...the Seattle dead of World War 2, apparently.
No! I didn't convince my wife to make love in a hammock. C'mon! That's nuts; you could hurt your back that way!
Nope. I rode the Portland Thorns fan bus up to Seattle for the women's professional soccer match between the Thorns and the home Seattle Reign.
The bus ride was...well, about what you'd expect from a bus ride between Portland and Seattle (though the delays in Tacoma were surprisingly few, and shorter than I would have expected...)...though the pickup soccer at the Scatter Creek rest stop was fun. First time I'd kicked a ball around since my new hip, and I was pleased with my agility.
But it was just a long, dull bus ride enlivened by the fact that we had a pony keg of Lompoc Brewing's fine Kick Axe ale broached in the left rear seat. I don't usually start drinking at nine a.m., but needs must. Mmmm. It is a damn fine breakfast drink.
We made excellent time - overcalculated those delays in Tacoma, no doubt - and arrived outside the Home of the Reign more than hour before gate time, so several of us wandered away to find another place to kickabout. Some admired the bizarre organic metal shell of the EMP music building, museum, whatever; it looks like an aluminum tumor. That and the ginormous steel stalks next to the parking lot. As art they're kind of shit. As toys, on the other hand, they're a lot of fun. It's pretty amazing how far you can get them to flex...
It's a sad comment on what a scarf whore I am that I instinctively scooped up one of these things before realizing that it was a Seattle scarf. Well, okay, a Seattle/Subaru scarf, but...still. A Portland fan wearing a Seattle scarf'd be like pinning a Nazi swastika on a yarmulke. Just. Wrong.
So I scarfed the first vendor I saw and trooped in to find our seats.
One oddity was an apparent drinking restriction to a "beer garden" at the outer wall; I didn't see any beer served anywhere else in the joint and, while I didn't test the boundaries I didn't see anyone with a brew outside the designated grownup space. Maybe this had something to do with the owner, Seattle Public Schools. Certainly the sign on the South Stand pier suggested that Adults and Students were not to mingle,let alone share the Temptations of Demon Drink
Thorns FC lost one of our best defensive midfielders to injury early in the first half, making it difficult to defend against Seattle's excellent midfield or fight forward through it. Just before the half hour the Reign scored a goal on some terrific buildup play. Much as we chanted and sang we didn't help; our team was frustrated and penned up in its own end most of the half.
The Thorns had not played well and their body language showed it; after the traditional salute-song to the team the fans remained staring uncomfortably at the team's cool-down stretches before slowly trickling away up the steps and back to the bus.
The drive back to Portland was, not surprisingly, quiet, disturbed only by the brake problems on the bus I'd chosen (the "cider bus", named for the hard cider it was stocked with in place of beer, drove on without incident). Perhaps coincidentally it was just as we finished the last of the brew suddenly a chorus of shouts and shrieks broke out from the left rear;
"Ohmigod, the tire's smoking!" "We're on fire!" "Stop the bus! There's something wrong!"
The driver did, indeed, pull to the side of the anonymous stretch of I-5 bordered by empty fields several miles from the next exit. He opened the door and stumped out to see what was the matter. Inside considerable hilarity tinged with nervous laughter considered the possibilities of a tire-fire while the tire was still on the bus.
I texted my Bride: "FYI - brake problems with bus. May be late. On the other hand, may burst into flames. Will advise."
I love my Desdemona. She replied quickly: "In case of fiery death, assure send pictures."
But today the bus was not half in love with easeful Death. After a moment of backing and starting forward the brakes broke loose at least long enough to get us back on the road. We arrived in Portland as the sun was setting, and I walked through the windy cool of the evening back across the Broadway Bridge to my office lot and home.