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Saturday, August 14, 2004
Portland vs. John Forbes Kerry part 1
It's always odd to come across Bush supporters in west Portland but maybe I've been looking in the wrong places. They seem to keep to themselves and aren't too keen on pamphlets and grassroots politics, unlike those on the flipside.
Yeah, I just wrote "flipside" without irony. Shame on me.
Last week, I went on a ride-along with a field technician. One of the homes we hit was covered in patriotic paraphernalia. The yard contained no less than nine American flags, ranging from tiny metal stand-ups to full-fledged, have-to-take-it down-at-dusk displays. A sign near the edge of the driveway featured two smiling kids dressed like Uncle Sam and a pioneer. Stuck to a window was a large sticker with "WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS" written in red, white and blue letters.
The place was immaculate. The woman that greeted us was a stay-at-home mom with a bleach-blonde perm. She offered us soda and, yes, the resemblance to the one at the end of Fahrenheit 9/11 was uncanny.
While the tech ran upstairs, I was stuck downstairs with her two yapping Schnauzers. Adjacent to the front door sat a line of her five kid's graduation pics. The three boys were all wearing letterman jackets. The tassels off their graduation caps rested on the edge of each frame.
The problem was a quick fix and we out of there in five minutes flat. Unfortunately, I didn't get a look at their video collection, proudly displayed on a series of shelves near the TV.
Finally, attached to the Pontiac in the driveway: a Bush/Cheney '04 bumpersticker.
Other highlights from the ride-along:
- A newlywed couple in a tiny apartment with a 60-inch HDTV in the bedroom. The thing took up most of the room. In the living room, on a pedestal, sat a hardbound copy of Steinbeck's East of Eden.
- A computer room filled to the brim with alligators- alligator stuffed animals, alligator portraits, alligator buttons, alligator greeting cards, wind-up alligators, alligator videos and an animatronic alligator that sang..."Crocodile Rock."
- At another point, we ventured into a Street of Dreams neighborhood filled with million + dollar homes. One was owned by a local musician (?) with a full bar and an enormous, two-story tall painting of the African Serengeti in her living room. We were there to fix a computer in a recording room and another in a kid's room. Based on the pink bed sheets and dolls everywhere, the girl must have been 10, tops. The photos on the wall, recently taken, backed up this assumption.
Here's the weird part: the wide open closet filled with a huge DVD collection. A few titles: Memento, Seven, La Dolce Vita and, wait for it...yup, The Big Lewbowski. Even stranger: a nearby book shelf housed a large collection of LSAT prep guides. I guess you can never start preparing too early for law school and film snobbery.
More likely: the pics were of a younger sister. The elder is probably off at Yale.
Still, people are strange.