We went to the Oregon Brewers’ Festival today in Portland. It was a gorgeous day in a gorgeous park sandwiched between a gorgeous city and a gorgeous river into which I almost plunged my two gorgeous children, who were horrid. Somebody with a calendar and more sense than I please make a note to remind me next year to leave our daughters at home, because . . . just . . . fuck.
In apparently related news, after a few beers, I get all uncaring and mocky where my offspring are concerned, which only serves to exacerbate the situation.
Luckily, I was tipsy and thus all uncaring and mocky about his opinion, and so I responded to his mild criticism by taking loudly incredulous photographs of the insanely overlong shoelaces in his new shoes and pretending dramatically to make a note to speak with the caretakers at his group-home about the negligent dangers of combining mentally challenged folk and tripping hazards.
Which only served to exacerbate the situation.
Exacerbate was his word of the day, pretty sure.
So then I sipped at my beer and glared at my family in a baleful manner and cast the net of my attention about in hopes of words unrelated to me and my shortcomings. Which is where I found a man named John who was not actually named John but Gavin, but for the purposes of this report he shall be John because Gavin makes me think of this little boy I once knew who breastfed for way too long and freaked me all the fuck out and that is a story for another day and back to John . . . who was clad in an attitude of complete superiority of which no one in his little group seemed inclined to disabuse him.
At first, I didn’t focus my attention on him specifically, and so I just heard little snippets.
Things like . . .
They’re fucking all born on an island, man. It’s fucking incestuslusm.
And . . .
They boil and salt everything and call it cuisine. They’re just as fat as we are, and I’ll be damned if I will take advice from a fat-assed Englishman.
And . . .
So then we bifurcated the property with a hedge of Laurel.
Wait . . . did he just correctly use the word “bifurcated” while intoxicated?
He so did!
So then I tuned in . . .
Listen, man . . . this is a good story. I was born back in the 80’s when there were hippies. My parents needed someone to do some gardening, because things on the property had gotten a bit unruly, and they were otherwise occupied and busied with the preparations for my arrival. They hired some hippies, as people did in those days, and the hippies showed up to do the gardening. One of the hippies left a chainsaw out on the walkway, and my mother (who was not yet my mother) came out to check on the work, and she tripped and fell on the chainsaw, breaking her water and sending her into labor. There were still six weeks before I was due to arrive, and so there was some consternation, but she was hustled off to the hospital, where she gave birth to a highly premature son who she did not at first name because she had so little faith in his continued survival. I spent a few weeks in ICU before being named after a famous British soccer player because if you know anything about my father you know he loves soccer and my mother thought the gesture was the least she could do what with having been so clumsy as to allow a wayward chainsaw to bring about my untimely birth.
OK, here is where it may occur to you that there is no incredibly famous British soccer player named Gavin from the relevant time period, to which I say . . . FOCUS . . . the name is not important, for fuck’s sake. Also, in answer to your other question . . . I do not know where this man was born that hippies were readily available for gardening-hire in the 1980’s which would call into question the veracity of the entire story except apparently there is reportage of these events in an actual newspaper (as you will see in a moment).
I tried to follow the rest of the conversation, but the Brewers’ Festival was crowded and loud and my children got all clamory for root beer and ice cream, and so I can only report a few more snippets . . .
I still have the scars . . . here’s one from the cannula, and here’s one from the botched . . .
We made the newspaper and everything.
I was tiny, but I had a full head of hair like David Bowie and so they brushed my hair with a toothbrush.
I ever so dearly wanted to lean over and inquire as to the scars and the newspaper-making and the David-Bowie hair, but the man who was not in fact named John or Gavin stood and began to lead his group away. There were words I did not catch and then there was this . . .
And that’s why my hippie-name is Rainbow Mailbox.
I might have had more to report, but then Mark stood up and tripped on his shoelaces and then I laughed until I cried and almost fell out of my chair and then my daughters passed sassy judgment about the lightweight status of a woman who was tipsy after four small beer samples and then I may or may not have threatened to make our next vacation a nudecation and then there may have been shrieking and then I may have whispered to Maj that everyone at the festival was nudecationing beneath their clothes and then I may have told Kallan that there was a bug on her head even though there was not and then I may have threatened to Facebook a photo of Mark’s ridiculous shoelaces and then I had to go wait in an interminable port-a-potty line to pee where I met a nice woman who suggested we all just squat and pee in the grass and be done with the tyranny of bathroom lines but I just smiled and did not pee in the grass.
Because . . . sober.
My hippie-name is Thunderbolt Exacerbator.
Or maybe that’s my superhero name.
I AM TOTES SOBER!
Oooh . . . my hippie-name is Totes Sober!