Early Winter In Portland

by Jim Smith on September 4, 2017 · 0 comments

Early Winter

Early Winter










No.  It is not early winter in Portland.  The flakes falling are ashes from the fires nearby.

No it is not a partial solar eclipse.  It is smoke obscuring the sun.



Obituary to Food Carts

Food Carts lived a good life but died in Portland from heart failure, on the cusp of the 2017 housing boom. No one really knows how old she was, since her birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

Food Carts

Food Carts







She selflessly devoted her life to service at vacant lots, empty parking spaces, city parking lots and street corners.  She helped people find good food without fanfare and foolishness.  For years, petty rules, silly laws, and frivolous lawsuits held no power over her. She was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know that customer taste is king, why the customer is always right, and that Fast Food sucks.

Food Carts lived by simple, sound business practices (always open on time), reliable time-tested marketing strategies (the customers are in charge, not the business), and it is O.K. to care about your neighborhood.

A veteran of the Vanport Flood, the Downtown Boom and the Eastward Spread, Food Carts survived cultural and educational trends, including body piercing, whole language, and “new math.” But her health declined when she became infected with the “If-it-generates-large-number-of-apartments-the-city-will-let-them-build-on-it.” virus.

In recent years her waning strength proved no match for the ravages of well-intentioned but overbearing city and county regulations.

She watched in pain as good lots became ravaged by self-seeking lawyers. Her health rapidly deteriorated when city-government endlessly implemented help-builder-and-contractor policies.

Reports of a Food Cart-owner charged with abuse for reprimanding a homeless vagrant who insulted a customer and a customer arrested for looking like a Mexican only worsened her condition.

It declined even further when Food Carts had to get city government consent to administer aspirin to employees but could not ask employees if they were ill and needed to stay home.

Finally, Food Carts lost the will to live as the City Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions became contraband, churches began disappearing with huge apartment complexes rising up instead, the City started passing laws targeting locations for new buildings based on the skin color of the citizens, and the Housing Bureau stuck its nose into everything from small buildings to sport complexes. Finally, when a woman, too stupid to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, was awarded a huge settlement for scalding herself, Food Carts saw the writing on the wall and threw in the towel.

As the end neared, Food Carts drifted in and out of dementia but was kept informed of developments regarding questionable regulations such as those for incandescent bulbs, wind turbines and solar panels.

Food Cart was preceded in death by her parents, Corner Groceries; her husband, Small Restaurants; her daughter, Ice Cream Parlors; and her son, Strip Clubs. She is survived by two step-brothers, Big Restaurants and Fast Food.

Not many attended her funeral because so few realized she was gone.


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