Sunday, June 29, 2008

TableTalkPortland at the Zoo

"Everyone is wearing Chacos and knee-length shorts," I hissed to Michelle as she blithely maneuvered her Gimpmobile through the Oregon Zoo clutching her ticket to the sold-out Indigo Girls concert in a hot sweaty hand.

"I know," she said with a stealthy smile. "I was going to tell you not to wear those sandals when I picked you up, but I decided it would be funnier this way."

"Can't we just scalp these and go to North 45 and drink beers on the patio?" I pleaded, trying to unstick my darling blue sundress from my back. "It has to be 110 degrees out here. I'm going to pass out."

"Can't you go any faster?" Michelle griped. "We're going to end up sitting in the monkey cages."

"Maybe if I didn't have to carry the picnic basket, this massive picnic blanket and the cooler," I yelled, "I could keep up with you, Hobble! And what did you pack in this basket, gold bars?"

"Hello? I am injured?" she said calmly as we cleared the Steller Cove and Pacific Shores exhibits. "And I packed plates and silverware and wineglasses so we could eat like civilized people."

"What?!" I screamed. "You made me carry full place settings a mile from the car to the concert in Saharan conditions?!"

By the time security had separated us and retrieved Michelle's scooter and picnic basket from the Cats of the Amur Region enclosure, we didn't exactly have to sit in the monkey cages, but our vision of the stage was limited to the top two floodlights and even that was largely obscured by a double-fisted wine-loving fan who swayed hypnotically in a voluminous skirt three sizes larger than our picnic blanket and mouthed the words to EVERY SINGLE SONG the entire concert to her boyfriend, who, after about the fourth song, looked like he might rather be in the Island Pigs of Asia cage.

Fortunately, my woes were forgotten when we unveiled our stunning picnic spread. Fra 'Mani Sopressata and Green Olives with Herbs from City Market, creamy Smoked Gouda from Willamette Valley Cheese Company, a loaf of Pearl Bakery bread, sweet Rainier cherries from Baird Family Farms, fresh market tomatoes and carrots, Scharffen Berger Bittersweet chocolate and Chocolove Cherry and Almond chocolate bars, and a bottle of whatever wine they were selling in the mile-long line at the zoo ($22/bottle, includes plastic cups if your sister didn't make you lug her best crystal stemware all the way through the zoo).

Michelle cooled off with a swig of chilled white wine.

I gratefully kicked off my hateful sandals and did some yoga.

We played "Count the Chacos!"

When it got too dark to even see the lip-synching skirt girl, we amused ourselves by taking aerial photographs of ourselves. Because that is what we do.

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