As the State Turns

Attack of the Non-Killer (Maybe) Sea Pickles
With a headline like that, do I really even need to elaborate? The answer is yes, because somebody would be pretty pissed off if I turned this piece in and it was only like 100 words.

Anyhow, so we’re dealing with some kind of massive bloom of these blobby little sh*ts called pyrosomes, which do indeed look like pickles, and seem to grow somewhere between six inches and a couple of feet long. According to experts, they’re filling the Pacific Ocean and have invaded the entire West Coast. An Oregon Public Broadcasting article mentioned that a research vessel went out scoopin’ ‘em up and was able to snag like 60,000 in just five minutes. This spells trouble for fishermen, who’ve had to stop trying their damnedest for fish because all they were getting were buckets o’ sea turd.

Now, this could be bad. If they stick around, they’ll be causing problems. If they die, their blubbery corpses will sink and, according to that same article, cause a “dead zone” where bad things happen…because it’s called a dead zone. No, you don’t need to know what those bad things are. Just run with the whole “dead zone” thing.

At the same time, at least they’re not like 20-plus-feet-long and glowing, right? Because they do that, too, in some of the more tropical places on our fine, disgusting planet. No joke.

Guess what, though? It gets better. Some scientists think their population boom might have something to do with the warm blob of water that was floating around out there last year. Seriously, to hell with the ocean. Giant toilet. No thank you.

More Gross News That Is Significantly Less Gross
Washington is freaking out over an infestation of Japanese beetles. Why do we care? Because Oregon, who has had outbreaks of these buggers before, may have given them to them. Because we’re right next to them.

You know, Portland may be smaller than Seattle, but we’ve got way more flashers. And a vegan strip club that had a feud last month with a steakhouse strip club (true story). Enjoy your beetles, jacka*ses.

And Now for Some Good News
Maybe not really. Do you remember me rambling along last year about some 3,000-ish untested rape kits being sent out of state because Oregon couldn’t get them all processed? Well, that number has increased by a factor of four. If indeed that means quadrupled. I honestly don’t know, my last math class was in like 2012.

When questioned about the increase, an official of some sort was like, “We don’t know what’s up. There’s more though.”

I suppose this point goes to Washington.

Vindication for Kitzy
The criminal investigation into John “Blue Jeans and Mustache” Kitzhaber has ended, and all I’ve got to say is: I told you so. I can’t remember what I told you, but it doesn’t really matter. Kitzy is free, free at last, from persecution over those fancy contracts he totally awarded his gal pal Cylvia Hayes while in office. The end result basically reads as such: “It was bad, he deserved to get kicked out of office, but it wasn’t illegal.” And that’s that.

I was kind of hoping he’d get dragged out of court, his fake mustache half hanging off, after backhanding a bailiff. But hey, at least we got that news about the water penises, right? That’s some exciting stuff.

A Little Sumpter’ Sumpter’
In true Oregon style, a town with a population of 200 just got two marijuana dispensaries. Yes, Sumpter, the town you’ve never heard of, controls the pot market for like a 200-mile dead zone in the middle of nowhere. Congratulations, I think.

What’s most amusing, though, is that it seems like most of the city council, as well as the major, didn’t want them there. They tried passing a city ordinance that banned weed businesses here, there, and nearly everywhere. But I guess not quite everywhere, because at least one of the locations, the Sumpter Nugget, is right on Main Street. The space they moved into used to be a restaurant of the same name, keeping the old logo—just slapping a pot leaf on it. Against something that amusing, not even a petition with a heart of gold could stand up (they tried that, too).

Not everyone in city leadership felt the same way, with one council member referring to the rest of them as “incompetent” and “disorganized.” Hashtag in your face.

Since the businesses moved in, the town has been booming. And that’s why half the council is trying their hardest to get rid of them. Still. And are already planning for a 2018 vote to ban them outright.

Good luck with that.

By Johnny Beaver