The Littoral Life: Whatever Floats Your Goat

By Dan Haag
As the calendar turned to November, a magical switch flipped and the weather became painfully familiar. Rain and wind kept us inside most of the first few days after Halloween. With dull gray skies fading to black at around 3 pm, we are starting to find ourselves mournfully perched on the couch, much in the same manner as we are on any given blustery day: me painfully trying to stay interested in a book and Janell knitting something thick and woolly.
My mind was wandering and I found myself reading the same paragraph over and over with no real absorption. Visions of Hawaii taunted me mercilessly.
Out of nowhere, Janell puts her knitting down, turns to me and asks: “Did I ever tell you about the time a goat chased me on a motorcycle?”

Book instantly forgotten, my technicolor mind spooled up an image of a maniacal goat on a Harley, wearing a fez and a monocle, cackling maniacally as he chased my beloved down. It was better than flying monkeys or Darth Vader combined.
“Why no, I would have remembered that one,” I said.
The actual story wasn’t quite what I envisioned, but almost nearly as good.
Many years ago, the teenage version of Janell was riding a dirt bike around the Portland neighborhood in which she grew up. A house down the street boasted a variety of livestock: chickens, pigs and a family of free-range goats. Apparently one of these goats was very protective of his street. Some said he collected extortion money local businesses and schools. Kids were warned to avoid “the goat house” like it was the Bates Motel and law enforcement officials from the FBI to Scotland Yard kept a thick dossier on his activities.
My Janell, ever brave and slightly oblivious, felt she was safe on her dirt bike. This was despite the fact that the goat ringleader – “the Goatfather” – sported a mean streak a mile wide and had rather infamously head-butted several passing cars. 
Said critter saw my future bride tootling down the street and apparently took exception to Janell’s presence.
An odd-even-for-Oregon chase ensued: goat galloping furiously after a terrified teen down a residential street. It’s too bad this was before the age of YouTube.
Panicked, Janell ditched the bike in a neighbor’s yard and managed to get in the house. The devil-spawn goat continued after her, pounding on the door with its hooves and head, braying for blood. A few locals managed to harness the beast and drag it away all while it lunged, clawed and screamed BAAAA! BAAAA! BAAAAA!!!
Which, as we all know, is goat-speak for “This isn’t over! Not by a long shot!”
“It was actually pretty scary,” she finished solemnly.
Moments like this are why I don’t feel the need to pay for cable.