Neighborhood Showdown

11 Jan

We live in a great area of Portland. It’s a town divided into quarters by a north south river (the Willamette) and a bridge thoroughfare aligned east west called Burnside. This makes for instant territoriality. Those of us who live in South East regard the other quadrants with pity. All right to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.

Ours is a leafy suburban looking barrio. But you can walk to everything. There’s a beautiful laid out area of fine houses and elm lined avenues here called Ladd’s Addition. Two of these avenues come to the same junction with Division Street. A couple of other roads feed into this junction which is commonly known as Seven Corners. And if you happen to be shopping in the Plaid  Pantry (Portland’s version of 7-11) you get a ringside view of the whole deal.

Okay. So here’s what happens. Coming down one of those elm lined streets is a cyclist doing what comes naturally at a lollygagging pace (i.e. taking his full share of the road). Behind the cyclist comes a lady in a big green car, taking it easy because she doesn’t want to run over the cyclist. Behind the big green car comes a lady in a small blue car. And she is in a hurry and wants to make  the light and clearly has no idea why the green car is crawling. In a desperate effort to make the light, Little Blue tries to cut around and overtake Big Green, nearly colliding. She cuts across Big Green’s bows and then, upon seeing the cyclist, she screeches to a halt. And the light goes red.

A frozen moment. Then Big Green Lady gets out of her car and with arms outstretched, expostulating, walks over to Little Blue to ask her what the hell she thought she was doing. Little Blue is wound up and promptly pulls out a gun and points it at Big Green. A gamechanger. The cyclist immediately raises his hands up in the air. Big Green after a blink of astonished WTF turns and runs back to her car. Not waiting for the light to change, Bonnie Parker takes off up Division at speed.

The things you see when buying a lottery ticket.

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