the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

On the Road


1)  Oregon doesn’t have any self-service gas stations.  This provided Sophia and me with a good topic of discussion while driving along the coast.  We wondered if there was a powerful service station union in Oregon that doesn’t want attendants to lose their jobs.  We were also unsure if we were supposed to tip the guy after he “fills you up?”


2)  Last night, we stayed in Gold Beach, Oregon, a quiet beach community on the coast.   There’s not much doing there.  After dinner in a coffee shack “where the locals eat,” we were driving to our “rustic cottage” motel room when Sophia saw a car stuck in a ditch off the road, sticking out at a 45 degree angle.  A pair of feet was hanging out the door. 

Sophia said we should go over and help.   I didn’t want to get involved, but Sophia yelled at me. 

“What if he’s hurt?!  There’s a person in there!”

I drove over, but kept my distance.  It was dark and no one else was around.

“Hello.  Are you all right?”  I asked.   “Hello!  Do you need help?”

A sixty year old man stepped out out of the car.  He was bearded and wore an eye patch.  I know you think I am making this up, but I’m not!  He was creepy as hell and staggered towards us.  He almost pressed his face right up the window, freaking me out.  I would have driven off, but Sophia seemed intent on helping him. 

“Do you want us to call 911?” she asked.

He mumbled something.  I could smell that he was drunk.

Sophia called 911.  I quickly drove to the other side of the street.  Within five minutes, three fire engines and four police cars showed up at the scene.  It must have been the biggest event in town all month.

3)  This morning, I woke up early and was reading some of the posts that bloggers wrote for my birthday.   I felt bad that I haven’t thanked everyone because it is hard keeping up with blogging while on the road.  I told Sophia I had an idea.

“Maybe I should take a photo of our beautiful view of the ocean from our window, so other bloggers can feel that they are here with us.”


“Maybe you can take a photo of me looking out at the ocean.”

“You’re naked.”

“It’ll be funny.  I’m always asking for naked photos of THEM!”

“I’m not taking a naked photo of you.”

I’ll be facing away from you.”

“What about your ass?”

“I can cover it up later, with Photoshop.  I can make some joke about it being my “birthday suit.”

“OK, if that’s what you want.”

I opened the glass patio door and stepped outside, not realizing that we shared our patio with our neighbors.

“Oops, sorry.” I said to the elderly couple next door that I had just flashed.


  1. sgazzetti

    The fact that you flashed an “elderly couple” more than makes up for the lack of a Photoshopped picture of your ass.

  2. better safe than sorry

    ok, you flashed someone, but did someone flash you, where’s that pic?
    would i tip someone that just “filled me up”? don’t even get me started with that one;)

  3. Pearl

    There’s a big, stupid grin on my face right now.

  4. Rabbit

    I could ask why you’re thinking about us bloggers while you’re naked . . . but maybe it’s best not to bring that up.

  5. V-Grrrl

    I bet some old fart is blogging right now about the naked Jewish guy who flashed them on their way to an AARP meeting in Oregon!

    I hope they got pictures…

    And the full service gas stations? It may be an environmental issue, not a union issue. Think spills, fumes, etc.

  6. Lou P.

    It’s against the law for anyone besides a gas station owner or employee to pump gas in Oregon and New Jersey.

  7. Hilly

    OMG yay you for flashing someone in Oregon! Did you find the drivers to be slow there as well?

    Shawn and I spent countless minutes discussing the full-serve gas issue as well.

    See you soon…today even!

  8. ms. sizzle

    Maybe they didn’t notice you were naked? Their eyesight could be failing them. 🙂

    Can’t wait to meet you and Sophia tomorrow!

  9. Finn

    So what you’re saying is that there will be no naked picture? 🙁

  10. Caron

    So how embarassing was it to run into that couple again in the elevator? It always happens like that in the movies.

  11. Bre

    Well, were they impressed with the flashing or not? :-p

  12. Churlita

    How much you want to bet that that old couple follows you all the way to Tequilacon?

  13. Postmodern Sass

    Sophia and me! It’s Sophia and me, not Sophia and I. No wonder you’re wreaking havoc everywhere you go.

  14. girl and dog

    Thanks Neil, I almost choked laughing…

  15. NYR

    Long road trip with your witty loved one, is like a story telling drink party at winter night with fun friends, just about as good as it can get…..Happy Birthday! Neil…;-)

  16. Rhea

    Forget naked! That car accident was like something right out of the Twilight Zone!!

