March 2nd, 2011

Berthold Run

Walk hard

My commute home tonight almost took me an extra hour.

Traffic went glacial once my bus was off the downtown Portland Transit Mall. It was the sort of stuck that's almost always due to an accident, and yep, and accident had closed an eastbound lane of the Ross Island Bridge, between me and sweet, sweet home. A fellow rider called someone, asked them to check traffic cameras, waited for a call back, got that call back, and swore. We all knew the feeling.

Some of us bailed at SW 4th and Sheridan/Barbur, where traffic enters an S-curve headed towards the bridge. Adding insult to injury was an eastbound car overheating on that curve. Seeing that, I got ambitious: walk the whole way, dammit, including across the bridge (hoping that the accident had not also closed the sole sidewalk). I didn't have to do what Danny DeVito did in this bad mid-80s film called Head Office where he walked over the tops of cars to get out of a traffic jam, but I walked. Instead of my usual home arrival time of 5:35 or so, I got home at 6:15 after leaving the office at 5:00. I still beat home the #19 bus that was ahead of the #19 bus I was riding on.

OK, legs, you keep doing good work.
Star Wars - Fly away...

A realization? Maybe

A thought: had the 1978 movie Animal House not been made, or at least not made with that title (so that come next Friday, Cort and Fatboy would be showing National Lampoon's Delta Force or something), and come this decade the words "Animal" and "House" were still ripe to be combined into a title, it somehow -- somehow -- sounds more like a title for something serious. Maybe scary.

I'm picturing a "how we are truly like animals" sort of drama. It doesn't have to be as harrowing as Lord of the Flies (one of the relatively few books I've started and didn't finish; I tried it about 10 years ago); maybe it's a story of a home that influences us to be closer in behavior to animals. A house that brings out your base side. And again, I'm not picturing much comic relief here, or a jaunty-pompous Elmer Bernstein score, or anyone dressed as a pirate: it's surprisingly easy to imagine snippets of a deadly serious story that just happens to be called Animal House.

Feel free to agree, debate, or violently disagree with me, or create your own alternate universe Animal House. You can call it House of the Animals if that gives you a better hook on which to throw your thoughts.