Jul 31

5:47pm PST
Newswriter: Troi

Dramatic Increase in Water-Related Accidents and Deaths of Portland Residents in Seaside, OR

Seaside, OR

Seaside was devastated this past week when the usually cheery tourism of the sunny summer season was dampened by repeated water-related accidents and deaths. Having identified the victims, near-victims, partial-victims, and survivors, officials are puzzled to find that all of the affected parties are from Portland, OR, a city less than two hours east and just south of Seaside.

Investigation into the sudden insurgence of Portlanders, generally considered too good for smaller cities, into the town of Seaside, has uncovered that Portland has of late been visited by an extreme heat wave the likes of which no Portland resident has before seen, with temperatures reaching a high of 105 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday and a low of “F@#$, it’s still too hot out there!” These extreme conditions have led the otherwise unwavering Portlanders to leave their fire-advisoried nests and venture out even farther west than NW 23rd street.

While some of the survivors of the Seaside Water-Related Incidents declined interview, several residents of Portland’s sophisticated Pearl District consented to share their harrowing tales. In the Pearl, residents typically sip grande soy no-foam lattes and turn their noses up at passersby.

One such resident, who came solo to the interview since her husband works during the day as a high-profile lawyer to support her shoe-buying habit, explained the reasons behind her day trip to Seaside as well as her near-death experience.

“I’ve never swam in public water because of the germs and diseases spread by people outside of the Pearl District and in smaller cities. Well, except at the Pearl salon and day spa, where I swim in the jacuzzi with other rich people, who don’t have germs or diseases,” explained the resident, who asked to remain anonymous. “But it’s been so warm outside, and somebody mentioned that there’s an ocean just a few hours away called the ‘Pacific.’ It just sounded so cool and refreshing.”

Unfortunately, this resident wasn’t told to remove her six-inch snakeskin heels lined with rare precious jewels before entering the Pacific Ocean at Seaside, OR. She plans to sue Seaside for emotional damages plus the price of a new pair of overpriced heels. But, she admits, she would be remiss to stop there.

“I also plan to sue the people responsible for this ‘Pacific’ Ocean death trap, for not posting a visible warning regarding the need to remove my heavily-weighted heels prior to entering the water,” she explained indignantly, while examining her newly-painted nails. “I knew my shoes felt a bit heavy, but I wasn’t about to take them off and leave them prey to the degenerates that live outside the Pearl.”

Another survivor of the Seaside, OR water-related incidents, who also declined to give her name, sat at a Starbucks across the street on the north-side sipping a iced venti nonfat hazelnut mocha without whipped cream while preparing to share her story. She acknowledges she had heard of the Pacific Ocean but felt that it would be akin to the jacuzzi at her day spa at the Pearl, except with slightly enhanced proportions.

“Sure, I assumed the ocean would be a bit bigger than the recently constructed water park that spans nearly half a block here at the Pearl,” explained the resident, whose husband couldn’t make it to the interview because he works long hours at the hospital performing surgery and other frivolous escapades. “But nobody told me it would be deeper!”

This resident is also preparing to take legal action against Seaside, and declares that Seaside “should replace that salty Ocean water with a jacuzzi,” to protect other Portlanders from similar near-death experiences.

Authorities in Seaside, when asked to respond to this glaring gap in safety advisories near water-related settings, such as the Ocean, simply stated that they hope Portland’s temperatures drop as soon as possible so that residents of the Pearl return to their familiar niches of riches.

While Seaside scrambles to repair itself and move forward in the tragic aftermath of these water-related incidents, reputable reporters can only hope that in the midst of ever-changing climate conditions, it better prepares its waters for the return of Portland’s best and brightest next summer.

Jul 20

Dear Reader,

As you can imagine, there are many perks to owning your own home, but none so sweet as the flood of letters you will receive from the bank managing your home loan regarding the importance of purchasing mortgage life insurance in case you perish prior to enjoying the home you just procured.

I laughed off the first thirteen postal recommendations of life insurance, considering them among the likes of the welcome wagon offerings standard to new residents of an established neighborhood community, like the nearby Home Depot’s “welcome to your new home” 25% coupon that arrived. But as these one-way correspondences became increasingly hostile, from the benign, “Perhaps you would like to consider life insurance, even though you are young, healthy, and vital,” to the mildly more provoking “It sure would be nice if your loved ones were taken care of in the case of your accidental dismemberment or death,” to the unquestionably threatening, “You’re living on a fault line that will divide in less than 24 hours, and you will be immediately plunged into the depths of the earth, and you WILL NOT make it out alive. Act now for your free life insurance quote,” I began to experience a disquiet regarding the health and safety of my person. So I did what any calm, rational adult would do and phoned a friend; my last lifeline before Northeast Portland’s apparently inevitable and imminent first hurricane/volcano/9.0 magnitude earthquake was to strike.

Me: Minnesota Life is very insistent that I should obtain life insurance. They are predicting my death and they seem very sure of it.

Friend: You have no dependents. There’s no reason for you to get life insurance.

Me: But what’s going to happen in the instance of my death and dismemberment tomorrow?

Friend: You’re being crazy and paranoid, again.

And while “crazy” and “paranoid” may sound like harsh [yet accurate] adjectives to use to describe me, I was deterred from my panic sufficiently to shred all fourteen life insurance mailings.

