Week14: Real Archers Wear Short Shorts

My money has begun to dwindle. I need it quickly and now feel I must pull out all the stops to make my Sunday School work… or face getting a “real job” (don’t worry, even if that happens I won’t give up my hunter-gatherer journey). So on Saturday I dressed up in my loin cloth and planned to go to Saturday Market to hand out fliers.

To tell you the truth, I can’t remember the last time I went around in public by myself in my loin cloth. I have had a kind of stage fright for some time now. I can’t teach or act or do my performance type stuff because I keep having anxiety attacks. I don’t know when I stopped feeling comfortable and started feeling self-conscious. I just know that I’ve felt this way for some time now.

So yesterday felt like a huge challenge for me. I fully prepared myself for all the bullshit scenarios that may occur:

1. Cops harass (arrest/beat/murder) me for wearing a loin-cloth.
2. Cops harass (arrest/beat/murder) me for starting fires.

I guess only those two felt the most hazardous. To prepare myself for potential harassment from wearing the loin cloth, I brought clothes and prepared my monologue that I’ve performed with cops before, “This loin cloth only has one piece. It feels more like wearing a diaper. If the wind blows it up, I’ve wrapped it around my junk so I don’t give anyone I show. I don’t act like a pervert.” If that doesn’t work, and they just want to boss me around like we all know they do, I brought clothes with me.

The second hazard seems more complicated. Lighting fires seems more hazardous to them probably because a lighter, though it has a flame, can extinguish itself rather simply. A tinder bundle doesn’t easily extinguish. So I brought a pan and lid, and I would blow the tinder bundle into flames, than place it in the pan and suffocate it by putting the lid on. I saw a magician do this once, light something on fire and put it in a pan. Of course, when he lifted the lid the fire had miraculously turned into Jelly Beans. If only I could master that trick! So if the cops decided to ticket me I didn’t think I could do much but bend over and take it. “Hell,” I thought, “It would make great fodder for my blog.”

I biked downtown and I left my bike in an “easy to evacuate” place outside the market. Oh yeah, Let me tell you a little about Saturday Market.

Saturday Market looks a lot like some old-timey bazaar; a bunch of booths run by local artists selling their shit. Most of it looks like garbage if you ask me, and only stuff tourists would buy. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people go through there every weekend. I thought, “I should go hand out fliers for my school there.” Without really thinking that much about if it had the right audience. Now, my initial fear involved the fact that hippies saturate Saturday Market and I hate hippies and would rather not associate myself with them.

As soon as I got there I realized I forgot my bow for my bow-drill at home! I had to scavenge for one. I found many peoples eyes glued to me as I walked around the place. Many people began to smile and laugh at me. Normally I don’t care when people laugh as I walk down the street in my loin cloth. But this felt different. A bunch of 30-something-suburban-meat-head’s walked by and one of them says to the others, “Hey dudes, check that out.” They all turn their heads and scoff and sneer.

I looked to my left and saw a kid with dreadlocks shittily playing Bob Dylan songs on his guitar. I looked to my right and saw a kid with baggy corduroy pants and a rasta shit juggling. In the near distance I could hear a drum circle. In all of this I realized that something about my outfit; that in this context, I simply look like another hippie asshole wearing a loin cloth. I thought about screaming, “No! I’m not a hippie! Really!” But instead I decided to roll with it for the moment, and see if I could stand out and above the rest of the dismal riffraff.

I had forgotten all of my street performer tricks, but they slowly came back. Soon I had a crowd and began to explain the bow-drill. I spoke with many people who had visible excitement over what I did. Though after speaking with many people one on one I realized that Saturday Market does not have the demographic I want.

Tourists, teenagers, families, hippies. People not from Portland and people too young to take my classes (18 and over, unless you’re an unschooler). And people I don’t want in my classes; hippies. Overall I had fun and learned a lot and gained back some of the confidence I had lost and met some cool people. Though I doubt I’ll go back there again.
Okay! Now I have time for….


Holy shit you guys! I did soooo much stuff this week. I really went above and beyond the call. Let’s look at my goals from last week:

Goals for Week14:

1. Burn Bowl
2. Garden at Moms
3. Practice Archery
4. Begin Pine Needle Quiver
5. Set a dead fall trap for a squirrel

1. The burn bowl. I found this large chunk of cotton wood that I thought would work perfectly for a burn bowl. Light density wood I wouldn’t spend hours and hours burning. I failed. I spent a while burning it and it seemed to work okay. I made the mistake of setting it down near the fire. The fire got so hot that even setting the wood near it caused it to crack and split on the sides! This happened after I had spent a couple hours burning the bowl out, so I felt pretty dissappointed, but I’ll just turn the wood into bow-drill parts so it won’t go to waste.

2. Garden at Moms. I didn’t have much time there, my sister just had surgery and has stayed there for a while now recovering. I spent a lot of time with her watching movies and stuff. But my mom begged me to take as much greens from the garden as possible because she hadn’t had time and all the lettuce would go to seed if I didn’t take a lot. So I loaded up a huge bag and took it home! Easy money.

3. Practice Archery. Shaun and I went out and shot some arrows at the outdoor archery range in Washington Park. It felt like an adventure because we have to ride our bikes to the train and take the train up to the zoo, then bike down the hill to the park. Afterwards we just bike down the hill back into downtown Portland. But I have to strap my bow and arrows to my bike which totally excites people on the train.

I finally feel like my body has learned a few things about shooting and aiming arrows. Shaun and I described to each other how we felt when we made a nice shot. It made me really feel good that I had a friend there to share and learn from, and again made me remember the importance of community and information sharing as a tool to learn.

Shaun wandered off and I kept shooting. When I finally turned around I saw him hunched over breaking a beer bottle he dug out of the trash. On the ground he had a portable flint-knapping kit he carries with him and he begun to flint-knapp the base of the broken bottle into an arrow head.

As Shaun worked on the blade I noticed the call of red huckleberries, begging me to eat them. So I did. As I walked around in the bushes I noticed a large batch of Oregon Grape. I gathered some of their roots to make a tincture. Oregon Grape root supposedly cures giardia. I ate more berries and then I saw a stinging nettle patch, so I gathered a few of them to make some cordage with for a bow-string for my bow-drill.

I came back over to Shaun and he showed my his blade:

Beer Bottle Blade

Shaun and I then shot a few more arrows then biked back to my house and made the Oregon Grape tincture. I also made a Western Red Cedar tincture and another Yarrow one.

4. Begin pine needle quiver. I began to soak the needles but haven’t had time to start the basket yet.

5. Okay, I did fail to make and set a trap for squirrels.

…But 4 out of 5 feels pretty good to me!

Alright, let’s set some goals for week15:

1. More Archery!
2. Have Shaun show me his flint-knapping kit in detail and make a bottle blade.
3. Set a trap for a squirrel.
4. Go all day in Urban Scout wear.
5. Work on tanning the deer hides I’ve got.
6. Cook 4 meals over a fire.
7. Work on pine needle quiver.
8. Make a great pipe smoke mix for my hate pipe.

Thanks for tuning in!

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3 Comments on “Week14: Real Archers Wear Short Shorts”

  1. Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

    Archery greats you should write about next, my ex was an Archery champ!