In my eternal quest to find the spirit of Christmas, I loaded our rental van with the usual group of losers – Paul Norris, Dave LeMonds, Larry Morehead, Jeff Muldoon, Ryan McMaster, Jeff Lipton, and Lance Brigman, along with the incredible Melanie Norris and Dara Muldoon, and our marginally competent driver, Ryan Hicks – and set out for Portland on Black Friday.
We hit Powell’s first. It might surprise you to learn that some of the slackers can read but it’s true.
Powell’s had a special offer. If you bought W’s memoir Decision Points, your name was automatically entered in a drawing that will send one lucky individual to spend a weekend moose hunting with Sarah Palin in Wasilla, Alaska. Lipton was tempted but instead decided his money would be best spent on Dick Cheney’s book Fascists I Have Known and Loved.
We hit Deschutes for opening. When we got there, McMaster was drinking Black Butte XXII and telling the barwoman that mountain bikers have far more satisfying sex lives than roadies.
After enjoying the XXII, we strolled over to Kenny & Zuke’s for lunch. The wait was a manageable twenty minutes, which meant less time for Dave to find conflict with others who were waiting in line. Brigman and McMaster ordered tongue sandwiches. Those of us with slightly more intelligence went for pastrami.
None of us were planning to drink at Kenny & Zuke’s but a dilemma presented itself – they had Caldera Imperial IPA on tap. How could we refuse?
Brigman wanted to stop by Pioneer Courthouse Square for the tree-lighting ceremony but I nixed that. We hit a comfy pub called East Burn and then motored over to do business at Belmont Station, which is owned by GGG member Amy Singmaster. The taproom featured 15 handles, including the very tasty Green Flash Palate Wrecker.
It was almost three o’clock. We’d spent the day working through the B’s – books, bike talk, beer, Burnside, Belmont Station. What was left?
We ran into a slight problem at Roscoe’s, which is located at an east-side location that attracts bi-polar drinkers. We thought we’d fit right in.
But then McMaster announced that he was shit-faced. Shockingly, the barwoman refused to serve him.
McMaster was miffed but the rest of us understood. Then things started to escalate. While the trickle-down theory might have no relevance in economics, it plays a big role in the bar world.
The barwoman decided that McMaster’s faux pas would have ramifications for the rest of us, which meant that she refused to take our orders. We might have overlooked this as aberrant holiday behavior until a portly woman on the corner bar stool began chipping her teeth.
McMaster made a general reference to everyone in the bar as “townies.” The fat chick with the Glen Beck personality called us “assholes.”
Veracity aside, her statement amped things up a level. Fortunately, her weasly boyfriend was mum and refused to get off his bar stool to defend her honor. We decided we were unwelcome, poured McMaster into the van, and headed for a place where we would be appreciated.
We found it in St. John’s at Plews Brews. Think black light, Bob Marley posters, old couches, and a barwoman who was happy to see us. Jeff and Dara started recruiting people to come out for a ride, and we took advantage of Hopasaurus Double Imperial IPA from Steelhead Brewing, which – at an off-the-chain 120 IBUs and 9.8 ABV – was going for just $7 per growler.
We drained the keg of Hopasaurus, said good-bye to our new friends, and headed across the bridge to By the Bottle in Vancouver, where we closed things out with a dessert beer.
By now, Dara was dropping f-bombs, so we decided it was time to head for home. McMaster had to ride at 8:30 the next morning, which only a 27-year-old would be able to do after a day as demanding as Black Friday.
All in all, it had been a great success. Paul farted less this year, the beer selection was unreal, and nothing transpired at Roscoe’s that led to an arrest.
Thanks to Ryan Hicks for driving and putting up with us and to Mel for her great work with organization. I’m already looking forward to next year.