On Wednesday, Beaverton resident Parker Bercot took his coworkers out for drinks at Northeast Broadway’s celebrated tiki bar, Hale Pele. A Portland staple since 2012, the establishment’s name translates to “house of the volcano goddess” and it serves up tropical inspired drinks in a moody atmosphere. After scanning the menu, the five of them decided to order a special group drink, the volcano bowl. As their flaming beverage arrived, their table cheered with glee as the lights at the bar flickered and the speakers boomed with the deafening sound of thunder cracks.
Seismologist Patrice Sivan, who had been enjoying the crab rangoon dip with wonton chips, spit her food out with disgust. “Read the room,” she barked angrily. “Have some goddamn respect. Today is the last day they should be ordering a volcano bowl.”
Wednesday marked the 42 year anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, called the most disastrous such event in US history. When the ash settled, 57 people were dead, hundreds of square miles were reduced to wasteland and billions of dollars in damage was done, ash was deposited in 11 states and the mountain was left with a huge crater on its North side.
A confused Bercot who did not grasp the context and severity of the situation, called over his server and muttered with a smile, “you see that angry lady at the bar? Send her a volcano bowl, my treat.“