Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Punked in Portland Part IV: Where Have All the Beavers Gone?

Donna and I moved to Portland in the spring of 2008. Three years later the Triple A Portland Beavers were gone. Coincidence? There are no coincidences. So what to make of this? There is no joy in punkedville, the mortaljivester has struck out...

I will admit that I didn't get to a Beavers game in 2008 or 2009, but in 2010 my partner in crime and I did go to a Beavers game, and stood in line forever for a beer, and sang and yelled our way through 9 glorious innings of "whatever." We looked out toward the left field wall, squinting for the Max Line that runs behind it, a hip and spare choo-choo, the kinetic ark of some child's imaginary city. A sleek mass transit ├╝ber toy, it looked like Christmas morning and the 4th of July to me: a native Southern Californian, I was used to Dodger Stadium, where trains aren't allowed and cars are waved in like returning war heroes and then, after the game is over, dismissed like cows that no longer give milk--Dodger-blue milk. But not in Portland: in Portland and the comfy confines of PGE Park! The weird building with exhibitionist windows in right field! The vibe that howls for the sake of howling! There is something quaint and reliable and fun and funky in the city of Roses, Stump Town USA! And Beavers, man! Not clitorally-topped labial temples, no, actual furry, buck-toothed Beavers! Though I love the female form I had never outright applauded a beaver until that July 31st night in 2010, and I vowed to applaud beaver whenever I saw one, but without throwing dollar bills at a gyrating business woman. By September the team that called out to me was done. There is no joy in Beaverville, fucking soccer has won out...

Now that the Beavers are gone crustaceans have gone wild in Portland...

Deals had been made by moguls who breathed rarified air far beyond the lungs of mere mortals, and a fella by the name of Merritt Paulson (son of Hank Paulson) had replaced the grand old game with soccer, which I should enjoy but just don't. Soccer looks healthy, which is a complete turnoff--and by the way, if I wanted to watch two hours of somebody struggling to score I could just look at the highlight reels of me in my barfly days (if the silver nitrate films haven't disintegrated yet). I have fallen out of love with baseball a few times: strikes, Rupert "Lizard Alien" Murdoch owning the Dodgers, Frank "Parking Lot" McCourt owning the Dodgers, a Raider-Nation mentality among the fans (read "drunk and thuggish")--I am my own personal pussy when it comes to crowd behavior. I don't like fights because, as an ex-bartender, I feel it is my job to break the imbroglios up, and if I don't break up a fight I feel cheated. Double bind, I think. You shouldn't hafta gotta.

Down in Eugene ducks are worshipped and even hunted

Our friends took us to a Keizer-Salem Volcanoes Double A game a couple of years ago, and it was great fun. Like Little League but bigger, and like the Big Leagues but littler, we enjoyed a warm night yelling at young men in baggy clothing and cheering on the home team. The mascot for the Volcanoes is known as Crater who looks like a cross between mescaline, pajamas and an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid. But no matter: it was fun, and with the Beavers snapped shut I will no doubt be headed down Interstate 5 for some good, clean volcanic fun.

The world is over-heating and almost out of gas. Our belief systems are locked into petrified legends, our politics mere varnish on unfettered larceny and greed, the marketplace of ideas a whorehouse for corporations, and in the middle of it all the slightly funky, at times depressed, marvelously misbehaving, creative and somewhat besotted furry river critter known as Portland trundles along, not chasing down fly balls but scurrying after the elongated vowel that comes with Goaaaaaaaaaallllll!!!!. It could be worse, which is an asshole thing to say. You could be dying from cancer and someone could say "It could be worse" and you might weakly ask "How?" and then someone kicks you in the groin--to that I say "it could be worse." How? You could get hit in the balls with a baseball bat. You could look it up.

p.s. My neighbor has season tickets to the Portland Timbers games. Just sayin'...

UPDATE: I forgot to include one of my favorite parts of going to a ballgame--beer! I'm a cheap date these days--two ales about does it. Mmm...


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