Let the record show that on a recent day at about 12:09 p.m. the Couch Patrol set off in Scooby-Doo, a white Subaru with a hood attachment that makes it appear the engine is turbo-charged, although the engine is not turbo-charged.
No turbo-charger was needed on this particular assignment, however.
Or, as the photographer put it: “We haven’t wasted a lot of energy on this one. It’s been real efficient.”
Like Grand Banks fisher folk who feel in their bones where the cod are lurking or wildcatters with a sixth sense about underground cavities of ex-dinosaurs … the Couch Patrol … is getting pretty good at finding couches.
And other weird stuff. That’s the word for this season. Weird. We found a lot of weird stuff. Have I noted that it was weird yet?
How weird? I’m glad you asked.
• We found an off-white couch near the corner of 17th Street and Harrison Boulevard with a lot of wear and tear in one spot.
“You definitely can tell what was the preferred spot on the couch,” the photographer said.
About 20 minutes later, when we were on the other side of Harrison checking on another find, two guys swooped up the couch and loaded it into a pickup.
This lends credence to a Couch Patrol theorem that many abandoned couches are intended to be picked up by others and placed in homes that need one.
• A CPS (Couch Patrol supporter) sent us a photo of a find near Harding School, which continues to make us uncomfortable and concerned about our proper role in the universe.
On one block we found an evenly spaced quartet of a large pillow, a chest of drawers, a wobbly work bench and a propane grill. Behind the propane grill was some sort of art assemblage of plastic bags of trash attached to the school fence with string.
The Couch Patrol is accepting submissions regarding what all of this might mean (see the contact note at the bottom of this story).
• We found a pile of six pallets. Free, of course.
• We found this weird metal cage that looked like it might be part of one of those carnival dunk tanks.
Aside: In the interests of transparency we must report that during its 80-minute outing the Couch Patrol parked Scooby-Doo in residential Parking District B three times, a clear violation. In our defense we did not stay more than five minutes on any of the three visits. End aside.
• We found a trash cart that someone had festooned with dozens and dozens of stickers. Coffee shops, superheroes, slogans, obscene gestures and other weird stuff. You name it. Yes, it’s not a couch in the street, but we found it worth investigating.
• We found two chairs in the street, a very unusual occurrence these days. A past Couch Patrol outing uncovered three couches in the street within 50 feet of each other. This constitutes progress.
Speaking of progress, it also should be noted that last year’s mother lode of Couch Patrol finds — the one that nearly led us to retire undefeated and move on to write that novel — a mind-blowing, soul-purifying fantastical assemblage of couches, chairs, cushions, bicycle parts, appliances and construction equipment at that pocket park on Coolidge Way did not make an encore appearance.
The park was spotless except for four signs that noted where folks could donate their stuff and advised that a fine of up to $2,500 could be imposed for illegal dumping. Although the Couch Patrol seriously doubts that anyone has been separated from $2.5K for leaving a toaster in a park … the area WAS spotless. And in Corvallis we're more concerned with changing the behavior than reeling in cash.
The signs also noted that the site was under video surveillance. Ever vigilant, the Couch Patrol spotted the camera on a nearby pole. We feel certain that the data tapes will prove conclusively that we DID work that day.