Beaverton: The Other Gresham 

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STAY ALERT, fellow explorers—for the following exhilarating tale is both factual and startling! 'Twas but three days since I was roused from study in my manor and tasked with yet another perilous adventure—for the likes of which I am, I must humbly admit, rather famed and envied.

Her Majesty hath decided that The Mysterious West must be explored—and that myself, as her virile and erudite servant, was the only worthy gentleman! With little more ado, I packed my elephant gun, settled my pith helmet upon my brow, and sallied forth, daring to go farther West than any before, to a land whispered of in myth: "Beaverton." As my thrilling tale concludes, you will learn that I barely escaped with my life, and should you be sensitive to shocks, or of the feminine persuasion, I beg you read no further.

WHAT IS THIS "BEAVER TOWNE"?

The scientifical evidence we possess on this Westward land is vexing: Is it a Lost City to rival Asgard or Atlantis? Is it a dale of Elysian dales? Is it a towne made up of super-intelligent beaver-folk, who dress and speak and use gnawed-upon tiddlywinks as currency?

None of the above, brave reader! But I hath gotten ahead of mine self: Traveling the ramshackle road to Beaverton is a treacherous endeavour. At the gaping maw of an ominous tunnel, one finds a dire posting: "PEDESTRIANS PROHIBITED," leaving one with no misconceptions that should one not possess mechanized conveyance, they are not welcome. Indeed, in all my time in the Far West (a time which—and I mean not to boast!—nearly eclipsed three hours), I saw not a single denizen of Beaverton who was not seated within an automated buggy.

Of these pale natives I saw but little, ensconced as they were in their massive metallic wagons; learning of them through their effects seemed the only safe action. For while I am courageous and strapping, and have won no fewer than two and one-half bare-knuckled boxing matches when fisticuffs were necessitated, I am no fool, and I value my life as much (or more) as the next well-bred gentleman!

OF PALACES AND HIEROGLYPHS

Of the two most frequent sights in Beaverton I shall say only this: "Miniature malls" and "Christian meeting centers" dot the land—indeed, they seem the chief method of architecture for these natives, who scurry betwixt them via an astonishingly labyrinthine system of roads. Behold! Even with mine sextant, astrolabe, and sense of direction that hath been described by mine self as "eerily unerring" and "tip-top," I must admit I spent nearly two hours and 57 minutes of my expedition profoundly lost.

Of the crude signs and strange Meccas I shall soon describe, try to believeth mine words, impossible they might seem!

Even the quaint "City Hall" of Beaverton stands in a "miniature mall" of sorts, sharing a paved lot with shoppes bearing the marks of both "Verizon Wireless" and "Noodles & Co." (The former I presume to be purveyors of trapping supplies; the latter some kind of Orientals' den, operated by those mischievous creatures of the Far East, no doubt lying in wait for unsuspecting opium fiends to "Shanghai.")

Various signs erected by the natives reveal an eager attempt at discourse yet a damning lack of cognizance: "Obama is a fraud!" read one hand-scrawled sign clumsily attached to one motorized transport. It bears remarking that the "O" in said statement contained additional markings within its interiour: Two dots and a an upside-down "U," making said "O" appear to crudely resemble a frowning human face!

Of the geographical anomaly of "Nike World Campus," this veteran traveler finds himself in awe: 'Tis a palatial estate of gurgling fountains, well-tended fields, and a most tranquil lake that concealeth Lord knoweth how many gigantic serpentine dragonnes. Through punctilious research, I learned the head of this kingdom was once but a lowly knight who raised himself to lordship upon the ceaseless labor of the smallest of children from the exotic Orient! (Feel not pity for these industrious lads! If thou feels a pesky nag of sympathy, only remember the sins no doubt transpiring this very moment within that sty of deviance and terror, Noodles & Co.)

RETURN TO CIVILIZATION

I ask not your admiration for my admirable accomplishments—only gratitude for the knowledge I hath discovered. While my quest hath tired me, it shall not be long before I feel the tumescent urge to undertake another journey, and I encourage you to immediately begin anticipating my next report with your utmost levels of enthusiasm. Until then, I remind you to keep your pistols loaded and within easy grasp AT ALL TIMES, for one never knows if talking beavers may still lurk in the West's unexplored shadows. Perhaps someday they shall rise and shamble Eastward, coming upon our faire City with their razor-sharp fangs and unquenchable thirst for human blood. Cheerio!

NEXT ISSUE: "GRESHAM: THE OTHER BEAVERTON."

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