Tidbits from the Cranky Commuter

In order to avoid the possibility of unpleasantness – particularly the kind of unpleasantness that involves towtrucks, exchanging of insurance information, and shopping for a new car – I took the train downtown yesterday. As expected, even out at Millikan Way, it was standing room only. At one time I took the train every single day, and I was a little amused to see how effortlessly my body remembered the old routines. I leaned into the appropriate curves, braced for expected accelerations, all with a sort of wired-in sense memory from years before.

The train had its usual complement of loud cell phone users and folks immersed in their own auditory experiences via earbuds. Just a heads-up though, to some of you young people: If the music coming out of your earbuds is loud enough that I can sing along from five feet away, you are going to be deaf by the time you’re forty. I’m not judging, just letting you know what’s in store for you.

I had an epiphany whilst waiting at the Pioneer Square MAX stop to come home. I could produce a ‘Portlander Action Figure’. It would have ugly square glasses, a stocking cap pulled down to it’s eyelids, white iPod earbuds jammed into its ears with the wires running down to a jacket pocket, a Starbucks cup in the right hand, and a cigarette in the left hand. When you wound it up, the arms would start going up and down, up and down, so it was alternating hits of coffee with drags from the cigarette.

I’ll make a fortune.

Today I was back on the streets in my automobile, cruising through a light flurry on the way downtown. By way of another PSA, I’d just like to state the following for the spatially challenged among you: If you happen to be following me, and the traffic in the right and left hand lanes are moving at the same speeds, and I happen to leave a couple of car-lengths of space in front of me for safety, you will not actually get to work measurably faster by changing lanes twice in order to get in front of me. I know you will feel like you’ve accomplished something. But all you will have really accomplished is looking like a dick.

2 Comments so far

  1. jonashpdx (unregistered) on January 18th, 2007 @ 10:25 am

    best. action. figure. ever.

    brilliant. but don’t forget the beard/goatee/xtreme facial hair. at least on the menfolk.

  2. Betsy (unregistered) on January 18th, 2007 @ 11:56 am

    Love it, but I’d add one modification:

    *real* PDX-ers (of the type you’re depicting, anyway) wouldn’t be caught dead drinking *Starbucks* coffee…

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