It's back! Welcome to the triumphant return of the Blogtown series we like to call "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly "My, What a Busy Week!" pitch meetings, someone suggests an event which is the equivalent of throwing acid in our eyes—but we also realize a more enlightened person might love it! Hence, these "risky" events are often unfairly pushed aside. WELL, NO MORE. Instead of allowing what could be entirely worthy events to vanish forever, we're asking you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers to decide which of these events one of us should attend... whether we like it or not!
Every week an editorial staff member will be presented with three events that do not match their personality or interests... like, AT ALL. And here's the fun part: YOU will vote on and pick the event that must be attended by our unlucky staffer. Afterward he or she will review it right here on the blog! NOTE: Everyone's taste is different, right? So while Erik might enjoy nothing more than an art exhibit featuring only asthma inhalers, it might send Ned into rageful fits! That's why you might find a perfectly pleasant event or two in the list below. Also, competitors must stay for at least two hours (or until the event is over, whichever comes first) and are not allowed to get drunk, or use any substances (drugs) or distractions (phone/reading material) to dull the pain they may experience. We're closing the books on this year's season with:
Poor, tired Dirk. Dirk just got back from a week in the Midwest, except it wasn't so much a vacation, he confessed before our morning editorial meeting today, as an alcohol-and-food junket that maybe has him feeling more bloated and exhausted than he was before he left. Perhaps, just perhaps, this was some clever ploy so that we'd all go easy on him. But if it is, I'm not falling for it. Dirk can take whatever we're dishing. He still moonlights as a karaoke jockey on Saturday nights in Old Town, and that's arguably like having to do a Worst. Night. Ever. Every. Fucking. Week.
Also! Dirk was the loudest voice, every week, egging us on to eschew "passive" events for bits that were far more, as he put it, "participatory." Oh, okay, is that how it's supposed to be? "Participatory?" Yeah, Dirk, I think your chickens are about to come home to roost.
WORST NIGHT CHOICE #1: Mickey Hart Pre-show Drum Circle!
At risk of rousing possibly one or two of Portland's hippies from their dope-induced stupor, I'm going to insult Mickey Hart by calling him the stinkfoot drummer of a stinkfoot band that hasn't even existed since 1995 and really wasn't relevant, despite their incessant touring, for 10 years before that. That's right. Hart was drummer for the Grateful Dead, and like everyone else who clung to Jerry Garcia's plaque-clogged coattails, he still travels the country hoodwinking aging suburbanites and young potheads into watching his annoying performances. (Disclosure: I have never seen or heard one of Hart's shows.)
Dirk is not a huge fan of the Dead or its tired, weed-addiction-fueling spinoffs. Although he does claim to like their "one folk album" or some nonsense. But never you mind that. The hell of this choice is what he must do before Hart's show: A drum circle. Some flower-power flunky of Hart's, visiting from Corvallis, wants a bunch of other patchouli clouds to show up outside the Roseland on Friday night, two hours before the show, and awkwardly bang bongos or snares or buckets or garbage cans or whatever. "Come add your special flavor to the circle," the ad reads. That might actually have been the only thing I needed to type.
WORST NIGHT CHOICE #2: Take a Church of Scientology Personality Test
The Scientologists just opened a fine, new headquarters in downtown Portland—so fine, in fact, they had to Photoshop in hundreds of people who wanted to attend the big opening gala but, for whatever reason, just couldn't make it. Even though our new neighbors are just a few doors (or blocks, actually) down from us, the Mercury—shocker!—hasn't even been by to say hello or offer to borrow a cup of sugar.
Depending on what you, our dear readers, choose, Dirk could be that neighborly ambassador. All Dirk has to do is walk over to the new "Mission of Portland," which has no relation to Mission of Burma, alas, and let them do what they do best: try to get their money-sucking meat hooks into someone they hope is unhappy enough to believe in a dead science fiction writer's crazy book about aliens and emotional blockages.
The first step in that acquaintance is a personality test designed to help anyone struggling with sadness to figure out where they've gone wrong and how they might get it all right once again. FIND THE SOURCE OF YOUR SUPPRESSION! It's definitely not creepy and invasive and it's never, ever used against troubled people as an insipid recruiting technique.
WORST NIGHT CHOICE #3: Jerry Garcia Birthday Tie-Dye Golf Tourney
This is the blurb on the piece of paper they gave me to help write this post: "Celebrate Jerry with 20 holes of golf." Yes, because whenever I think of Jerry Garcia, I think of golf shirts tucked into high-waisted Dockers belted tightly over a pants gut. For several reasons, this is the worst of the worst, in my humble opinion. Dirk doesn't much like the Dead, but he really doesn't like golfing.
He'll need to rent the cheapest and most embarrassing clubs offered. It's early on a Sunday morning in Edgefield. He'll have to wear a tie-dye shirt. The whole event is a dumb idea that works only because all of the dim college kids who partied with bikers in the stadium lots outside Dead shows in 1984 have all grown to become fretful grandparents with second mortgages.
What's the only thing that smells worse than patchouli? A 58-year-old man with coffee breath who's been walking in the sun so long his noxious Right Guard sports deodorant has all but vaporized.
But there are prizes. I guess.
Voting ends at noon tomorrow! VOTE NOW or forever hold your pee! (Like on an airplane, when the seatbelt light is turned on.)