Thursday, July 13, 2006

Guess I hit a sore spot, huh?

Today while I was walking Buddy, I ran across this guy:

OK, it wasn't really Cartman. Actually, he looked more like my Dad:

Anyway, this guy was raking up a bunch of leaves that he'd just sheared off a hedge. As I was walking by, I commented that it was good to see somebody NOT using a leaf blower.

Big mistake. He replied, "Oh, I'll use the leaf blower in a minute," and then he walked over to me and began his spiel. "I was one of the last guys around here to stop using push mowers. Twenty years ago, I did probably about 40 small lots at a time. I probably walked 15 miles a day. I couldn't keep that up so I switched to gas equipment, but of course all the liberals get upset about the environment when you do that."

OoooooKaaaaaay I thought, and chucked out an olive branch: "Oh, if you're doing volume work that's different. I thought you were the homeowner here," and pointed at the big, expensive three-story house in front of which he was working.

"Oh noooo," he said shaking his head, "I'd never live in Portland. Did you know that 30% of the people who live in Portland work for the government? That's a big burden to place on taxpayers. I live in Battle Ground, Washington. Portland's a lot different than it used to be. Now it's all liberal, all these people who smoked so much pot that they're all paranoid; a bunch of pot-heads who never worked a day in their lives."

I am not making this up.

Rather than engage the gentleman in some good, honest debate (which I reckoned would be a futile effort anyway), I decided to turn my attention to another creature that was full of crap; so I just said "Well, okay then!" and continued on my way with Buddy.

Which was just as well because I was tempted to point out that the person who owned the nice big house and was paying him to tend it must have worked a few days to afford such a nice place and such good service.

But if I run into him again, I'm ready. After some quick net research, I found that 8.5% of Oregonians work for the state government, as compared with 7.7% of Washingtonians. So not that big a difference. And so stay on your own side of the Columbia and stop feeding off Portland's economy, you ungrateful Washingtonian right wing nut job!

Seriously, the more I thought about the encounter, the more it made me laugh. And, I'm afraid, the more it made me think that my Dad might have a long lost brother living not far from me!

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