Sunday, December 26, 2010

Abraham-Portland Beer Santa

At the end of yesterday's "Twelve Hawks of Christmas" and finding ourselves in the ever-beguiling Parking Space Number 12, we paused to chortle and bask for a time in the warm light of the Vortex. ( I am not a natural-born chortler---I've learnt it from my beloved partner, whose entire family chortles and snorts to indicate amusement.) Thus refueled by merriment and appreciation, we set off on yet another leg of our journey.

"Ahoy!" I cried, only blocks away from Number 12, "It's Santa on a tall bike surrounded by his green-garbed elves."

I slowed down to laugh and whoop (a chortle would not have done this sight justice). Then, whomped upside the head by a thunderstroke of inspiration, I rolled down my window and hollered to the merry band of cyclists, "Can I get a picture!?!"

Not understanding the request, Santa rolled right past us roaring, "M-e-r-r-r-r-y-y-y Christma-a-a-a-a-s!"

"Ohhhh," said we, our voices moving down the scale for mere seconds. For before we could utter even this short word, before we could truly feel bereaved in any way, one of Santa's elves relayed our request to the gang and we heard, "Circle up."

We lurched to the curb, scrambled out of the car armed with our cameras, and began shooting the zooming Santa posse, several of whom exhorted, "Circling! Circling!" as we (okay, maybe it was just me) whooped with laughter and screamed with delight. My partner may have been chortling--I was just making too much noise to be sure.

They looped the empty intersection several times, then dismounted to explain their mission. They were, they stated happily, delivering beer to the homeless, whom they termed "houseless" and they patted their bike bags, backpacks and bottle belts to indicate just how much beer they possessed. At this time of year, they reasoned, everyone gives the homeless socks and food and clothing, but they wanted more for the wandering ones--they wanted to deliver their cheer in a can.

"We want them to have a happy holiday," said one of the elves. Caught up in their enthusiasm and their generousness of spirit, I could not even begin to find fault with their plan, for they were as stable and as confident in their great big Vortexes as I was in mine.

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