November 14, 2007

Taker-onners and taker-downers.

My profane bicycle PSA suffered a severe setback this morning when I realized that people are fucking taking down my stickers. I had thought I might get city cleanup crews scraping off the stickers all over Broadway, or maybe overzealous campus maintenance taking off the ones around PSU. I figured that Banana Republic probably sent out employees with dental picks to remove any unauthorized flair from the bike racks outside its downtown store, so I didn't bother putting any there. I did put them outside the courthouse, the Oregonian's downtown news office, and (accidentally) an office of the Portland Police Bureau, and although I made my peace with the idea that someone might take those down they actually appear to have stayed.

But outside Columbia Sportswear and the Bike Gallery, both places where people should be bang alongside the idea of protective sporting gear, stickers went up and stickers were removed. Hey! Damn you! Be on my side! I noticed the lack at Columbia Sportswear first, and made a point this morning to walk by and slap another one over the spot where someone's vigorous scraping had taken off not only the first sticker but most of the bike rack's paint. It was so unseemly of them that I felt I ought to cover up their faux pas with another sticker. Obnoxious, but thoroughly delightful.

The missing stickers outside the Bike Gallery, though, just made me depressed. I'd spent a long time debating with myself whether to put them there, because I didn't want the bike folks to think I was being bitchy about the whole Brett Jarolimek thing. Finally I decided that a) they are probably as in favor of helmets as anybody, b) downtown is so covered with these stickers at this point that I'm clearly not singling anybody out, and c) they are a bike shop damnit and they may have a sense of humor. So I put up two stickers, one on 10th and one around the corner on Salmon. And the fuckers took them both down. One was contact paper and could have been stolen to stick elsewhere, but the other was grippy mylar and after removal would have been fit only for the trash.

I'm feeling somewhat deflated. I know I've been saying that the whole point of my PSA is that I am one grumpy mutinous person supported by no respectable authority, but being actually opposed by the locally respectable authority of a bike shop with a fund for grassroots safety projects is kind of demotivating. I wasn't expecting them to write ballads in my honor or give me their safety project money to buy sticky mylar, but, well, damn.

I stuck a couple more stickers further down 10th on my way to work, but my heart wasn't totally in it. Maybe I need to switch to another project for a while.

Posted by dianna at November 14, 2007 09:55 AM

Let's see how long this stays up.

Posted by: Ping at November 14, 2007 05:48 PM

The comically appropriate move for me at this point would be to take down your comment. But I shan't.

Hee! It's delightful. I approve of your putter-uppering.

Posted by: Dianna at November 14, 2007 06:55 PM

I put one up on the big bunch of staple racks on the main plaza on campus, and it's still there. I'd put up even more if I got some in the mail (*cough*).

Posted by: katie at November 15, 2007 04:38 PM

Wait, I sent you a whole bunch! Like thirteen awesome brand new orangey ones! Did you not get them?

Well, no wonder I never got an excited email saying oh my god the new stickers are so great. I was slightly hurt, but now I'm just annoyed at the postal service instead. I sent them last Wednesday. Maybe even Tuesday. You should totally have gotten them.

Posted by: Dianna at November 15, 2007 04:47 PM

Also, some bugger just took down a bunch at PSU. This is sticky and delightfully-patterned war!

Posted by: Dianna at November 15, 2007 04:49 PM

Re: the deflated feeling you report at having some people pull your stickers down, I would like to offer a 1906 perspective. That was the year in which the Supreme Court struck down an attempt at a national child labor law (on the grounds that it would abridge an 8-year-old's right to work an 80-hour week for a nickel) and in which four senators actually voted against the Pure Food & Drug Act (presumably because it would abridge their constituents' rights to find rat feet in their cans of soup). Historically one of the liberties we Amurricans seem most to cherish is the freedom to irrationally oppose things that are good for us. So I say: kudos to you for bringing out the fine national spirit even in pinko commie Portland, madam, and keep up the campaign. And lower that hemline.

Posted by: katie at November 16, 2007 10:07 AM