Oregon Trail of tears
Now you know that I have lost two great loves to a city I hate: Portland, Oregon.
In response to the last post about my loathing of hiking, camping and nature, Love No. 2 Lacey sent me an e-card from Someecards.com that unequivocally declared her aversion to extreme outdoor activities. As if I needed more proof she’s the perfect woman. You don’t deserve her, Portland. Treat her right.
Despite Portland’s documented, rampant and unconscionable cock-blocking, it dawned on me its state has been good to me in one way: the “Oregon Trail” computer game for Apple II.
As a child of the ’80s, I have such fond memories of playing “Oregon Trail,” from fourth grade on up. In my tween years, I’d name the folks in my Conestoga wagon after family members and our Lhasa apso, Delilah. It was a major letdown when my brother, Toby, wouldn’t perish from measles, typhoid or cholera. As a teen, my wagon party would include boys I had crushes on, and I’d cheer for Jimmy when his broken leg healed and mourn for Drew when he met his untimely demise by snakebite. Faced with five excruciating months of unemployment after moving to Boston in 2005, I rediscovered my love of the game, except this time my fellow trailblazers took the names of the four cats in our household – Isabel, Teva, Nina and Edward – who were home with me while my then-girlfriend Vicky (aka Love No. 1 pilfered by Portland) was at work. I credit “Oregon Trail” and staying in bed until 3 p.m. every day the support of my ex for getting me through that rocky road of joblessness.
For old time’s sake, I thought I’d pop in the game on Saturday night (I know), name a travel companion after Portland and others who’ve wronged me, starve her with meager portions, subject her to a grueling pace and then revel in the death by drowning or dysentery of the double-crossing, sporty, Shamu-sized skankface. Except the disc from five-plus years ago wasn’t compatible with OSX. And then I discovered there’s an iPhone app, but the cutesy animation looked like an episode of “DuckTales.” Finally, I found the game online here, but the plug-in wouldn’t work. And really, you’d think by now I would have grown accustomed to the feeling of soul-crushing defeat courtesy of Oregon. And yet it still stings.
However, as the age-old saying goes, when Oregon hands you lemons, make trail mix. So I rooted around on the interweb, found screen shots from the three-decade-old game and altered them accordingly to exact my revenge. Portland, you may have Vicky and Lacey, but I have Photoshop and *a lot* of time on my hands.
And so it begins:
(If you’re wondering why younger/hotter Ellen DeGeneres is probably a vampire, go here.)