Thursday, September 13, 2007

2 Days In Hermiston

Carl may be a minor god in several small villages in Vietnam.

I, on the other hand, am a minor curiosity for the locals in Umatilla County.

Eastern Oregon is the Red side of the state. Western Oregon is the Blue side, together, we make a purplish sort of populist political hodgepodge. Two days I spent there, just down the road a spell from the Pendleton Round Up.

Here are my abbreviated observations:

1. Giant TV-tray-sized belt buckles make me very un-easy, which is to say, I fear cowboys. I don't understand them. They seem to be unnatural, and I don't trust them. They are like feral dogs, quiet and brooding, until you make a wrong move and they beat you to death, tied to a barbed-wire fence. I frequently found myself prominently toying with my wedding ring, hoping they wouldn't mistake me for a homosexual.

2. Dining at an A&W restaurant dressed in a button down shirt, pleated pants with cuffs and leather shoes, with another man dressed in similar fashion, is not a good way to convince the other giant-belt-buckle-clad diners that you are not, in fact, a homosexual.

3. Hermiston reminds me of all the bad parts of Boise, without any of the good parts.

4. When naming streets with a series of consecutive numbers, hillbillies are not necessarily good at counting, and/or direction.

5. If you are a white man, like me, and you sit down at an Indian-casino poker table for a poker tournament, and everyone else at the table (including the dealer) is an Indian, you are not going to win. However, the poker gods may intervene for a time, and you may hold out far longer than you are welcome.

6. I am far more comfortable with Indians than I am with cowboys.

7. Bad Karaoke is the common language that unifies us all.

8. There is always time for one more beer.

9. Hawaiian shirts do not "blend in" at a cowboy bar.

10. Cowboys are even scarier at night.

11. Cute strippers who use their uncanny resemblance to Heather Graham to cover up their meth habit should stay out of black light... (trust me on this one)

And finally,

12. When you stop for lunch at a renovated saloon in a small historic railroad town, and the walls are adorned with 19th century erotic oil paintings, the establishment was likely once a brothel. You can, and should, bet money on it.

I'm happy to be back, safe at last from the cowboys.


  1. Embrace your inner NASCAR fan you sissified city slicker. Just for shits ang giggles watch the CMT channel(country music television)and check out the hotties on the videos. However, turn the sound all the way down. Direct contact with country music will make teeth fall out and inspire you to get some lovin from a cousin.

  2. Cowboy Bob8:41 AM

    We don't want anymore faggot Portland lawyers in our town.

  3. kicking bird8:45 AM

    Stupid white man thinks he can wear a hawaian shirt, beat me in poker, and not get scapled. Come back to our town anytime, your money is always welcome. Fag.

  4. Don't forget... your wedding ring in this day and age is less effective at displaying your heterosexuality.

    I was down near Bend a couple years ago. A quaint, scenic place. I breathed a sigh of relief when I crossed the mountains back to the West side, however. Washington is the same way, except hillbilly paradise isn't too far down I-5 either. Chehalis, WA is one of the scariest places on the planet.

  5. Anonymous10:10 AM

    Pleated pants? No wedding ring can save you from that. Plus, they make your hips look big.

  6. Anonymous10:25 AM

    If the stripper was under a black light, surely you wouldnt be able to see her?..

  7. all the wrong parts glowed...

  8. Ah, sweet youthful memories of playing cowboys and Indians.... It was always my favorite when we would band together and beat up the effeminate kid who wanted to be a lawyer.

  9. It's wrong that I thought "Hmmm, if cowboys & indians had a lawyer when I was a kid, I would have wanted that role -- those boys needed some law & order."

  10. Replace "cowboy" with "militant Islamic separatists" and "Hermiston” with “Mindanao” and “poker” with ... aw hell. I get back to the states next Friday.

  11. Anonymous10:31 AM

    yes, UX, you would have been the lawyer! and "Those Boys" really, really needed some order.

  12. Anonymous11:59 AM

    While they were playing Cowboys and Indians, was Dr B checking out their teeth?

  13. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Nah. He was definitely checking out their asses.

  14. You know, I was going to say that.


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