Yesterday I saw a dude riding a skateboard—downhill, mind you—while playing a banjo and smoking a cigarette. And he wasn’t half-bad on the banjo, either.
But the truly astonishing thing was that this guy was riding said skateboard on the sidewalk. In Spokane.
For those of you not from around here, there’s really only one word that adequately describes the state of our sidewalks: embarrassing. There’s deteriorating concrete to deal with, upheavals of entire sections, and cracks that could easily swallow a family of four. The sidewalk under the Browne Street railroad viaduct is actually squishy on accounta all the accumulated dirt and grime and human waste. It’s like you’re walking on a sponge, only…grosser.
But, like yesterday, I digress.
A few years ago I saw a guy in Portland riding around on a bicycle and playing the bagpipes—while wearing a Darth Vader helmet. He was trying way too hard to be weird, it seemed to me; a performative act meant to burnish Portland’s reputation for offbeat characters and hipper-than-thou millennials rather than an honest expression of his personality.
But Spokane’s skateboard guy? He’s totally legit. The real deal. Probably never occurred to him to not take advantage of his commute by practicing some bluegrass licks.
Sometimes I really dig this city.