Don’t drop babies!


Unknown, “Drop acid not bombs or bAbIES”

The sky was a craggy mass of granite today, which meant my first real day of FALL ANGST. In between a town-wide bikeabout and a brief moment in the crook of a tree spent composing a poem with words like “knotted rage” and “bereft,” I happened to spot this tag near 13th and Alder.

Can you see it tucked up there? I initially liked it because it was hidden in plain sight, and also because even if you did look at it, it didn’t say much in particular. I imagined a small crew of hooligans hunched around a table at the Roma Cafe, scribbling a battle plan with ballpoint pen on crinkled notebook paper.


When night falls they make their move, scrambling up a ledge attached to the back of McKenzie Outfitters. It’s much easier than expected to reach their goal. Suddenly they’re there- the blank wall is in front of them, the paint cans are in hand, their quick breaths are visible in the fall air.

…But what to write? What to write? “Drop acid not bombs,” sprays one. They let out giddy war cries, and then fall into silence, afraid someone will hear though the sidewalks are entirely empty. A long pause. “or bAbIES,” writes another one, grinning proudly. The others nod. A wise motto.

In short, it’s joyful, juvenile destructivity of the best (and worst) variety.

While I was taking the first photo, the construction manager’s brother came out of the building and stared up at the graffiti with me. “I don’t think there’s any way to get it off because it’s on stone,” he said. “I think they’ll just have to repaint.”

He told me that the building will house a bar called Webfoot, run by the former manager of Taylor’s. So maybe the tags are just a very Eugenean welcome! Dear Justin of Webfoot: you should probably serve ‘shrooms.


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