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Another Portland Blog

Friday, August 13, 2004

 

The streets were alive with the sound of weirdness

Downtown was crazy last Saturday night. In addition to being nearly assaulted by a lovelorn yuppie, I watched a skater kid take on a punk old enough to join the AARP. There must have been at least a 50-year age difference between the two. The kid was somewhere in his mid-teens and the punk must have been at least 60.

With a huge head of mangy grey hair, the punk was skinnier than a skeleton and had his left arm in a blue cast. They screamed at each other for a good five minutes before the police arrived. I was stuck behind a small crowd that gathered to watch inside Voodoo Donut. Behind me, an older guy in a black jumpsuit, allegedly one of the former owners of the 24 Hour Church of Elvis, was singing country standards on a karaoke machine.

Every time I start thinking Portland is a tepid little burg, something like this happens.

On the way up Broadway, a street preacher in a black suit was howling in Pioneer Square. I'm not sure if it's the same guy but he's/they've become a regular fixture. As usual, a crowd had gathered to watch and mock. Two teens in Foot Locker duds were arguing with him on the topic of gay marriage, inspiring two guys in tank tops to start French-kissing nearby. A hippie guy in a army jacket soon joined in and began spinning/dancing/staggering around them.

As if this scene wasn't weird enough, a scrawny kid in a black trench arrived on the scene with his head hidden deep in a black trench coat. In the opening at the top sat a Scream mask on a stick. The kid quickly got his face and began twisting around like a kabuki dancer.

All the while, the preacher remained perfectly calm. Here's a photo:



Take note of the person in the foreground. I'm pretty sure this is one of the hippies that "saved" me later that night.

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