As the State Turns

Eclipse Anti-Climax
Garbage, fire, defecation. Decapitation, for that matter. Apparently, the mass influx of eclipse visitors left very little of these things despite all the excessive, apocalyptic predictions. I think I forgot to mention something about all the water and gasoline running out, too.

Now, part of it had to do with the fact that the “one million visitors!” claim was a total goof of the highest order. Not as ridiculous as, say, the claim that Corvallis would get 300,000 all by its lonesome, of course (because ghost town…). But that’s beside the point.

The point? The people who did come to visit our fine state of Oregon certainly outnumbered the Malheur gang, yet still managed to behave like human beings. I’d call that a success.

A New Heat Wave? Why the Hell Not
The national weather service has reported what they call a “trough” of “thermal %^#!” floating around, threatening to hit us with high temperatures this week. Yay. Because that latest dip into the 70s was too good to be true. Maybe the smoke will be gone by then, but that opens us to dangerous thoughts, such as “what will those of us not having our stuff burnt down complain about now?”

Clearly, one of the good things about being an editor and writing a non-serious column overflowing with satire, parody, and sarcasm (shhh, don’t tell anyone!) is that I can divert from anything worth talking about, at any time, and instead use the platform to air my personal complaints.

Boo-ya.

On the Topic of Heat…
The Jones Fire. The Whitewater Fire. The Milli Fire. The Chetco Bar Fire. What do all these fires have in common?

A. They’re in Oregon.

B. They’re costing the federal government a buttload of money because they’re primarily on federal lands. Note: Buttload is a standard unit of measurement for zillions and zillions. Note: Zillions is a common unit of exaggeration for millions. Note: Millions is the correct range, in case you wanted to know the truth.

And

C. They’ve all got wickedly stupid names that we should be horribly embarrassed about.

Look, I get it. They’re named for stuff. Take the Chetco Bar Fire… that was about Chetco’s Bar, right? Half-off tequila shots on Thursdays, $5 burgers on Wednesdays. Classic atmosphere, friendly employees. Clientele gets a little rowdy on the weekends, but hey… it’s an industrial town, haters gonna hate. None of that is true, of course, but at least there’s a story. Some zing. The kind of gluten-free, organic zing you’d get if you had named the Jones Fire “Dr. Satan’s Turn-Your-Head-And-Cough-Orama,” or “Look-Away Johnson’s Magic Combust-a-thon.”

Nobody can steal from that last one though. Look-Away Johnson is my alternate-universe-football-hero name.

Anyhow, because we’re into community interaction at The Advocate (thanks for all the hate mail! By the way, see paragraph two up there…), why not join in the fun? On the next few lines, write down some of your favorite wildfire names, and then share this page with your friends (and government representatives). Just don’t put the paper back in the stack for someone else to find. You’ve got a sick mind and there’s children around here.

*Clearly you can’t write on THIS page, though I suppose you could always go get our gorgeous print edition…

And Now for Talk of a Place That Can’t Burn Because It’s So Well Irrigated
Did you know that Portland’s Rose Test Garden just turned 100? Well, it did. And you should care deeply, because 700,000 people visit every year to check out the some 10,000 different types of roses. Once you hit the 2,000 mark for species, and the 50,000 mark for people, caring is mandatory. Some say its 500 and 43,000, but they’re wrong. Look it up.

Now that you’re done looking up statistics that don’t exist and have come back frustrated, you really should check this place out if you haven’t. It may be a puffed up, manicured, brand name kind of garden – I prefer the wild ones full of all sorts of intriguing weeds and rat-beasts – but its older than the hills and therefore carries with it a lot of history. Did you know it was founded as a preserve for rose species that might have been destroyed during WWI? And if that wasn’t enough on its own… really, where else can you sniff that many different bushes without having someone look at you strange?

It’s common to see public art, beach towels, trapper-keepers, and airport t-shirts showing off idyllic, fantasy versions of the state we know and love, but this place is the real deal. And it’s old now, so that’s a reason to talk about it. Who knows, you might even find someone there willing to tell you about all the exciting personnel changes and whatnot that most articles on the topic focus on! Yippee!

By Johnny Beaver

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