A quick trip to Powell's Travel Store reveals more than two dozen Portland guidebooks. Each, in its own way, tries to capture a sense of what makes this fair city special. None, however, can compare with a new, self-published diary chronicling the daily (and nightly) adventures of a 24-hour downtown convenience store on the MAX tracks.
Peterson's Incident Report Book contains a selection of only slightly edited entries into a notebook kept by employees at the snack-food haven at 922 SW Morrison St. According to the book's compiler, Ms. George Black, the notebook was started to help the store's register jockeys keep track of the shoplifters, tweakers, drunks and troublemakers. Here's a sample of the action:
2/13/00 Salt and pepper team came in, each grabbed two short cases of Coors Light. They acted as if they were coming up to pay and then ran. First guy White, mid-20's, 5'8" 150 lbs. short dark hair. Second guy Black, early 30's, 5'10" 140-150 lbs. --Anthony G.
6/14/00 Heard noise while ringing customer. Looked up and out the door to witness a white male, 25-30 years, no shirt, wielding a fire extinguisher (possibly ours) among the street kids. Called police. No further association with the occurrence. --P.E.
1/23/01 A drunk fratboy came in and repeatedly did that annoying, infectious "WHAZZUP?" from the Budweiser beer commercial. For this infraction I ejected him from the premises. --N.A.
Postscript--I can't stop saying "WHAZZUP?" to all of the customers.
The books sell for $5 each at Powell's, Reading Frenzy, Laughing Horse, Looking Glass, Borders Books, and Bad Kitty Espresso at Southwest Yamhill Street and 8th Avenue. All proceeds above Black's cost ($2.50 per copy) will go to Outside/In, which provides shelter and services to many of the street kids who patronize the store.