I have seen a great many odd human sights along Highway 101 in my 23 years of living on the Oregon Coast. I can say with complete confidence that the appearance of such oddities has increased substantially in recent months and I think we all know the reason.
In the last two days, I observed a triple shot of human oddity along 101.
- A young transient-looking couple with gear was walking in the shoulder with their two dogs and a goose. Yes, a goose. I caught a look at the couple’s respective faces. They were smiling and talking. I almost pulled over to investigate, but just kept driving. I’m acting more as a novelist these days rather than a journalist.
- A few hours later, I saw an elderly man sitting on a guardrail. His wagon was next to him. He had dumped all the contents of the wagon, presumably his life’s possessions, in the shoulder. He just sat there, staring at the ocean. I caught a look at his face. He wasn’t really there.
- The next day I saw a beater white van idling in a 101 underpass, blocking my car. A terrifically obese young and scroungy-looking man in a t-shirt and shorts was writing something on the wall of the underpass. I caught a look at the man’s face. He looked somewhat insane. He got back in his van and drove away. I stopped to see what he had written. It was written in purple chalk: “Joe Biden is brain dead.” I followed the van. It was going 20 miles an hour. I passed it. On the side spray painted in purple: “Joe Bides is brain dead.” There was a goofy mutt sitting upright in the passenger seat.
I’d rank the goose and the wagon man and the Biden detractor in my top ten of odd human 101 sights. They came very close to making the top 3, but then will anything ever top the transvestite in a red party dress emerging utterly exhausted from the cab of a parked log truck or the man driving a beater truck in a pulverizing rainstorm? He had the windshield wipers wiping on full but didn’t have a windshield. No, nothing will top that. Or has so far.
Oh, I almost forgot the young woman bicycling down the coast who told me she was anorexic and riding herself to death by the time she reached the California border.
Oh wait, I also forgot about the man who was bicycling up the Oregon Coast to Astoria for a Goonies anniversary. Nothing strange about that except he had a pig with him riding in a baby buggy side car. I paid the man $20 so I could hang with the pig on the beach.