In a world of stupid safety rules, THANK GOD for the annual Portland Adult Soapbox Derby. The Derby takes place at Mt. Tabor Park, where roughly 30 contestants design and race their gravity-powered cars down a twisty, mile-long track.
While some compete for the danger, blasting through hairpin turns at speeds of 40 mph and faster, there are also those who love the creative aspect; building other-worldly art cars in the shapes of snowballs, coffins, and the occasional farm animal. They may not win, but they look good doing it. Trophies are awarded, beer is imbibed, and at the end of the day, all cars are required to run The Gauntlet; an impossible obstacle course which leaves the racetrack strewn in car parts and drunken contestants. That's what we call "FUN!"
And don't miss the annual after-race Derby Party featuring BBQ, alkyhol, and rocky-roll music from Pillowfight and the Muddy River Nightmare Band! While you're there, be sure to thank the organizers for making Portland such a delightfully dangerous place to live. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
PDX Adult Soapbox Derby. Mt. Tabor Park, Prelims at 10 am, finals begin at 1:30. Derby After-Party, Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne, 6 pm, $3, portion of proceeds go to Sisters of the Road.
Midgets, Fatties, and Men!
There's a rash of cover bands these days--maybe that's why people are taking it to a new level. Not content to simply mimic the talents of their idols, the new breed of tribute performers are adding their own hooks. Take NYC's Mini-KISS, one of many troupes of KISS imitators. But they get more attention because they're midgets! In a flip-flop of the KISS image (larger than life shoes, shoulders, tongues, and libidos), Mini-KISS is bringing houses down with their miniature version of the glam monsters. Eerily, Mini-KISS bear an uncanny facial resemblance to the objects of their spoof, and it's not just the makeup... maybe someone just finally cut Gene Simmons down to size.
With them will be We Got The Meat, a tribute to the Go-Go's. They might put on a little lipstick, and maybe don some high heels, but if you get a chance to look under their skirts you will see that they do, indeed, have "the meat." That's right--they're all dudes, in another hilarious flip-flop! If that's not enough to get you, don't miss the third band: The Misfats. They have cleverly altered all the lyrics of Misfits classics to pertain to food and eating. And why not? They're fat! MARJORIE SKINNER
Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 226-6630, Saturday 10 pm, $10-12
Run, Fly, and Swim!
Normally the waterfront is stomping grounds for Gresham-friendly events like Jazz-Bore-Fest. But this weekend, that stretch of prime real estate will be re-claimed with three off the wall events.
Saturday is "Flügtag," which apparently in German means "you've got wings" day. Jettisoned off a 25-foot tall ramp, about 30 local teams (including an A-Team van equipped with fluttering wings) will attempt to fly! Their landing site? The Willamette River! (Waterfront Park, 1 pm, free)
The next day starts with an abnormal, waterfront running race. What's so different? Flash in the pan '80s bands will be playing as you run! (The only glitch with the five and 10 kilometer "Run Hit Wonder" concept is that headliners Devo are a seminal new wave band--not a one-hit wonder.) Regardless of the organizers' questionable grasp on music history, Tone Loc, Kajagoogoo, General Public, and Flock of Seagulls will be there to roll back the clock about two decades. (Race starts at Pioneer Square, 8:15 am, Sunday, info at nikerunhitwonder.com)
Directly following is the second annual Portland Challenge, a parade-cum-swim race. Starting at Goose Hollow Inn, the parade weaves through the city's west side, culminating in a swim across the Willamette. Reach the other side and be rewarded with a massive chicken and dumplings lunch! (Parade starts at 1927 SW Jefferson, 11 am, Sunday, free) PB
The Safari Club
In a town with strip clubs around every corner, a new titty bar needs a gimmick to be successful. Girls who shoot ping-pong balls out of their cooters, aerial strip shows, or half-priced drinks would all work, but the Safari Club has decided on a more unconventional gimmick: Piranhas. At the Safari, they have tanks and tanks and tanks of piranhas of all sizes. Beyond the draw of cannibalistic fish, however, the club enhances this gimmick by allowing you, the customer, to purchase goldfish--which a professional will then place in the piranha tanks so you can watch them be eaten alive. Sick? Yes. Fun? Yes.
Along with the piranhas and cocktails, the Safari continues to entertain with multi-racial naked chicks, taxidermied animals, a comprehensive jungle theme, and even a pool for strippers and female patrons to swim and perform in (sorry guys, you can't be trusted around naked chicks in a swimming pool). So, if you're headed out for a little T&A or you have friends in town you want to impress, head down to the Safari Club and kill a goldfish for me. KATIE SHIMER
Safari Showclub, In the space that used to be Doc's, 3000 SE Powell, 231-9199, 11 am-2 am daily; except Sunday 4 pm-2 am