A Classy Citizen

August 2 2012, 9:51pm

It was a nice, sunny, summer afternoon when my friend and I took a walk through northeast Portland. On a quiet street, we spotted a bucket of sidewalk chalk, which a child had obviously used to draw a hopscotch game (or three) on the sidewalk in the shaky hand that only children and the elderly have. As we passed, we noted the presence of the chalk, but the definite absence of the child. It wasn't unusual; it was nearing the dinner hour. However, what drew my eye was, in large, confidently written letters, the word "poop" inscribed in chalk the middle of the hopscotch field. I rolled my eyes, amused at this mostly-harmless and childishly funny bit of humor. Someone of questionable maturity had obviously borrowed the chalk and thought it would be funny to write. They weren't too far off the mark. A little further past the hopscotch, on the block's corner, someone had written, in even larger letters, the word "ASS". The culprit was definitely treading the edge of taste in their vandalism.My friend and I pondered this as we passed. Acknowledging the existence of the chalk and the wonton scrawling of profanity on the sidewalk, we felt it was our civic duty to correct it. But how should we do it? Then, as we were walking back past it later, it hit us.Borrowing the chalk, we updated the message to something less troublesome. That's right, "Stay clASSy, Portland!" was our contribution toward cleaning up that street. We didn't quite get the color of the chalk to match. I'm sure no one will notice.

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