  17. Ellen Bloom

    Nice to hear about you being naked in Sophia’s presence….as well as others, ahem. Did you wear your new knitted scarf while on the balcony to prevent chill? Inquiring minds need to know!

  18. Nance

    Thank you, PoMoSass, for correcting the grammar. I was apoplectic! It’s nice to know that I am not alone in my struggle.

    On another note, Neil, I feel compelled to tell you that I have a picture of myself taken with Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan, but it was in Michigan. I was 4 years old and quite adorable. Those two really got around, apparently.

  19. Jack

    So I take it that the neighbors weren’t swingers. 😉

  20. Neil

    uhm… Nance and Sass,
    Sophia told me it should be “Sophia and me.” Guess I need to always listen to my editor.

  21. Jennifer

    It’s good to flash the elderly; keeps them on their toes!!

  22. mckay

    now you’ve done it….i bet you heard the headboard banging the wall from their neighboring room, hmm?

    glad you two are having a great road trip.

  23. Jennifer

    BTW, you will appreciate this: I went to my first ever writer’s conference today and the keynote speaker was Richard Schickel from Time. He was rolling along, doing his thing, and I was beginning to really enjoy his talk and then he insulted bloggers. He said “get paid for what you do; those blogs are nothing…” or something along those lines. I got up and left. Who does Mr. Big Shot Time magazine movie reviewer Dickshickel think he is???? So I think we all need to boycott Time or at least his movie reviews!!

  24. Not Faint Hearted

    These are the kinds of stories the grandkids always want to hear about grammy and gramps, but never believe…

  25. Mo

    You would flash some old people, and not flash us? Where are your priorities?! I mean, c’mon, it’s no excuse not to go ahead and take the picture. Eh, you’re just a tease.

  26. Ariel

    Yay! Smut! By the way, would you mind popping your newly aged bared arse over to my place to see if, perhaps, you could give us Britbloggers a plug about our super exciting and very daring charity project? Sorry to be so cheeky. And, erm, lovely cheeks by the way. (I imagine.)

  27. Erin

    Yay! I heard you stopped in Oregon and met Carol Malley! You guys are so lucky.. I wish I could go home for a few days. 🙂

  28. Dagny

    Teach me to read all the comments before scrolling back up. I read Sass’s comment and instantly went looking for the error. That apparently had been corrected as there was only one point in the post that this error could have occurred. Then I finally scrolled down and saw that you were cognizant of the error. Now I know that scrolling down may save me lots of trouble in the future.

    And your error? Made me think of my kids. Today was report card day. One kid asked me, “Did I do good on this report card?” My answer was, “Well. Did you do well. You wanted to know how you did. An adverb. You are describing the action. Good is an adjective. Well is an adverb.”

    Sorry for the rant but bad grammar always makes me get heated. I do recognize that writers often break the rules of grammar though. But as I tell my kids, “Before you break the rules, you have to know the rules.”

    Hope y’all are having a fantastic trip.

  29. Two Roads

    As usual everyone else gets to see your naked arse but your real friends!

  30. Gypsy Purple-Chamara

    Thanx for the excitement….

  31. Marilyn

    I’m laughing because you clearly would never survive in my old neck o’ the woods. That drunk in the truck? Hon, that’s just a normal day up there. 🙂 Gold Beach, where Gregory Harrison lives. You remember Trapper John, M.D., don’t you? He wasn’t Trapper…he was the hunky young guy…”Gonzo.” And he married Randi Oakes…remember her from C*H*I*P’s? My father sometimes drives up to Gold Beach to play golf…I always love hearing the gossip about how Gold Beach’s one ‘celebrity’ couple is too snooty for the town. 😉 When I moved to Portland, that gas-pumping thing really threw me off…but I grew to love not having to pump my own gas…until we moved from Portland to the Virgin Islands…where you still can’t pump gas, but the attendants expect a tip…for no service…except the gas.

  32. echo

    Now do you understand why Erin and I ran from Port Orford the moment we graduated? What did you think of the Seaweed Cafe? I worked there part-time in high school. Everyone in town thinks my mom’s super cool now, they are all telling her that some foreign bloggers were looking for her:)

  33. an9ie

    OMG! Giant Paul Bunyan and Babe! Highlight. Of. The. Trip.

    But, me wonders, does anyone under the age of 30 know who they are, do you think?

  34. therapydoc

    Neil, why does anyone believe you when you write these things?

  35. Pam

    Do you know about the “Naked Neighbor” flap in Oregon? There was all this ridiculousness about how you can’t be naked in Oregon. You’re lucky you didn’t get arrested!

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