Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The grizzled pioneer looked West as the golden orb sank beneath that distant horizon, shading his eyes with one sun-burnt hand. There, now within sight, lay his destination. Much road lay behind him, well-worn paths that ended here, where a man could be free. Free of state tax, at least, if not to pump one's own gas. He patted the dirty, rough side of his Conestoga wagon, and hopped into the front. Whip in hand, his cracked lips formed the words of the old song, a song of triumph against adversity which, now more than ever, spoke to the deep places of his heart:
Her name is Yoshimi
She's a blackbelt in karate
Working for the city
She has to discipline her body
'Cause she knows that
It'd be tragic
If those evil robots win
I know she can beat them
O Yoshimi
They don't believe me
But I know you won't let those
Robots defeat me
O Yoshimi
They don't believe me
But I know you won't let those
Robots eat me.
Was that a tear in the travel-worn outdoorsman's eye? Only his oxen knew.

All of which is to say that we have arrived safely in Oregon, gotten phone and Internet service, flooded the kitchen (twice), and will shortly be catching up with acquaintances great and small, in the hope that we can call on them for advice about arcane matters such as "plumbing".

I had not expected to be so put out re: the gas thing. Every time I pull into a service station and some sullen, orange-bevested teen approaches, I want to hit his spotty face, seize the pump to myself, fill up my tank whilst I--I myself and no other!--wipe my windshield and squeegee it dry. I content myself with low mutterings about creeping communism. For now, o state of Oregon.

On the other hand, not having any tax on my purchases is rather lovely. I can now, with the simplest mathematics, determine how many bags of Cheetoes I can afford with a handful of lint-covered change I pull from my pocket with one clammy fist. (Two.)

Oregon is warm and green and has Powell's, where I have found two new-to-me Cabells and spent rather a lot of time in the cafe. I think we'll keep it.

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