Fred and the Frisco Rat

Here it is, August 14th, and the summer has nearly passed without the typical hangs at the river, nights drinking 40s on the Steel Bridge, or late-night gallivants around the Stump. Not willing to let the summer pass by without some of the aforementioned fun, Old and I decided to step up our efforts a little and do what we do best, in no particular order: drink, philosophize, bullshit, wander around town, listen to gangster rap, and, in general, nerd it up a little.

After getting off work last Thursday, I headed up to Old's place in Northeast Portland. When walking to his apartment from my car, I was caught off guard when I heard a familiar ticking noise coming from Old's window. Although the sound was familiar, it took me a minute to identify it. After realizing it had been about 15 years since hearing this sound, I finally identified it as a type writer. Yes, you heard right. Old, while waiting for me to show up and begin our gallivanting, was writing a letter on his type writer (you can now check off "nerd it up a little" from the above list). Had he not been writing our good friend, Pierre, who happens to be incarcerated for a while, the urge to box him in the face probably would have overcome me.

After finishing his letter, we ran through our typical pre-gallivant routine. This usually consists of Old making (freaking) some alcoholic concoction out of the year-old blueberry juice fermenting in his freezer, a couple types of liquor, and lemon concentrate. This time, Old made a gin fizz with Portland's own, Aviation Gin. This warmed us up to some micheladas (Tecate with salt, hot sauce, and lime). As usual, we rounded out the early part of the evening with some Bay Area rap for old times (this time it was Andre Nickatina), a couple Djarums to accompany our political and philosophical conversations on the porch, as well as some discussion about what we should do with the rest of the evening.

As we were both hungry, the next part of the evening revolved around getting food. Our first stop, Blind Onion (a pizza joint/pub), was closed. Our next choice, Rose and Thistle Pub (for some chili cheese fries), just stopped serving food for the night. Out of options? Not so fast. How could we have forgotten? Where else can you get burritos, hot dogs, crunchies, and pick up more beer at 1:00 in the morning? 7-11. How foolish of us. And how insensitive not to consider our Iranian friend and 7-11 employee, Fred, but when left with no other options. So we headed to the 7-11 on NE Broadway to chat it up with Fred and get some niblets. I got a bag of buffalo wing/bleu cheese Doritos and a bean burrito. Old got a sandwich and a bag of zesty taco/chipotle ranch Doritos. The 7-11 bonus, though, was being able to catch up with our old pal, Fred. We talked about his days living in Reno and Las Vegas, as well as his time in Seattle. When the topic moved to Portland, we talked about the upcoming Iranian festival downtown. Asked if he planned on going, Fred stated he wasn't, partly due to his odd work schedule and, also in part, due to his dislike of younger Iranians (he admits to feeling a disconnect to newer generation Iranians).

After chatting it up with Fred, we made our purchase (including a couple tall cans of PBR), and headed outside. After curiously exchanging bites of our new collision-taste Doritos, we cracked our PBRs and commenced the parking lot pimpin'. Now, some may find this to be a abit offensive, but it isn't pimping in the traditional sense (just in case I fooled you guys into thinking Old and I are real pimps). Rather, parking lot pimpin' is a mindset, a mentality. It's about setting up shop in a parking lot (it could be a park, could be a bridge, or even a *sewer) and making it your domain. On this occasion, it was our spot to eat, drink and talk about life. Sitting there, drinks in hand, I questioned Old's consumption of Doritos while being adamantly against fast food (i.e. McDonald's). His response was, "because I'm not a hippy." It took me a while to figure out what he meant, but it soon made sense, as he was implying that hippies are sheep-like in their blind subscription to a specific lifestyle (stereotypically anti-corporate, vegetarians, etc.) In other words, he can be against unhealthy fast food, but is independent enough to indulge in the occasional junk food without feeling guilty. Good enough for me.

We were soon distracted from our conversation by a rat who was hunting for some bleu cheese and buffalo wing Doritos. I don't know if it was the rat's stealth, killer instincts that was reminiscent of Old's cat Friso, or the griminess of the environment that conjured up images of San Francisco, but we both referred to the little rodent as "Frisco Rat." Every time Old and I would start talking, Frisco Rat creeped out from behind a dumpster and sneaked in our direction. As soon as we looked at it, it would scurry back to the dumpster. This game went on until we finished our snacks and decided to head home (apparently not the party animals we thought we were).

As is customary of our "nights on the town," we returned to the house with the intentions of watching a movie (Old has an endless supply of obscure foreign films checked out from the library...more on that in another post). Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of falling asleep during movies, and this sort of takes the fun out of movie-watching. Old had the perfect remedy for this, though: a 12 minute movie titled Un Chien Andalou, by Salvador Dali. I don't remember much of the flick, other than a scene where some dude slices open a detached eyeball with a knife. And, amazingly, I was unable to catch the end, as Old reports I fell asleep at the eight minute marker.

So it was...another typical Old and Jeff night. A few odd routines, some scummy gallivanting, and a nice hangover the next morning.

* Uh, the sewer reference above was a sad confession probably only understood by a handful of people. If you are confused and curious about the thought of parking lot pimpin' in a sewer, contact me and I can clear things up a bit.


Oldie said...

"Scummy gallivanting" is the best word combination I've ever witnessed. All future adventures shall thus forth be known by such termage.

Sluggy said...

Falling asleep during a movie seems to run in the family...but at least you made it 8 minutes! That might well be a record. Oh, and I'll catch you on the *sewer pimpin' - talk about the dirtiest jobs!

luckygreen said...

Although seemingly innocent, the family trait of falling asleep in movies has narrowed down the number of people willing to watch movies with me to about 4. Three of those are in the family, which means Old is one of the last...and I think he may be close to giving up on me.

pork said...

What more could you ask for than my buddy, Andre, and a sewer here and there? Some things never change.