Oregon Tavern Age: Steve Prefontaine Smiling

A blonde OTA woman wearing slinky yellow running shorts breezed into an OTA joint.

I did a double take and stopped writing drivel about having hope in the world. I sat in an ancient booth in the corner of a tiny dive. Above, staring down at me from a massive TV screen, was the goblinesque face of a 213-year old Pat Robertson. Thankfully the sound was off or I might have converted to Satan right there. How in name of the Universe was Pat Robertson still alive and Tom Petty dead? Riddle me that God and then I might believe in Bishop Usher’s proclamation that the world began in 4004 BC.

The OTA-in-shorts woman ordered a champagne in a mini bottle. She wiped herself down with a bar towel. I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

It was two in the afternoon on a weekday. I overhead the woman tell the OTA bartender that she had jogged to the joint for her day’s exercise. After taking possession of the champagne bottle and glugging down a belt, she went to join her OTA friends in a nearby booth.

It struck me that this was possibly the first and only time in the history of OTA life that an OTA woman had jogged to the joint in shorts and then ordered champagne. Somewhere in the atoms of this planet, Steve Prefontaine was smiling and sucking down a draft of Hamm’s. No doubt if he’d lived past 24 he would have ended up as OTA royalty around Coos Bay. No fucking way he would have ended up as an executive at an apparel giant that made over 2 billion in pretax profits last year and didn’t pay a single penny in federal income taxes. You know the one. They always feed off Pre’s broken body for legitimacy and Oregon cred. That corporation is about as Oregon as Shell Oil.

The OTA woman emptied the champagne and ordered another bottle. I dove deep into eavesdropping mode and overheard stories of cutting up brush, weak gravy at a nearby greasy spoon, a fat dog, and the vagaries of the new Apple smartphone software update.

Yes, many denizens of OTA life have Apple smartphones.

I don’t like it one bit, but hey, OTA country has to evolve or it will go extinct, just like Pat Robertson and his ilk will one day, with their proclamations that gender neutral bathrooms and a decent minimum wage are the work of the devil and the liberals.