My Oregon Manifest....The names have been altered to protect the guilty! By Scotty
I decided to volunteer for the BTA (Bicycle Transportation Alliance) this year at the Manifest. An old buddy by the name of Tom Rousculp needed people to help, and although I should probably be dead last to tell people how to commute on a bike (I ride like a jerk, always have and see no point in changing) I wanted to help out a bud so I put some lipstick on the pig and made nice nice with my “fellow” commuters. I worked the booth on Friday with the BTA’s lovely Margaux and then on Saturday with several other volunteers. I handed out stickers and pins, signed up people for the email list, signed up people for the SRAM X.7 drivetrain give-away, and even got a few people signed up as full dues paying BTA members.
The days were filled with fun! Willy “Soupmule” Slingford was in town working with Levi’s to promote their new Commuter jean, Damon “Hotdog” Wiehl was on hand and racing one of the super bikes, heck even Sleevel Kanieval was there, so he may blog about it later.
As the end of my second volunteer day draws close, I begin to realize that I need to suppress my feelings of guilt from signing up and singing the praises of the BTA to all the citizens while not now or ever having been a member, while at the same time reassuring myself that I am the same person I was before this event started. How to do this you say? Through the fog of alcohol!
It turned out that the beer bike had been shut down, and even though I stole several beers from there while the security guard was not looking, there was no way I was going to be able to get a proper fade on at what was turning out to be a snails pace. So I located my day job supervisor Matt Lace. I told him we needed beer and he said he would buy if I would fly! Music to my ears. I rode to an outpost where there was a layer of dust on everything, (you could actually rent VHS...no kidding), and a Hot Dog turning in the machine was closer to carbon than meat. I was skeptical, but it was the only option for miles and figured I was going to get nailed on price.
“Hey boss, what are your cheap twelve packs?” I sounded in my singsong and calming vociferation. “Hamm’s, Pabst, and Milwaukee’s Best Ice are all $5.45.” sounded the shop keep’s reply.
I tried to remain calm. Poker face, poker face, breath. He had looked at a paper to find out, and must not work there that often. Those are six pack prices. I know that. I am a seasoned beer purchaser. His fault, my gain. I got a twelve of Hamm’s and a twelve of the Best Ice beer Milwaukee has to offer. I mean come on, it has the highest alcohol content of all the swill quality beers. I returned to the party.
When I got back and threw my bag open, my intrepid leader Matt Lace said, “Jeezum crow, why did you get Milwaukee’s Best Ice?” (he actually said beast ice and it was a bit more colorful in the wording but I just want us all to be on the same page here). I cracked a Hamm’s and tossed him one saying, “Willy’s in town. We’re gonna need that.” To which Matt Lace shrug nodded in full admission of my right-a-tude.
Sleevel Kanieval got tossed a beer, Lurph from QDW, the cute girl from Levi’s got a Hamm’s handed to her, and Willy “Soupmule” Slingford came over and grabbed two Beast Ice and a Hamm’s. That type of night was beginning to take shape.
24 beers were vanquished faster than they would have been if mere mortals were involved but these are the type of folk who like to unwind with a brew after a hard day at the spa. You know, people who can really put it away. The party was relocated to Slabtown. Here the QDW corporate card came into play nicely. We all had a go at the punching machine, the Pop-A-Shot and there was even some arm wrestling.
At this point I would like to give a nod to the person who invented the punching machine. You put a buck in, punch it once and it registers a number for how hard you hit it. Add alcohol and you got bags of money. The person who made this thing is Scrooge McDucking into a giant pool of money, laughing at all the drunks who pay a buck to punch a bag and get a number. Soupmule hit it the hardest, and Matt Lace was a close #2. There was a bit of controversy over whether or not Willy had used the “lady” setting. Also someone roundhouse kicked it and got a score of 666. DEVIL KICK!!!
This is the part where my night gets a bit hazy. That’s the point though, right? Anyways, the fog lifted when I was stuffing everything fried from the Lowbrow Lounge menu into my face. That was actually how it was ordered too. Willy went up to the bar and told the man that we needed “everything fried” from the menu. Willy got the ‘itis quick as he had been to Interbike and four other cities before Portland and was one of the racer’s in the cargo bike race. I woke him up and made him stand outside while we waited for his cab. You can’t sleep in bars in Portland.