A Portlandia Episode Waiting to Happen
Portlandia. OK. The show isn't a masterpiece or anything, but I love it. Anything set in Portland automatically has at least some merit in my book. The setting (obvio!) resonates with me--not just because I'm a Portlander, but because so much of it is set right in my very neighborhood! There's just something inexplicably validating to be watching a TV show and finding yourself saying, "I've gone to Happy Hour at that place!" "I have that same reusable bag--I got it for donating to OPB!" "Hey, there's that stilt walker we always see at the Alberta Art Hop."
Another thing I love is how expertly they walk the line between satire and reality. Lately, I've walked into shops and have witnessed scenes that could have come right out of Portlandia. Example: I walked into Salt and Straw, the insanely popular artisan ice cream shop where they have a rotating selection of unusual ice creams (e.g., beet ice cream, olive oil ice cream, apple and cheddar cheese ice cream). Reminder: Yes. This is a real place, and I do recommend the olive oil ice cream (although it won't be available until "winter"; waiting for the next pressing of olives).
Anyhoodle. I stopped by there last week to see what was on offer for this month and decided to go with the relatively tame eggnog ice cream. I got in line. One always has to wait (even in winter) because part of the experience (for most people) is to sample lots of flavors before making the all-important decision about which ice cream to actually order. I wasn't in a big hurry, so so not big deal. But then something even more Portlandia-ish than people expecting an absurdly high level of personal service happened. The guy who was being served was balking at having his ice cream served to him in a paper cup. Without a doubt, it would have been a compostable cup, so, really, there shouldn't have been anything for him to gripe about. Baffled, but still beyond friendly, the server offered as the only other option a plastic "flight cup" (yes, you can get a flight of ice creams). Oh, dear. I have to admit I wasn't quite sure what the guy's beef was, but he did end up with the plastic cup instead of the more eco-friendly compostible cup. And that, I suppose, was how I knew that this was. in fact. real life and not TV. There's no punch line to my story. However, Salt and Straw would be an ideal setting for an episode of Portlandia, and I would not be at all surprised if it shows up in Season 3.