Friday, November 02, 2007

Is Paulrus Dead?

Paulrus Is Dead IV
Originally uploaded by skomra.
For a couple of years now, I’ve been seeing a particular type of urban scrawl all over Northeast Portland. It was maybe about 2005 when I first started noticing it. “Paulrus Come Home” it said in black sprayed-on block letters on the panels of U.S. Postal Service boxes, on the backs of restaurants in the Hollywood district, and on the sides of dumpsters. Every few months I’d see one of these tags.

B and I both wondered what it was all about. In my head, I was pronouncing Paulrus as “Paul Roos” (like the Ballets Russes), but it turns out B thought it was pronounced so that it rhymed with “walrus” and that it was some sort of Beatle-ish thing (having something to do with that “Paul is dead” rumor and the fact that the Beatles wrote a song called “I Am the Walrus”). A bit far-fetched if you ask me.

Then, after a few months of “Paulrus Come Home,” tags started appearing proclaiming, “Paulrus Is Dead.” After not seeing one of these tags for a while, I saw one tonight spray-painted near the ceiling of the restroom in the Bella Faccia pizzeria on NE Alberta. It got me to wondering all over again what this whole Paulrus thing is about. Is/was Paulrus a real guy? Are these tags part of some arcane Dungeons and Dragons-type of game? Is it something that has meaning only to the mysterious Paulrus tagger? Does anyone know?

I did some cursory research (read: I Googled “Paulrus is dead,” skimmed quickly through the first page of results, and called it a day), and discovered that I’m not the only person who has noted Paulrus’s supposed demise, but that no one seems to know much more about it. But there is this pretty cool “Paulrus Is Dead” photo set that someone put together.

And that’s all I’ve got for you tonight.

Today’s random NaBloPoMo blog: Syma Says

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