Solbit explains, “Portland has a gift for surprise.”

Dear Nicalai,

Remember a couple letters back when I told you about the weird signs posted in Portland?  Of course, I enjoy weird signs. Most people do, but, as a plastic jurassic, I have to remind myself that I’m not in the “people category.”  So, I’ll add that weird signs are not just for people. This iguanodon likes weird signs too.

Today I’ve got something else I enjoy, what I’ll call “Portland surprises.”  As Nona and Papa take me around town, we enjoy being surprised by unexpected things that different people have put in our way.

Just the other day on a walk, Papa and Nona suddenly stopped. “Oh, look at that, Solbit! What a surprise!  I haven’t seen a portable typewriter in years,” Nona  exclaimed.

“Was a ‘writing station’ something like a gas station then?” I asked.

“Was a ‘writing station’ something like a gas station then?” I asked.

The first thing I said was, “Nona, what’s a typewriter?”  She tried to explain that it’s a machine for writing, and it was used before the age of MacBook Airs and iPhones. “Really?  Gee, I just thought we always had MacBooks and iPhones, didn’t we? Did everyone put them out on the sidewalk?

Nona, explained, “Solbit, slow down with the questions.  First no, we did not always have computers.  Yes, we used typewriters, like that one.  No, we’ve never seen a “writing station” before; we think that’s somebody’s joke, but it’s a good one.”

So, then Papa showed me how you put paper into this machine and hit keys that make metal letters slap the paper and put ink letters onto the paper, all in a straight line.  How odd? What a surprise!  Who knew?

When Papa and I went for a bike ride in town on his old man’s recumbent bike, we got another surprise.  Someone with a wonderful sense of humor and some artistic talent had painted a little something onto the bike lane logo.

Don’t go painting on the streets by your house; you could be run over by a truck.

Don’t go painting on the streets by your house; you could be run over by a truck.

That little painting on the road made us both giggle. Portlanders seem to have a good sense of humor. I’m inclined to think that cyclists may have the best sense of humor, though.

All three of us liked what this bike shop put on their roof.  I saw it first, and just for the most brief moment, I thought, “Hey, what are those cyclists doing on the roof?” Instantly, I felt a little giggle because then I knew someone had played a little trick on me. Just iron sculpture up there, but those iron bikers gave me a happy surprise.

In the right light, rusty iron can look like something else, real people and bikes.

In the right light, rusty iron can look like something else, real people and bikes.

I wonder if I surprise Portlanders as much as they surprise me?  What do people think when they see an itsy-bitsy, plastic jurassic jumping on the shutter button on top of Nona’s camera in order to take a picture?  Do they stop to scratch their heads when they hear a squeaky voice yelling to Nona, “Take me out of your purse, I want to look too” ? Do they think, “Am I going crazy? I thought that little orange iguanodon on that man’s shoulder said hi to me?”  Giving Portlanders back a surprise or two makes me feel good. I hope they enjoy my surprises as much as I enjoy theirs.  Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

In the right light, rusty iron can look like something else, real people and bikes.

Solbit

September 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

2 thoughts on “Solbit explains, “Portland has a gift for surprise.”

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