“Keep it weird” is Portland, Oregon’s unofficial slogan.

I love it and yes, it IS weird. Recently they allowed people to pump their own gas? I assume this had something to do with keeping employment, but odd to me. Oregon is certainly not a ‘mean’ state! Just the opposite.

HOWEVER – (and you saw that coming), I was in a small(r) town, quite south of Portland. I’d blindly booked a place on the wrong side of the tracks. One of the shittiest motels I’d ever stayed (but that’s where you meet people and find stories), so that be that. Just 2 doors down was a man, his wife, and their very young daughter. He was a former U.S. military guy who had returned to hard times, not much help, and was working at the pizza joint across the parking lot. Wow.

We acknowledged each other across the 2nd floor balcony and chatted from a distance when all of a sudden we heard from the room between us “SHUT THE FUCK UP!! I’LL KILL ALL OF YOU!!”, mixed with large banging sounds. Now, ‘grumpy neighbour’ is one thing, but “I’ll KILL YOU” is a bit different. Regardless, we both went back to our rooms but the maniac between our rooms (remember, military guy LIVED THERE with his family), but the pounding and yelling and ‘threats’ continued. I had to call 911.

They had apparently had a couple of calls and were on their way. STUPIDLY, I say “Okee Dokee, thanks” and then proceed to go back out to the balcony with my 5th rum and coke.

I immediately hear (whispered – but loudly) “GET BACK IN YOUR ROOM!” I turn to notice a cop hiding around the corner of our deck and approach him with “Hi there! I’m the guy who …” GET BACK IN YOUR ROOM!” he then yelled. I then noticed his pistol drawn. Hey! No need to tell me three times!

Long story short, the ‘bad guy’ was also a vet who had been ‘going through stuff’, ‘wasn’t directing his threats to anyone in general’ but before that, they surround his door, blast down the door, take him and talked him down, etc. Fine. (hic)

I later spoke again with the other military Dad as he was leaving for his midnight shift at the pizza place. “No, I didn’t call the police .. did you?” Yikes. I wonder if I started even more problems between his family and their ‘neighbour’.

Oh – later in my trip during a shoot I sincerely, ignorantly asked her “what do you call people from Oregon?” “Oregonians” she said. I said “I like Oregunyans better!” with stupid smile on my face. She repeated with straight face, “Oregonians”.