said...

Yep, I usually just delete those -- any generic comment that ends in a link is always spam -- but I hadn't gotten to it this morning yet.

Viro said...

I agree with you. I don't think saying anything else would have had any effect other than to incite her anger.

Jonty said...

I actually lived in Portland for three months before I realized you aren't allowed to pump your own gas. None of the attendants yelling at me spoke enough English to convey the message.

There should be a sign on the border of anywhere with strange rules:

"Welcome to Oregon. You can't pump your own gas."

"Welcome to Asheville, NC. No turn on red, and the cops like to ticket."