And so I went on with my fault-line-free lifestyle until today, when another poignant depiction of my impending expiration date arrived in the mail. While I meant to discard it after a brief overview, I was struck by the monthly cost assessment increases based on age. I remember back in the day, precisely five years ago, when I was in the under 25 age bracket, and life insurance was practically free even in the event that you lived directly over a fault line. And I also remember back in the day, today to be precise, when I was 29 and I could still receive reasonably priced life insurance. But in three months, when I hit the Voldemort age (The Age Which Must Not Be Named), the cost will have increased by 50% from the under-25 bracket. 50%!!!

So I did some research and I’m here to inform my one reader (Hi, Josh) that this stratospheric price increase is not only unjust, it is also inaccurate. The number one leading cause of death in the United States is in fact heart disease, which I assume stems from a broken heart, which we all know happens to young people under the age of 25 whose lover leaves them for somebody else. As people get older, the duration of their marriage is inversely proportional to their level of attractiveness (duration of marriage increases while attractiveness decreases), meaning that they are comfortable in their relationship and also ugly, and thus much less likely to leave or be left, thereby ensuring a drop in the number of broken hearts and concomitant heart disease.

Moreover, another leading cause of death, accidents, once again greatly decreases as one gets older. Young people love being reckless; partaking in such perilous activities as driving too fast, sky diving, exercising, walking in a non-crosswalk zone, eating before swimming, talking with their mouths full, staying up past their bedtime, and having sex. And I don’t need to tell you that these activities carry a high inherent risk of both death and dismemberment. Old people, on the other hand, stick to safe and gentle activities that include sitting, sitting and reading the paper, sitting and drinking coffee, and sitting while driving to the gerontologist. These activities are safe, doctor-recommended, and carry virtually no risk of death or dismemberment.

Therefore, my calculations clearly indicate that the risk of death actually decreases with age, and therefore so should the cost of life insurance.

But until then, Readers, please remember to use the crosswalk, and you will surely live a long, happy, and death-free life without the need for mortgage life insurance.

–Troi out

Jul 13

Dear Loyal Blog Reader,

And so it came to pass that yesterday I came across a giant daddy long legs on the bathroom wall while washing my hands. I normally kill spiders without discrimination; daddy and mommy spiders, grandma spiders, spiders who have just sprung forth from their mommy’s womb (translation: egg sac), as well as anything that looks like a spider, such as ants, centipedes, ladybugs, butterflies, hamsters, puppies, and small children.

But as it came to pass that I faced off with this daddy long legs (to be henceforth referred to as DLL, or Dell, but not the computer), it came to me the fond memory of a fairy tale that I read as a small child (who looked like a spider) and the story went a little something like this: “Daddy long legs prey on small insects and also scavenge dead or dying insects.” (Fairy tale or webpage: You Decide.) Recognizing that Dell was actually my partner in crime by killing off other, smaller, weaker insects in a fine show of evolutionary brilliance (Dell is so superior to other arachnids he in fact had NINE legs), I decided to spare Dell’s life. I went and collected a small tupperware container from my kitchen cupboard and returned to the bathroom to place my good friend Dell in the container. Dell didn’t go willingly, and as I coaxed him with words of encouragement, “Stop fighting me….I’m not going to hurt you….we’re a team, you and I…..&*%…@#$%&&…AAAAGGGHH….@#$*%%”) I had no idea that Dell, being a spider, has no ears, and that while he hears with very tiny hairs on his legs that allowed him to localize to the soothing sound of my voice, he may not be familiar with the English language or the soothing words which I spoke.

Much like a small child, Dell did not know what was good for him, and much like a parent, I forced him into the small tupperware container anyway. (What?? Your parents didn’t force you into small containers as a child?? Huh….) We walked together, Dell and I, to the backyard, where I courageously removed the container’s lid and courageously flung Dell spiraling into the yard, where he could continue his important life of preying on small insects. (Did I mention how courageous this act was?)

While saving Dell from myself (after all, had I not saved him, I would have inevitably flushed him), I was happy to have rescued the life of something that was equivalent to myself in value and importance . (I know what you’re thinking, “Troi is as VALUABLE as an arachnid?? How does she know for certain?!”) Well, Loyal Blog Reader, in fact God does point out in the Bible that “Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it” (Matthew 10:29, New Living Translation). I have often translated this verse as follows: “Not even an arachnid, worth only the small insects he eats, can be flung into the yard without your Father knowing it.” God then continues on to say, “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:30, NIV). I have often translated this verse to mean, “So don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows, or equal in worth to one arachnid.” You see? God loves us both.

However, after reveling in the glory of Dell’s new chance at life, I found a website that stated the following and experienced considerable distress. “The venom of the daddy long legs is one of the most poisonous.” Luckily, upon further investigation I learned that this is likely an urban legend. Although their venom may be poisonous, the fangs of daddy long legs such as Dell are too small to penetrate the skin, rendering them mostly innocuous to humans. The venom of daddy long legs has never been scientifically tested on mammals, although Wikipedia helpfully points out that testing this legend would involve the simple process of milking the spiders and injecting the venom into humans. (I just milked Dell and I’m just waiting for a human subject to step up and let me inject his venom into you….any takers??) At any rate, those of us who are of the paranoid persuasion (me) hate to take any chances with anything that contains venom, unless its name is Tobey Maguire. For the safety of the paranoid, the neurotic, and even the normal, I have developed the following motto when it comes to protecting yourself from arachnids, “When in doubt, or in a rush, save yourself, just flush flush flush.”

–Troi out