on a previous trip to portland – a place i really enjoy – i happened to see the mascot of the town. or the living embodiment of it. or just a good representation. or just a dude who liked dressing like a caricature of what portland residents look like. to paint a picture, i was sitting outside at a patio atmosphere-type dining establishment …which are quite common in the city of roses. i looked past my friend who was sitting next to me, and i spied a short, white guy with a beard walking toward us. that’s not so uncommon …anywhere really. nor was it uncommon that this fella had buddy holly, thick-rimmed glasses, and puffy woodsman hair, and short cut-off jean shorts, and a tight flannel shirt tucked into them. i think the capper. the thing that set him apart – was that he had no socks and boat shoes on. all of these things together gave him the appearance of someone headed to a halloween party. i chuckled to myself and said, “hey, it’s portland guy” (not in an 80′s bully kind of way. more of a “hey, there’s a hummingbird” kind of way) then people at the table glanced, shrugged, and didn’t seem that struck by him. as the look is quite common. however, as he passed, i said, “yeah, portland guy” thinking maybe i’d get a wave or a perhaps a chuckle from him. instead i was met with anger. in hindsight, i can see how he would think i was being a jerk, but i genuinely thought it was harmless. either way, his reaction was very un-portland. he stormed to the table and got right in my face, “what did you say?” “i said, yeah portland guy. you’re the portland guy” to which he said, “where are you guys from?” which would have been a perfect time for me to reply, “ahh, yes. where are we from? our attire hasn’t given you nearly the clues that yours has, so you are stumped. whereas i was able to tell where you live based solely on your stupid, yacht riding, axe swinging, quarry jumping into, nerdy book reading look you’re trying so aggressively to maintain” …but i didn’t. people around the table actually started chipping in with where they were from in a very cordial manner. portland guy saw the tension being dissipated and in a last gasp effort decided to cut everyone off with, “alright! (then to me) just a friendly word of advice, dude. i don’t like to be put in a box when i’m walking down the street.” then he puffed out his little chest (he was like 5’5″) and marched away. i hope that within the following 24 hours he was violently molested by sasquatch.