guy feeding racoon coke in car window on sask ave

1.  The “Odd” Friend.

We all have at least a couple of friends that are off the beaten path.  They don’t just walk to the beat of a different drummer they hear a whole different tune.  While your other friends might not like your “odd” friend you don’t mind them for some reason.  Inexplicably, their weirdness doesn’t freak you out and you’ve developed a soft spot for them. Your connection is a little disturbing if you think about it too much because part of their “oddness” is in you too.

Giant Sized Potatoes And Grower Sept 19 1962

2.  The Farmer Friend.

These people disappear from your social landscape every spring and fall for weeks on end but all winter long you see them everywhere.  They don’t just drive large trucks, they prefer larger, more expensive SUV’s.  Although they can explain the challenges and hardships facing the ag industry they still manage to have a much nicer house than you and go on much nicer vacations.


3.  The Retail Friend.

You might not know this friend’s first name if it wasn’t for the name tag and you likely have no clue what their last name is.  You see them every time you go for coffee or shopping and have a routine of narrow band-width conversation you go through each time you see them.  It really throws you for a loop when you see them out of uniform somewhere other than where they work.  They’ll say hi and you’ll offer a slightly confused albeit polite response as you try to figure out how they know you.  Once you realize you see them all the time they are long gone.


 4.  The Friend Who Moved Away.

This friend normally moves to Calgary or somewhere in the oil fields of Alberta.  They show up a time or two a year and have to tell you about how much more money they are making and how much better life has become since they moved away.  You don’t necessarily believe all the wonderful things they tell you about their new life away from Portage but you do notice they seem notably happier since leaving and you feel a twinge of jealously.


5.  The Friend Who Is Going To Move Away.

This is the opposite of the Friend Who Moved Away.  This person will assault you regularity with pissing and moaning about their plight in Portage.  Everything bad that happens to them here will be fixed the moment they move on to greener pastures.  They’ve been telling you this for ten years but are still here and still hating it.  They constantly reference the Friend Who Moved Away as having it all which further fuels your envy and makes you dream of living somewhere else.  A lot of times when your Friend Who Is Going To Move Away starts going on you actually wish they would move away so you wouldn’t have to listen to their complaining but you know they will never leave Portage.

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6.  The Friend With A Truck.

This may be one of your most important friends.  Not only do they have a truck to help you move and haul stuff but they are the friend with tools and skills.  When something breaks or falls apart they are the handyman you call because you know they’ll know how to fix it.  Basically they are your “Get ‘Er Done” friend and if they weren’t in your life you might be hooped, or at least broke.


7.  The Friend Who Needs A Job.

They just lost their job because of no fault of their own and never seem to find work or workplace that suits them.  It’s never their fault things don’t work out but you hear the same story from every place they do get a job.  You feel bad for them but still get exasperated when they ask you if you know anyone is hiring.


8.  The Friend Who Hates Their Job.

This person is different from the Friend Who Needs a Job because they will never leave their job.  Stuck in a rut for years doing the same thing day in and day out they start every conversation with tales of how crappy their job is and how much they hate their boss.  They threaten to quit and “show them” once and for all but you know they’ll never pull the trigger because they would have nothing left to talk about if they had a job they liked.


9.  The Friend With Kids.

A Friend With Kids won’t bother you as much if you have kids of your own.  If you don’t have kids then you become frustrated and annoyed when their lives become completely occupied by the kids.  Their activities, care, routine and needs all take over your friend’s life and you find it next to impossible to hang out with them.  When you do connect you find the tales of their every accomplishment tedious.  Humans grow and develop at pretty much the same rate and news of each milestone doesn’t excite you but you have to try to pretend it does.  If you also have kids then your Friends With Kids will annoy you with the one-upmanship that occurs when parents brag about their kids.  You’ll blame your other Friends With Kids for doing this while not seeing when you do it.  So many exceptional kids, so many average adults.


10.  The Friend Who Is Always Sick.

No one is always sick and neither is this friend but they think they are.  In fact, they are likely healthier than you but every bump, blemish and back ache becomes a reason to search the internet for the cause.  This sends them tumbling with an endless list of possible diseases they may have.  They suspect the medical profession is conspiring against them and that death is imminent.

shoveling snow on north side of avenuejpg

11.  The Friend Who Loves Winter.

While you shiver and hide under a blanket when the temperature drops this friend can’t wait for the first snow fall.  Snowmobiles, ice fishing, flooding out-door rinks, moving snow, and skiing are all things these people “can’t wait” for.  While you can’t grasp the appeal of sitting on a frozen lake in minus twenty temperatures waiting for a fish to bite, they don’t get why you want to sit on the couch while they rip around on their new sled.

Most of the above images are from the Tashiro Archive.  Leave a comment if you recognize anyone or anything.

You might also find these stories and videos helpful and fun.

12 Types of Portage Neighbours: Click Here for 12 Types of Portage Neighbours

A Guide to Properly Mispronouncing Portage Street Names



A Video Story called “You might be fro Portage if…”

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