For today’s Most Portland Thing Ever, Nicole Georges illustrates a submission from commenter Edster—a story of what happens when two fundamental building blocks of Portland culture, uptight eco-consciousness and hands-on parenting, collide.
i was 8 months pregnant with my second kid and was trying to squeeze in some quality time with my 3 year old. i asked him what he wanted to do that day, he said feed the ducks at laurelhurst pond. i packed up the “wild birdseed” and off we went. we found a spot where all the ducks were hanging out and he was tossing little handfuls of seed at them when a kid about 8 or 9 came by from his class and told me that i should not feed the ducks because their poop kills the fish and turtles in the pond. i asked him what the ducks should eat and he said the fish in the pond. i said “thanks for letting me know that.” but let my son finish off his little bag of seed. i looked over and the kid with about three others were giving me dirty looks and shaking their heads at me. then the teacher came by and said “i know that one of the children already mentioned it, but they have been studying this pond and it really hurts them to see people feeding the ducks. though i understand that brings a lot of pleasure too.” i seriously felt like frankenstein with a mob of third graders waving their torches at me. i collect my boy and we went to other side of the lake to check out the turtles. a few months later, the pond was drained and all the turtles were euthanized because they weren’t a native species. oh portland.
Tomorrow, we’ll post the final panel from this series of illustrated reader comments. Thanks so much to everyone for submitting such fantastically surreal stories. In Portland, truth is funnier than fiction.
Nicole Georges is an illustrator, educator, and graphic novelist based in Portland, Oregon. Her self-published autobiographical zine, Invincible Summer, has been anthologized in two volumes. She teaches self publishing and autobiographical comic workshops to children and seniors, and her first graphic novel, Calling Dr. Laura, will be released this year with Houghton Mifflin. Also, she does pet portraits.