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Located adjacent to Portland's Saturday Market is what's called "the drum circle". Right on the waterfront, it's more or less composed of a few kids skateboarding, a couple guys playing tribal drums, and about 75 people prying open their third eyes. One can obtain virtually any controlled substance under the sun simply by sitting perfectly still on the fringes of this "circle" and waiting for the offers to come.

For those of us who don't much care for the taste of sky, the drum circle offers other means of entertainment. Watching fifteen stoners with no coordination try to play hacky sack is good to kill a half hour. Skateboarders on LSD make for the best slapstick this side of Jackie Chan. And if you're an asshole, there are so many potential targets for derision here that you will feel cheapened.

The best, though, is this. Stand on one side of the crowd and wait until you see a drug deal happening. This should take about thirty seconds. Then whisper, quietly but furtively, this phrase: "Five up in the park!". This is local stoner-speak for "Dude, a cop's coming!". Now, you just close your eyes and listen: the sounds will move like a wave across the crowd. First, the harried whispers of warning as your message is spread. Then, the sparking of butane lighters and the weezing sound of air through pipes as five dozen people try to sneak in one last hit. Finally, the crinkling of fifty little plastic baggies being rolled up and hurriedly stuffed into pockets, socks, and backpacks. It's simply breathtaking. And it'll be a good five minutes before anyone figures out what's happening.