The reason I started coming to Portland was for the annual Stumptown Comics Fest, a small press convention with a strong showing. This past Stumptown was my deciding trip on whether or not I’d be moving out of San Francisco. I booked my stay for an extra three days to feel out the town a little bit more.
I was graciously put up by Erika, who is a cartoonist I very deliberately had been stalking for the past several years of convention appearances with the sole intent of making my friend and I always get what I want.
In the two transfers we had to make to get back from the airport to her house in SE I also got to learn something new about my favorite Portlandian. In our previous get together I was somehow never made aware of the fact that Erika is the fastest little girl on the earth. When faced with the possibility of missing a bus this bitch hauls ass like she owe her pimp money. I have never seen anyone move this fucking fast who isn’t a Kenyan athlete in a dead run.
I don’t like to move at anything over a shamble but I clearly am not given any other choice on this trip. I have to run after her or I would be left behind on the streets of Portland and I would die there because even with a phone that has GPS on it I could not understand the layout of this city.
My left lung exploded but I managed to make it.
It was good to see her refined european mail-order husband, Matt, again.
“Oh, Potential stick friends.”He said, pulling a square blue piece of foil from a crevice in the sofa where we sat, chatting.
Matt leaned over and snatched up a jar full of multicolored foil sticks. He opened it and shook it at me.
“This is what I do now. When I’m watching TV I make stick friends. I’m giving Erikar a Stargate education but the first season is a bit boring so I started making stick friends.”
Erika picked up an other jar from a bookshelf that was full of dove chocolates.
“I’ve gotten super good at taking the wrappers off in one piece.” Erika said and handed me one.
“I just make stick friends all the time when I’m watching tv.” Matt folded the foil wrapper into a tight little tooth pick. “I can’t stop.”
Erika peeled the foil wrapper off of a chocolate, smoothed the foil on her knee and handed it to Matt.
“Look, another potential stick friend! I like to call them potential stick friends because it sounds quite nice doesn’t it. Every piece of foil is full of friendship potential. We had all of these chocolates and these pieces of foil kept piling up and I didn’t want to just bin them. I mean look, they are so pretty!” He checked his finished stick friend into the stick friend jar and began work on the next. ” So stick friends. And the thing is it actually really hurts my fingers to make them because I have to twist them so tightly? It actively harms me to make them but I must keep making stick friends. I can’t stop. I can never stop.”
I ate the chocolate Erika gave me and handed this poor, obsessed man my gold foil for him to twist. True we may laugh at this anecdote now but when Matthew finishes his fully operational tinfoil Deathbot and he incinerates our American cities there won’t me much laughter then, huh assholes?