As the State Turns

by Johnny Beaver

Verselandia: PDX
For the 1,322,764th time, a poetry slam will prove itself the only way to get the shambling general public to swallow the art form. Verselandia, a name likely discovered under a dump truck of bad jokes, will feature Portland’s most creative youths flailing about while offering up the long exhausted William Shatner-esque poetic cadence once made popular by Gil Scott-Heron. Judges will determine which kiddos are the best writers and performers, because art is totally a competition.

There will be prizes, glory, and absolutely no sense of artistic integrity to act as a beacon for any of these kids that may want to go on to do their own thing—for reasons that don’t involve pats on the back or ranking themselves against each other, anyway.

Weather Stuff: Everything You’d Expect
The snow monitoring sites up on Mount Hood have officially logged the lowest snowpack levels on record. This is despite the fact that global warming is not real.

I went outside two days ago and it was raining, but yesterday I went outside and it was sunny. This sort of rapid cycling makes me quite nervous about a possible apocalypse.

Rainfall has hydrated the plants in gardens everywhere that rain has fallen. Plants appear to be growing at an alarming rate.

The temperatures at night have been consistently lower than those during the day.

Cow Chase Turns Deadly in Cottage Grove
OK, only part of that was true. Last week a Cottage Grove woman called the pokeys after witnessing one Kevin D. Crook driving a red truck through her cow pastures. When a Lane County deputy confronted the 55-year-old Crook, he was all like, “GET ON THE GROUND, BRO.” And he did. For a moment.

Apparently changing his mind, Crook hopped up and took off running. The deputy fired his stun gun into Crook’s meaty exterior, but thanks to the power of his gallop he broke off from the assault, made it back to his truck, and took off driving across the pasture again. A second deputy sped in with a dramatic drift, dirt and chunks of grass flying everywhere in slow motion, at which point Crook was like, “Eff this,” got out of his truck, ran, and jumped into the Willamette River.

Eventually several more deputies closed in on Crook, stopping him in yet another cow pasture. He Sparta-kicked one deputy in the chest a number of times before being subdued.

Crook was arrested in conjunction with trespassing, methamphetamine, resisting arrest, and eluding. Kevin Crook, we’ll never forget you. And neither will those moo cows.

Want Pot and Want It Now?
Now as in, July 1, instead of months later? There’s a committee for that—and thankfully it’s a legislative one. A proposal is being considered to allow medical dispensaries to sell pot on a temporary basis as soon as the new law takes effect. This would effectively bypass the current situation in which recreational marijuana wouldn’t be able to go on sale until after the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) gets around to licensing growers and sellers. Without the aforementioned proposal, it’d likely be sometime in 2016 before any actual business licenses would be issued. Damn (imagine Martin Lawrence saying this).

A co-chair on the committee, Oregon state senator Ted Ferrioli (R), is fighting the good fight to get pot into the hands of semi-responsible adults as soon as it is legal to be there. And while there are all sorts of mixed feelings floating about regarding the attitudes of the dispensaries, he plans on getting it done.

Godspeed, you social conservative.

Oregon to Ban Microbeads? Maybe
No, not the things that go up your butt. These are the tiny plastic balls that are put in fancy soaps, scrubs, and other unnecessary products. Those in a tizzy are concerned about the fact that they are too small to get stopped by water treatment plants and wind up back into natural bodies of water, where birds, fish, salamanders, tadpoles, frogs, and various Pokemon gorge on the goddamn things like they’re going out of style.

Other states such as Colorado, New York, Maine, and Illinois have led the charge against these non-butt beads.

Special Update
There’s actually a thing here in Oregon called “the Covered Bridge Society of Oregon.” Likely created because the Model Christmas Town Club was full.